Death in Second Life is a particular experience: in many cases, it may result in great fun. One of the great advantages of SL for that matter is that avatars can always be brought back to life. In my early days in the virtual world, I used to enjoy jumping from the sky and seeing land appearing down there, getting closer, houses, creeks, trees, streets becoming more and more defined – until my avatar would come a cropper, only to get back on his feet the following second. Later, when a friend of mine bought a crane, Keebo – my husband back then – and I would lift a container and then release it right on each other’s head (you know, boys and their toys…). Maybe we felt powerful for defying, in a virtual way, the fate that all of us will meet at the end. Or maybe it was just a manifestation of some Wile-E.-Coyote-and-Road-Runner syndrome that we both suffered from.
No matter what the reason is, the fact is that putting our avatars under mortal danger can be funny in SL. Thinking of that, I prepared a list of six curious ways to die in Second Life. The only rule I imposed to myself was that I wouldn’t consider sims with shooting games or similar activities, just to make the task harder. Here’s what I found:
1. Hugged by a giant octopus
Inspired by a fictional place created by author H. P. Lovecraft, Innsmouth is an abandoned town in SL, inhabited by horror and terror. Contiguous to Dunwich and Arkham, another two cities that are part of the Lovecraft Country in Second Life, it’s somber and creepy and if an unsuspecting visitor eventually arrives there, they will soon find out that it is also full of dangers.
In the sewer of Innsmouth lives a terrorizing creature, a giant octopus whose tentacles will sneakily reach the surface to catch you. They will capture you and involve you, and you will have to fight for your life. That’s what one calls an octopus hug.
2. Bleeding in a haunted house
Escape room games – those in which one has to find clues that allow them to open a door and leave the room where they are locked in – experienced a boom in the current decade of the 21st century. In SL, Second Escape brings a couple of puzzles of that kind and seems to have a third one in the pipeline, to be released soon.
In Pike’s Place, one of the puzzles in Second Escape, you will find yourself locked in a house where a man died. His ghost started haunting the place and you will have to solve a mystery there so you can open the door and give him the peace he’s always searched for. Or you can bleed to death inside the house while asking for help.
If you can solve the puzzle in Pike’s Place, you can try the other escape room game available now in Second Escape, based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.
3. Eaten by a refrigerator
Drawing from both Mad Max and Waterworld, Dystopia is a post-apocalyptic sim that definitely incorporates some sense of humor. In its Carnage City district, you can find a refrigerator that will feed from you if you dare opening it in search of food.
Besides that, Dystopia presents to its visitors a very prolific decoration, governed by the aesthetics of destruction. It’s certainly one of the most significant examples of the imagination of disaster in SL, a sim where we can see the ruins of a modernity that went wrong.
4. Trapped in a coffin
Spookybox is advertised as an adult sandbox for monsters, demons, zombies, vampires and other creatures of the dark side – or for the curious visitor. Far from being just a place to rez items from one’s inventory, it is also marked by a classic horror-story decoration that transforms it into a great place for enjoying the atmosphere or even for taking pictures.
The place is divided into a small village inspired by a Harry Potter visual and a cemetery where the living dead can celebrate. If you go visit the sim, be careful: you can end up trapped in a coffin while the sinister creatures have their party.
5 and 6. Sinking in quicksand and getting eaten by an anaconda
Quicksand Cove is the door for an adult fetish sim that features capture role-playing – with a special emphasis on furries, it seems. After landing, watch your step, or, as you probably have guessed, you can sink in quicksand.
In the surrounding parcel, there are other traps and role-playing facilities. One of the items you can find is an anaconda that will devour you and make you travel through its tight body while you struggle to survive. At the end, there’s a surprise for you: rebirth in a very curious way.