Sunday, September 9, 2007
I Was Raped By A Giant Digital Unicorn
Maybe you saw the headline over on Boing-Boing:
Baby Unicorns in Second-Life -- via Interspecies Sex
Evidently, you go somewhere in SL, and a giant digital unicorn has sex with you. Later you give birth to an adorable baby unicorn that you can hold and pet to your heart's content. I think you have to be female, but I'm not sure.
At the original blog post here, there are some NSFW pictures and an interesting discussion.
Also there are a lot of comments. Commenters mostly feel very strongly in one of three directions: first, this is bestiality and is sick; second, these are pixels so who on earth cares; and third, could you all please shut the f**k up and let us get back to our lives?
Mostly I'm with "two": these are pixels; knock yourselves out! But what do I know? I'm seriously ignorant about Second Life.
In The New York Times today, there's a long, fascinating story about the economics of SL. The upshot is: you know how in "first life" people are greedy consumers trying to keep up with the Joneses? The Times story says that in Second Life, people are greedy consumers trying to keep up with the Joneses.
And they don't just buy up SL ("Linden") dollars on their credit cards, even though the exchange rate is really favorable (about 270 LD to 1 USD). They get jobs. They sell stuff.
They buy houses, keep up the lawn, hang out at the mall. The main differences between RL and SL, according to The Times, seem to be that in SL, lots of women have really big boobs and lots of men have really big muscles.
I guess if you see SL as your community, you might be more likely to be upset about unicorn sex. Some comments on the blog post suggest this line of thought, calling attention to the differences between mere games, such as Grand Theft Auto, and Second Life, where a person lives out an entire existence.
I can see this. At the same time, thinking of the ways SL is so much like RL makes me sympathetic to any project like the unicorn sex project. Real life is so limited; isn't it kind of exciting to imagine things that are really really different?
I suppose you might question, though, whether unicorn sex is different in an interesting way. I see the pictures, and I think, wow, kind of weird and cool. But if it's just a fancy way of narrating the weirdo-knocks-up-girl story, with a girl-has-baby-weirdo ending, I have to admit, that's not really so different from real life after all.
As the creator of the unicorn chaser says, it's only a matter of time before we have the shirts: "i was raped by a giant digital unicorn and all i got was this tiny digital baby unicorn".