Open-Book Fiction Writing in SL

Posted by & filed under second life.

So one of the things I do to amuse myself during downtime is role-play a character in the cyberpunk city Insilico.  The way this works is I created a profile on Insilico’s hub website for my character, Hibiki Ochs.  There, I post pictures/blog entires and message board posts and interact with the other denziens.  In Second Life, we interact in the city itself, playing out scenes in dance clubs, on the street, in reactors, in offices…etc.  It’s a large and very fun world to play in, if you enjoy FICTION WRITING.

Why all-caps?  Roleplaying is primarily done through the form of fiction writing: through the blogs, through the message boards and pictures and through Second Life.  We write large passages about the characters and have them react to other people’s situations.  In Second Life things are a little more real time, but here’s an excerpt from a character blog on the Insilico website:

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The rainclouds delivered nonstop water.
The awning was dripping wet and the runoff was coming down like a sheet, untouched.
I was holed up at Buddha’s Bowl, business to do. I normally walk in the rain but I had a nice jacket on and didn’t want to look messy where I was going.  Not entirely sure why, the Bowl is a dump, there’s no one to impress there.  Just ratty cooks and the occasional doe-eyed street walker.

“Maybe it’ll pass,” I said.

In that amount of time, I’d already checked the weather. I send a tight beam rBAND Encoded signal to my base station, which checked in with weather satellites all over the globe. It triangulated my location and gave me a current conditions readout, which I read. It compared current conditions all over the globe and gave me the path of the storm. I knew down to the exact second when the rain would slow and stop, I knew when the clouds would be over the other side of the world. I had in my mind a 5 day forecast. I knew the dew-point, I knew the humidity/temperature/air pressure/air composition and wind direction (without the satellites, I have all these sensors on board.) For fun I had a vocal synthesizer read me the forecast in a sexy female British accent. I changed what channel of music I was listening to on the live streams. I synchronized with my back-ups at the safe house and I made a reminder to ask someone out to dinner.

“Just maybe.”

When I have the tools at my fingertips, I can solve the small problems, the little questions. Who said what? What was the last thing I said to you 23 days ago? What time of the day did I do this? Who is logged into this node? What’s happening in the world? My mind keeps updating and archiving and cross-checking and organizing, without me even asking. I know your body heat, your heart rate. I can hear your heart beating in your chest. I know how much life is inside you.

But I’m not going to tell you any of that.
I’d like it better if you didn’t realize the power of my mind.

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If you want more information on Insilico, or how role-playing works in Second Life, send me a line anytime @ joemasaki@gmail.com

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