Saturday, April 4, 2015

Life and Death in Second Life

 Life is but a dream for the dead.

Gerard Way

          Recently, I came across an interesting and thought provoking article by another blogger, Canary Beck. 

          (Yes, I do read other bloggers!  The question is how many of them return the favor!)

          The article was titled What if our avatars aged (and died!) in Second Life? and discusses the pros and cons of avatars aging in Second Life (SL).

          At about the same time as I read this article, I ran into Bec Kellstrom, my unofficial  
spiritual advisor inworld.  (This may be news to Bec and should in no way reflect poorly on her.  Like many in her calling, she has a penchant for lost causes.)

          Bec had read the same article and this led to a far ranging discussion about life and death in SL and the relationship with Real Life (RL).  (Significant Other groans and leaves.  Significant Other doesn’t like this topic.)

          The question that arose for me from Canary’s article and my conversation with Bec (No blame should attach to either of them here.) is what’s our ultimate end in SL?

          In other words, where do our virtual existences lead inworld given that our RL ones are finite.  (Now, you can understand why Significant Other left.)

          Let’s start with aging.

          If our avatars were to age along with our RL selves what end would it be to?

          Would our virtual selves become more like our RL selves?

          Would we act our age (Does not sound as strange to you reading this as it does to me writing it?) or become some sort of senile delinquents? 

          One thing’s for sure, aging would be a real crimp in the sex industry inworld. 

          (But, then I did run across virtual Viagra™ in an earlier story.) 

Why would we want to age inworld?

Added realism?  Perhaps.

Because we could?  Possibly.  (There’s one in every crowd.)

Would I do it?


My reasons are primarily ease and I don’t want my SL existence to be about my avatar.

I’m an observer of life inworld and I don’t want my avatar to be a distraction.

(OK, and yes, as Significant Other would say if here, I’m probably too lazy to stay up with all the changes required to age properly.)

Besides, I’m close enough to my RL self.  Except for the blond hair, red eyes, and a few other details…

Let’s move along to death. 

In RL, death has a certain finality about it.

None of us knows for sure what lies beyond the curtain.

Maybe there is life after death.  Maybe there’s not.

Or, maybe reincarnation does exist.

(For the record, I happen to believe in life after death.  I have no logical argument for this that I can offer.  Personally, I’m more worried about being locked out of both levels.  But, that’s my problem.)

In SL, on the other hand is it final?  Does it have to be?

          When we lose someone inworld, many times we never know why. 

          Has the person just grown tired of a virtual existence, has RL reasserted its rightful place, or has the person actually passed on in RL?

          Sometimes, we know.

          There may be inworld memorial services and gravesites that can be visited. 

         I recently came across three such gravestones at Beau Belle Village memorializing members who never came back to SL because they had passed away in RL.

          Can we have reincarnation in SL?

          If we change avatars and never go back to our former selves isn’t this a form of reincarnation?

          What if another RL person takes over someone else’s avatar because they’ve died in RL or left for some other reason?

          (Starting to get heavy here, eh?  I don’t go to nudist sims all the time!)

          Which brings me to when death intersects both RL and SL.

          What should one do?

          Just disappear?  Leaving friends to always wonder why in the false hope that we’ll return?

          Let someone else take our avatar over a la Dread Pirate Roberts and we go on as long as there’s a virtual world to hang out in?

          Or, do we just stop being in SL just like we must do in RL someday.  (If anyone has figured out how to avoid the final day of reckoning, please let me know because I can make us a lot of money!)


          (Not that I’m planning on going anywhere soon!)

          My SL existence will end with my RL one.

          Is it vanity?

          I don’t know.  

          All I know is that I’m here for a certain length of time and that should be good enough for both RL and SL.  (Besides, let’s be honest, could anyone else ever replace my inimitable wit and charm?)

          I’ve made my inworld arrangements.  (Significant Other’s not too crazy about this.)

          So, if someday you get an invite to see me off then please come and remember my stories with everyone else!

          (I repeat.  Everything is fine and I plan on being around longer than SL!)

          I’d like to thank Bec for taking the time to have these heavy philosophical discussions with me and Canary for writing an awesome blog!

          As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.

          Open roads and kind fires!

1 comment:

jes said...

I attended a wonderful memorial for Mrs Fancy of Fancy's Deep Sims when she passed away in real life. A parade of ships and tons of flowers placed in her memory by friends. The sims were renamed in her honor when she died. I know of other places where players have erected memorial stones in sl for friends (players) who have passed in rl. I can only hope that if I am playing when I pass I am well loved and such a thing might happen for me :)