Well, yesterday was ‘interesting’!
i’ve previously written about the urban myths that crop up occasionally in sl, in particular the one where if you die when you’re online you’re condemned to wander the corridors of sl in perpetuity… your soul trapped within a disembodied avatar. Much less well known is the one i came across last night – and believe me, it’s no myth, because it actually happened to me.
Did you know that if your avatar dies, you’re reborn as a superior, all powerful being with super powers? No… let me tell you my story…
Got myself all dolled up for a night out at Jukebox Fury and everything was going just fine, no problems, no hassles, just an enjoyable evening out and then it happened: i crashed – so violently, i swear i bounced – and not your normal type of crash either. Usually, i enter into some sort of catatonic state, where the world carries on around me but i freeze up, lose all ability to communicate and then unceremoniously exit. Usually, i just log back on, getting a friendly message that ‘Second Life seems to have crashed on the last occasion – would you like to scream in frustration?’, (or something like that). This time, it was different.
One moment i was dancing with my sweetheart, the next i was back in the real world – no warning, no signs of impending disaster, just a complete and sudden absence of sl. When i logged back on, i knew something was amiss, when Jells mentioned i was wearing both my dress and a pair of jeans – well, not according to my inv or my eyes!
i re-logged and, at this point, things became very strange indeed… i no longer existed – all the bits and pieces that make up ‘me’ had vanished. The folder was still there, but completely empty – i had ceased to exist! As for my physical appearance, well i looked something like me, but in a fuzzy, (and rather nude), kind of way. Nothing i did made any difference and, several re-logs later the dreadful truth started to dawn – i had ceased to exist… Seren had, in fact, experienced the sl equivalent of death.
You can imagine how distressing this was – imagine all your constituent parts just disappearing into the ether, leaving just your consciousness and a ghostly figure in its place. You’ve shuffled off sl’s mortal coil and have entered some sort of quasi-afterlife – i was not a happy bunny!
Not being one to let mere death get in the way of a good night out, i started the painstaking task of re-creating myself from scratch (i’m choosing my words carefully here, you’ll see why shortly). Thank goodness i’m completely anal about keeping LMs for my body parts and such like, otherwise i don’t think i’d ever have managed to get myself back. Eventually, Seren was back, like some virtual phoenix rising from the smoking ashes of her funeral pyre – i was alive again!
That was when things started getting really weird!
Back to AAI where, to my disgust, i realised all the Mods had gone home, but at least Eyktan was on the decks so i was spared Radio Pepito! A bit of fun ensued, with me showing off my non-existent linguistic skills in Portuguese, Korean and Japanese (just don’t ask!). Someone was talking about profile picks and out of interest i thought i’d do a spot of profile surfing – and that’s when it happened… extra buttons.
Buttons to kick, freeze and unfreeze, and CSR (whatever that is!). More than that, i suddenly had the ability to locate absolutely anyone on the map – slowly realisation was dawning and a quick look through my toolbar confirmed my suspicions… i’d been granted access to the almost mythical God Tools! Somehow, my death and subsequent re-birth had promoted me to the ranks of the gods themselves. My powers were awesome and frightening – i could kick anyone, anywhere off the Grid; delete anyone’s objects, anywhere; if i didn’t like the time of day, i could change the sun, for everyone; fancied a bit of peace, i could clear a Sim. I could build and terraform wherever i wanted. i was omnipotent!
Wow! Let me ask you – what would you do in a similar situation? i have to confess that a number of mischievous thoughts momentarily crossed my mind but, in the end, sanity prevailed. As Stan Lee, in the guise of Spiderman, says ‘With great power must also come great responsibility’ and, to be honest, having all that power suddenly bequeathed to me was a slightly unnerving feeling, so i did nothing.
i’ve no idea whether my new godlike state is just a temporary feature – maybe when i next log on things will have returned to normal, but it does raise some interesting points. For example, would people think twice about how they treated me, if they knew i had the ultimate power to hound them across the Grid and quite literally model their sl to suit me? Would i command respect or fear, or maybe people would suck up to me, hoping to get on my ‘good side’ and be granted favours… i wonder?
As i said, it’s been ‘interesting’ – but, rest assured, i don’t intend to change… no world domination for me (i’ll leave that to Shauna… she’s good at it!). Personally, being a god doesn’t really appeal – way too much responsibility for my liking – besides, i think just one God is more than adequate… i’d just confuse the issue.
Although you might want to start calling me Dippy Linden from now on, just to be on the safe side!
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Tryin’ to make his way home?
Joan Osborne – One Of Us