Ever since joining sl, i’ve heard rumours and tales of places of incarceration for avatars who’ve refused to toe the line – prisons, penitentiaries, the naughty corner – call them what you will, their function is the same: Places that miscreants could be carted off to for a spell to consider the error of their ways and repay their debt to SLociety.

After a few half-hearted attempts to verify the rumours, none of which bore fruit, i put the stories down to urban SLegend and forgot all about them… And then i found out about ‘The Cornfield’ and my interest was once again sparked – here’s the tantalisingly brief snippet that the sl Wiki has on the subject:

The Corn Field is a region of mythological status where once naughty avatars were sent to think about what they had done. “The corn field” is a vast star-lit field of corn and was cut off from communication with the rest of the world (a reference to the classic Twilight Zone episode, “It’s a Good Life”).

It is located at the North-West tip of Orientation Island 1 and closed to the public. Perhaps one day the prison will be open for viewing?

So, not only does it turn out the rumours are true, but i also found a first hand account written by someone who’d been incarcerated at The Cornfield; there to consider the error of their ways, back in the early days of 2006 – You can read it here.

Yes, there was indeed an oubliette to which the Lindens could consign those who didn’t obey the rules and, now that i knew the truth, i just had to check it out. i made it my mission to find The Cornfield in the interests of SLience, insatiable curiosity and my ongoing mission to check out the relics of the sl past, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no-one has gone before…. erm, sorry – got a bit carried away then.

The only question that remained was just how naughty do you have to be to get sent there? Since i’m naturally adept at getting into trouble, i figured that would be the easy part… i wasn’t so sure it would be quite so straightforward getting back out again, but i’d cross that bridge when i came to it.

So it was – one episode of extreme naughtiness later – i finally found myself at the very place i’d set my hopes on finding – the legendary Cornfield. i have to say, it was all a bit spooky, especially since i was the only person there – no-one even registering on the radar – i can only surmise that people are a lot better behaved these days than in the distant past.

It’s rather an atmospheric place, as much as a huge cornfield, devoid of life, (apart from the rats), can be. If you’ve ever seen the film  ‘Signs‘, then you’ll know what i mean. (Just as an aside – what a profoundly stupid film… If we could defeat an alien invasion, simply by locking them in a room then War of the Worlds would have ended very differently!). The Cornfield itself is huge and covered almost entirely by serried ranks of corn – as you’d expect – apart from the occasional clearing with a couple of home, (or should that be ‘field’) comforts… A crackling fire, the odd tractor and that bizarre television set, (which didn’t work). There were also a few Linden-owned fake avatars – maybe to ease the sense of loneliness and isolation. Oddly, The Cornfield straddles the borders of two regions – the only real explanation i can think of for this is that by doing so, a larger number of misbehaving avatars can be accommodated – the old-timers must have been a very naughty bunch indeed!

You’d think that being in such a place, i’d have steered well clear of getting into mischief and behaved myself – not a hope!… Whilst there, i entertained myself by stealing liberating a couple of the lonely avatar clones – perhaps they’ll enjoy celebrating their freedom, enjoying the sun at Echo Beach! There was a little surprise in store for me too: Completely unexpectedly, sat in a clearing, looking all lost and forlorn, i found a poor abandoned Linden bear; so i liberated him too! My very first Linden bear… followed almost immediately by my second! Yep, my collection is off to a flying start – it seems misbehaviour brings its rewards! So, thank you, Harry and Lizzie Linden, your bears will be given a good home and have a happy and fulfilling life; although, it must be said, as bears go they’re a little bit disappointing – i expected something a little more flashy and, in my completely unbiased and objective opinion, i think my own bear is better! (Yes, of course you can have one if you ask me nicely!).

It’s been an interesting little excursion, this trip into the less savoury past of sl and, if i’m completely honest, i can think of much worse ways to be punished for bad behaviour!

s. x

“I don’t see anybody”
Cemetary Rapist – Welcome To My Cornfield 

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