Way back in the dim and distant past, when the virtual world was very different to what we know today, and even the name ‘Second Life’ had yet to be coined, there existed the proto-pixels that would one day evolve into our online environment. This was the playground of the very first Lindens and, in fact was known by the name ‘Linden World‘. It seems that those Lindens were an uncouth bunch whose chief enjoyment in life appeared to spring from blowing things up, shooting things and generally having fun destroying the world they were working so hard to create. Thankfully, by the time that sl was born, the development team’s intentions had become somewhat more noble and the focus had shifted to greater things… had its creators not decided to change their fundamental approach to designing our world, sl would probably have ended up as some bizarre hybrid – Quake and Gears of War meets The Sims and Zoo Tycoon, perhaps? Certainly, if that had happened, i wouldn’t be writing this now!
i’m not a zapping, shooting, gun-toting, grenade dropping, bomb-a-holic – i don’t even like the bits where the bad guys shoot at you in Tombraider – it’s just not the sort of thing that really appeals to me, at least, not usually…
Have you ever had one of those days where life has been a real drag? You finally get round to logging in to sl and can’t find anything to wear, (whatever you do try, mysteriously no longer fits, or just looks plain wrong) – now, thoroughly wound up, you utter a rude word or two in the general direction of your inventory, wear the next three things you happen to randomly click on, then TP yourself off to find some convivial company. It’s at that point you realise that you’re in no mood for smalltalk and pleasantries and discover that you’d rather be alone and miserable, than in company, making everbody else miserable too.
That, my friends, describes me the other day.
It was at this point that the primitive urge to blow things up, long buried and subdued deep within my subconscious suddenly elbowed its way roughly into my conscious mind and, almost without thinking, i found myself strategically perched on the roof of a convenient building, ray gun in hand, lining up the perfect target. Those pesky scripted cars, had run me down for the last time… a quick squeeze, (well quite a few squeezes, actually), on the trigger and my quarry exploded in a shower of sparks and smoke. It felt good!
Spurred on by the taste of blood, or maybe it was blueberry tea, i proceeded to ‘take out’ all the cars that, until now, had been a curse upon every innocent pedestrian and, when my supply of suitable targets had been exhausted – with the bloodlust now coursing through me – i turned my attention to more innocent modes of transport… the taxi parked outside the pub; the innocent scooter next to it; the Twisted Wheel Tours bus; the chip van and, erm… the pink flamingo stood outside a friend’s house!
Now, even in sl, there are some things that are bound to draw attention – blowing up the neighbourhood is one of them. Suddenly, i found that i was the one under attack, as a hail of giant bananas – is ‘hail’ an appropriate bananarate expression? – rained down on me!
Not one to take such things lightly, my own banana gun quickly appeared on the scene followed, in rapid succession by my melon launcher and – my ultimate weapon of choice – my projectile toaster! Things got a little crazy at that point and mayhem ensued, with weapons of every sort unloading their cargo of destruction upon whoever happened to wander into the firing line… one person, who shall remain nameless, even resorted to physically chucking noobs at anyone who got too close!
Y’know what? It was absolutely brilliant! Take my word for it, there is nothing quite like a bit of urban terrorism and blowing things up to pull you out of a miserable mood… i do believe those early Lindens might have had a point!
I’m gonna fight ’em off
A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back
The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army