Goodnight, Lucky

Posted by Ace on March 17th, 2010 filed in game geek, letters from Ace

The virtual world of There shut down last week.  (Great name;  hell on one’s syntax, I realize as I type.)  I had an avatar within it, although that was something I never mentioned in this space;  I was logging into it frequently for a little while, then stopped because of the real life events associated with the death of my father, and because I began to feel very keenly the absence of my closer friends from Myst Online: Uru Live, most of whom had gone to Second Life.  But I always enjoyed the time I spent there.   It had certain conventions that appealed to me, ones that I felt made it more accessible and appealing than SL, at least in the short term.  I’m sorry to see it go.

I logged in one last time before the shutdown, after almost a year and a half of absence, for what most people would consider a very strange reason.  My avatar within the world, you see, had owned a dog:  a sort of comical, Muppet-looking golden retriever named “Lucky”.  I had been intermittently troubled over the time of my absence by the idea that Lucky was somehow continuing to have an existence apart from me, and was alone there;  waiting faithfully for me to return, yet not having any idea that I never intended to.   The thought of him going to whatever his final reward was locked in that state was too much, so essentially, I went back to say goodbye.  I rezzed him out of his doghouse, let him run around and played with him, petted him, fed him a few treats I still had left in my inventory (while I drank a mug of spiced coffee I still had left likewise.)  I had intended to Delete him myself, but there was no way to do that;  my only option was to “return” him to There Central, receiving in exchange a fraction of the purchase price I had paid for him, which felt unspeakably tawdry.  So at the end, I just petted him again, and put him back in his doghouse, and told myself that he was asleep, and content.

You’re laughing.  I know you are.  (Or maybe just shaking your head.)  Why?  Are you sure that you’re any more real than he is?

Who’ll come to see you the day before the world ends?  And who will remember you the day after it does?

2 Responses to “Goodnight, Lucky”

  1. yoko Says:

    I wasn’t laughing. I was actually sad. I would be heartbroken to leave a dog alone for that long, no matter which dimension.

  2. Pigbristles Says:

    I’m not laughing – but then again, before Uru shut down in 2008, on my last visit to my Relto, I freed the fireflies, butterflies and hawk, closed the door to my little hut & left a note on the imager for the bahro, who I imagined might drop in from time to time.