Cue “Ride of the Valkyries” and Hueys flying in over the sea – its two and a half minutes to midnight and armageddon is just around the corner.
Yes indeed, scientists have made the decision to put the clocks forward, but this is nothing to do with daylight saving. The clock in question is the Doomsday clock, which for the past two years has stood at 11:57pm but has now advanced another 30 seconds towards the end of the world. As Corporal Fraser would say, “we’re doomed, doomed I tell ya!”
So, it’s not looking terribly good for life on earth, however does mutually assured destruction really mean what it says on the tin? I’ve read enough books and seen plenty of movies that are firmly of the opinion that mankind will survive the apocalypse in whatever form it decides to take, be that nuclear inferno, invasion by aliens, takeover by sentient talking animals, zombie holocaust or natural disaster of the icy/ wavy/ meteorific/ seismic/ viral kind. There will always be survivors, who will probably have abandoned law, order and rational clothing, but will nonetheless endure in the post-apocalyptic wastelands of after-midnight earth.
So, assuming that you survive the disaster in the first place and successfully manage not to be eaten, enslaved, drowned or rendered down to your constituent atoms, what in practical terms can you do now to ensure the ongoing survival, and even success, of your post-apocalyptic self?
Well, there’s all the usual stockpiling of supplies, and so on, but I wouldn’t rely too heavily on those – the best laid plans can fall apart with astonishing ease – it’s far better to be mentally prepared for survival and of the right frame of mind to be able to make your own opportunities when the need arises: And that’s where SL users have a huge advantage over their fellow survivors, because our virtual world gives us unique opportunities to hone our survival instincts and capabilities, without leaving the comfort of our own chair, and whilst enjoying a nice cup of tea and chocolate digestive!
Let’s consider the resources we can draw upon to succeed on the post Doomsday planet that are freely available in SL :
- The virtual post apocalyptic experience
Is there’s one thing that there’s no shortage of inworld, is the wealth of authentic post-apocalyptic sims and experiences that we can partake of. With everything from wastelands to gritty urban environments, often with their own complementary zombies too! What better way to practice your survival skills than somewhere that looks, sounds and feels like the real thing, especially when the worst that can happen, should you be shot in the face by a marauding Wastelander or devoured by a flesh eating zombie, is that you’ll be despatched home, somewhere wiser and more knowledgeable about survival tactics than you were before. What’s better than training for the real thing in an environment that is the real thing, just without the radiation, bloodshed and risk of sudden and painful demise.
- Point and shoot
Not all of us live in the land of the free – around these parts, the closest we get is the right to bare arms… And there’s not much damage you can do with a t-shirt! As a result, many of us if forced into a survival situation, wouldn’t have the first clue about employing lethal force. I know you have to release the safety catch, I just haven’t a clue how, (or even what a safety catch looks like!)
Once again, it’s a case of SL to the rescue, since we all have the opportunity inworld to play with any weapon we choose, and all in complete safety. It’s an ideal training ground for preparing ourselves for that inevitable post-apocalyptic moment when it’s a case of kill, or be killed. How reassuring to know that when that fateful moment comes, you’ll be fully equipped to whip out your banana gun and let off a volley of deadly fruit, with pinpoint, practiced accuracy!
- No problem
Problem solving is one of those essential skills that can bring dividends to every aspect of our life, whether at home, work or caught in the grip of a nuclear winter. The ability to find a solution to any problem and resolve it using whatever resources we have to hand can mean the difference between survival and perishing. We’ve all seen ‘Apollo 13’ and ‘The Martian’, and if they can do it, so can we. In fact, we’re at a distinct advantage here – trying to achieve pretty much anything in SL is so beset with problems and difficulties that within our first few weeks inworld we’ve developed skills that DaVinci would envy.
- If you build it…
One of your first priorities after the invasion will be to create some sort of shelter. It’s no good just climbing a tree and hoping for the best – it didn’t work in ‘The Hunger Games’, and if won’t work for you!
You’re going to have to know how to construct an adequate structure using the simplest of tools and materials, which is no different to how we build in SL – so start sticking those prims together, no matter how dreadful the result may look, one day you’re going to thank me for it!
- Survival of the species
Ultimately, in any post-apocalyptic setting, we’re going to have just one thing at the forefront of our minds – rebuilding our world and civilisation. And, let’s face it, we’ve already had a huge amount of practice with SL and it’s still going on… Surely the same mantra must apply to both the virtual world, and the real one that we might face after midnight tolls: We’re all here to build a better world.
Disclaimer: The foregoing advice should not be taken as definitive. Serendipidy Haven will not be held accountable for your failure to survive a global apocalypse, or should you be devoured by aliens as a result of following this advice.
Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
And can’t you feel the fears I’m feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no running away,
There’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave
Barry McGuire – Eve Of Destruction