Estimated reading time: 2 minutes —
The End of Second Life
I hear you, “Not again!”
But this time it’s real.
I joined SL in April ’09. Peeps have been lamenting the end since longer than I’ve been around. As far as I can tell, the peak, the golden age, was ’07. By ’08 the luster was already off. Sure there were cool Obama – McCain virtual pranks in ’08, but the Apparrel and Technology corporations who’d opened sims were already starting to figure out that they hadn’t ever figured out what they were doing with them. Peeps were already starting to say the best days were behind this virtual world.
Since then the doomsayers and complainers, often including myself, have ranted on. And yet the virtual world of so much creativity and flexibility still stands, still welcomes new residents every day, still hosts a seemingly endless parade of inventive artists, architects, and culture hackers creating “Impossible IRL” experiences. If you don’t listen to the doomsayers, you’d think everything was fine – I did – till this morning.
There I was, minding my own business, working quietly, when a friend suddenly and unexpectedly sent me a deeply disturbing video. I cannot caution you enough to watch this video only at your own risk. Please understand that what you will experience, once seen, can never be unseen.
The Final Insult
Taboo: Forbidden Love, by one of those supposed-to-be-reputable journalistic sources, National Geographic, made me sick to my stomach and pulled the rug from under my virtual feet, leaving me to fall 4096 meters to the bottom of the virtual ocean floor. To be fair, I only watched the first 2 of the documentary’s 45 minutes, but I think the shocking news was already clear: this was a documentary filled with “weirdos” in “bizarre,” “delusional” love relationships, and it wasn’t going to mention Second Life at all!
The End of Days
Second Life can survive sim closings. Second Life can survive user account deletions. Second Life can survive designers folding up their virtual shops and towing all their creations off in a huff. Second Life will never be Facebook (thank gawd!) but I thought SL would always survive as long as there was a collection of oldtimers and newcomers who found this a compelling space for any of many varied activities.
All that changed this morning.
When the filmmakers of the cinemaverse no longer take pleasure in making documentaries about the twisted weirdos in Second Life and their wretched, pathetic relationships, then Second Life truly has reached the end of days.
Thank you to Kate Fletcher, Avalon Junior Knight, for her assistance and for joining us in the photograph.
• Order of Avalon.net
• Avalon Design / SL Marketplace
• Avalon – medieval fantasy role play SIM in Second Life