Flogging a dead zombie
August 24, 2009 Leave a comment
I know; enough already with the zombie shtick. But I was thinking that we hadn’t done a Second Life-themed post for a while, and it would be nice to round off our undead week with a look at ghoul culture on the grid.
Many people would say that, with their awkward posture, lumbering gait and blank expressions, regular SL avatars are zombie-like enough for most purposes, but if you really want to get into the living-dead lifestyle, a quick search for “zombie” at Xstreet brings up a range of avatars, skins and AO’s for the full “reanimated corpse” effect.
There are dozens of zombie role-playing sims, so I chose Zombie Valley at random, and teleported in to lurch around for a spell:
I was rather hoping that some Buffy-style chick would leap out of the shadows to rough me up a bit, but, this being Second Life, the place was entirely deserted. I tried the Zombie Crypt, and Zombie Island, but they were devoid of the living too, so my putrefying body remained unmolested.
I decided to try a different tack, and headed over to a reliably busy place, the Fermi Sandbox, to see if my unhealthy pallor would elicit any concern there. No one seemed particularly alarmed by my appearance though; certainly no one felt moved to destroy my brain, which, as we all know, is the recommended course of action when faced with the living dead. While this bodes ill for SL‘s chances in the event of a full-scale zombie invasion, it does say something about the tolerant nature of the average resident that he or she doesn’t let a little decomposition get in the way of social discourse.
I eventually started just teleporting around at random, to see if I could find a place I felt at home. I was right into the zombie mindset by now, and it felt strangely relaxing to shuffle around the mostly empty suburbs and shopping malls, gaping mindlessly at the virtual recreation of our consumer culture.
Perhaps I’ve been too quick to dismiss our undead brethren as mere senseless flesh-eaters. Maybe we can learn something from their unhurried attitude, and delight in the simple pleasures of living death, like groaning incoherently or snacking on fresh brains. I’m just grateful that Second Life has given me the chance to embrace my inner zombie.