I am not a Brony. I don't enjoy the resurgence of My Little Pony, but neigh do I mind that others do. I've yet to watch an episode. In fact, all I know about MLP is the childish nursery rhyme that starts "My Little Pony, so skinny and bony..." So obviously I am the perfect person to enter a themed Minecraft server full of rainbows and flying horses with over-large eyes.
It's important to know that the mod installer looks like this.
It's playing music that plinks and plunks, so I'm already on edge. I'm worried about a diabetic reaction to the Brohoof server's recreation of Equestria. And I'm terrified that I'll put my hoof in it, and be marked out as an outsider, incapable of understanding the most basic equestrian etiquette. They talk about making it as close to canon as they can, for Glob*'s sake.
And yet I enter. I'm running the Brony Mod Pack and it's dumped a number of things into Minecraft that makes my transition from biped to quadruped easy: a new, brightly coloured MLP texture pack called "Love & Tolerance" that's as much of a riot of primary colours that you'd expect from the name, some builder mods that won't really affect me, and a flying mod.
But most of all there's a new player model. One that turns me into a pony. What it hasn't done, because it's incapable of it, is change my player skin, so when I eventually log into the Brohoof server, a single click from my now ponified Minecraft menu, I have the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, in pony form. This is the dream of many a MLP and Doctor Who slash fiction writer, but I just feel queasy. I'm also a lot more cloppy than usual.
The Brohoof server knows it'll entice tourists. The first thing you see is a sign telling you are somewhere you've never been before, and the second is a selection: the right takes you out into Equestria if you're a Brony and want to stay a while; the left to the Cloudhhub, a helpful selection of warps to the sights of the world. I take the left. I am a guest. A Tourony.
I warp to the clouds: first impressions? Bronies know how to build. Up there there's a tethered series of airships. I can see a rainbow. Is it called a rainbow in MLP? I'd suggest "bownie", if it's yet to be claimed. I'm joined by a player called 'Distorted', who could smell the noob on me from two towns over: he shows me how to fly and how to use the Cloudhub, which is a series of rooms that will take me to the sights of the world. Do I want to see "Ponyville", or "Canterlot". I'm told that "Manehattan" is impressive, and warp to there.