Monday, May 28, 2012

Deep Down

Written 29 May, 2012

Deep Down

I thought I had written this piece months ago, but it doesn't seem to show when I search, so clearly I didn't.

It's a shame, for the sim seems to be gone.

I'm talking about Deep Down, a sim-wide simulation of an Appalachian coal-mining community that was designed to complement the independent film of the same name. For a review, see here.

I stumbled across the sim; that's how I learned about the film. It was under construction, but seemed interesting, so I waited a while and then returned with Sweetie and our friend Elysienne. We had a blast-- especially Sweetie. My readers will know how much she loves to blow shit up.

First up we had to put on our hard hats. That was necessary so the sim designers could beam radio waves at our heads. Sweetie foiled them by covering her hat with aluminum foil.

First thing was to jump on bulldozers. Bulldozers!

Our job was to knock down a forest full of big trees, and we had but a limited time to do it!

You've Seen One Tree, You've Seen Them All!
With the trees gone, we had to place explosive charges, again facing a time limit.

And then we got to set them off!

Next, we had to load the coal into the tipple-- not an easy task.

Next, we loaded the coal into dump trucks and raced down the hill to the rail line.

With the coal strip-mined and hauled away, we hoofed it to the nearby town of Langley, Kentucky.

 It's a real town, by the way, population 1268, 100% white.

We were now tasked to turn off every electrical device in the town-- streetlights, lamps, televisions, computers, traffic lights, refrigerators, you name it. There must have been 150 things to find and turn off! When it was all off, the overhead power lines went dead.

Next we had to install solar panels on an array of barns.

Then we assembled giant windmills.

"Oh, Crap! Head's Up, Sweetie! Falling Huge Fan Blade! So Sorry!"
 Our last task was route pipes to the water treatment facility.

When we had finished balancing green energy with energy from old-fashioned coal, we got to dance to bluegrass music.

We had a wonderful time  I'm so sorry the sim is gone. Or maybe it isn't? Does anyone out there have a landmark?

Watch Deep Down - Video Extra on PBS. See more from Independent Lens.

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