Category Archives: Second Life

Halloween fun ride in Second Life

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Wow, did I ever find a fun Halloween ride in Second Life.

I had been looking for two or three weeks for a good Halloween-themed sim (what areas in Second Life are called). Halloween is one of my favourite holidays, maybe because I never got to celebrate it much as a kid. Some were OK, mostly cute, some had lots of free stuff (I like my ghost plush), but none of them were actually frightening. There was one ride that was pretty good, simply called Haunted House. It had stuff in it from The Ring, HellRaiser and Psycho. But, no real frights and a bit choppy on my computer.

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Third-person view, but first-person view works better. Also, I am viewing this with more light than you’re supposed to so I could make screenshots. Otherwise, it’s too dark.

Then, SL recommended this sim called Portal Park 1 that had a Halloween theme to it. At first, this sim was like the others — free prizes, lots of pumpkins, etc. Then I saw a path to a ride.

It turns out this ride is great! It was much more fun than the previous rides. It’s an absolute blast. You have to switch to a first-person view for it to really work right (which I figured out after I had finished riding it). It reminded me a lot of an old arcade video game called Carnevil.

You ride in a casket, and unlike most of SL, which you use a third-person view, you switch to first-person. The casket enters a spooky old haunted house, then drops down fast like a roller coaster.

halloween 41_001You first ride through a creepy insane asylum where inmates have written “Evil is Here” in blood on the walls. This part of the ride really reminded me of the creepy insane asylum in “The House on Haunted Hill.”

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This is how you’re supposed to view the ride.

The ride gets more gruesome as the insane asylum turns into a bloody slaughterhouse with inmates instead of livestock hanging from hooks. Very R-rated gruesome. Not for kiddies at all. It reminded me very much of some of the gruesome backgrounds in the “Bioshock” games. Other parts of the ride remind me of the old, original “Half Life” game.

There’s a couple of genuine “jump out of your seat” jolts here. Let’s just say stuff comes completely out of nowhere.

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The passageway into the Poltergeist TV.

The casket drops down a chute very fast and you end up going through a dark tunnel, with creepy eyes watching you from a distance. Ultimately, you go right through a television, ending up in another haunted house with a girl talking to a television.

This is very much taken from “Poltergeist,” with pictures on the walls changing into frightening images as you draw closer (This part of the ride appeared to be glitchy. One of the times I rode it, the pictures were lying on the floor when I entered the room.). Toys and a very creepy baby doll start flying around the room, as do you (this part is great in first-person).

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The paintings on the wall in the second Haunted House changing.

You end up leaving the second haunted house with the creepy little Poltergeist girl watching you, and you end up in a sinking mudhole with a bunch of skeletons, holding up signs with lots of “in” jokes for Second Lifers.

That’s the ride. It lasts a good 10 minutes, which is pretty big for Second Life (I rode another Halloween ride that lasted less than five minutes and was honestly a bit lame compared to the Portal Park 1 ride.). I was really, really impressed with the amount of work and energy these people put into their ride … and it was free, too. The only thing, I wished it had had some creepy music playing during the ride. Unfortunately, I could never find out who was the person behind the sim because I would have gladly donated to help keep it going.

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The room of spinning toys. This room is great.


The creepy girl in the Haunted House.


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A pumpkin snowman — a prize I picked up!

Haruko’s tour of Cystic Fibrosis University

CF University 1_001Second Life is many things to many different people. It has gaming areas, adult areas (which I avoid), music areas (where I tend to go, I like to listen to new music in the background while working), and even areas celebrating some pretty amazing digital art.

Second Life recently advertised a different kind of area I hadn’t seen before — one for cystic fibrosis. I was curious and I decided to check it out.

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The Wishing Well, where you can donate Lindens to the “sim.”

Cystic Fibrosis University on Second Life is connected to the Boomer Esiason Foundation. Boomer Esiason, a former NFL quarterback and now a football analyst on CBS and a CBS radio commentator, has a son, Gunnar, with cystic fibrosis.

The intent of Cystic Fibrosis University seems to be mostly to use Second Life as a platform to steer people toward plenty of other online resources about cystic fibrosis. There’s a “wishing well,” where you can donate to Cystic Fibrosis University; there’s also a ton of links to Facebook and Twitter where you can connect to the Boomer Esiason Foundation. There’s plenty of links (disguised in Second Life as desktop computers or plaques on the wall) where you can get lots of information about cystic fibrosis, what it is, how it can be treated, what the symptoms are, etc.

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Where you can find the Facebook page for the Boomer Esiason Foundation

Cystic Fibrosis University even had a dance floor where perhaps they host live events like a lot of Second Life areas do, but the two or three times I visited, it was pretty quiet. It’s a very well designed area; lots of time and energy went into it, with apparently some grant help.

I joined the group on SL and the Facebook page. Cystic Fibrosis University on SL seems to serve mostly as a conduit to other online resources, designed I’m sure to a degree to attract people who are into SL and spend a lot of time gaming or listening to music there. It’s an interesting idea and I wonder how many other charities have tried using Second Life as a means to attract followers and get out information. I continue to be fascinated the different ways that people find to use Second Life. Up to  150,000 people are on Second Life on any given day and more than 550,000 regular users in monthly log (those numbers pale by comparison to Facebook and Twitter, obviously, but the 3D world of SL has much more potential than Facebook and Twitter), but it remains a valuable resource in getting the word out about your cause.

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Boomer Esiason and Gunnar







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