A few weeks (months?) ago I wrote a piece about driving in Second Life, or driving to the edge of the world, or something. Turns out that little adventure was good for something, after all.
Last Saturday I got to run all the way across the Second Life mainland, in the guise of a Giant Snail.
Yes, folks, it was the annual Relay for Life Giant Snail Race, and I was a contestant.
What an absolutely hysterical undertaking! About a dozen racers, all wearing giant snail avatars, lined -- er, bunched -- er, straggled up to the starting line at the beginning of our route at the Edge of the World. Lining a bunch of mammoth mollusks up for the start was sort of like trying to balance a dozen peas on a knife blade. The road was only two lanes wide, and each snail filled a lane. It was hardly an even start.
Fortunately, snail avatars are “phantom,” which means they pass through each other. So there I am standing half inside someone else’s shell... As I commented to one of my colleagues, ewwwwwwwww.
Snails, as we all know, make slime, and so each snail avatar is equipped with something that emits little bubbles of slime. They make a kind of put-putting noise, and when you step on the gas, they move at a whopping... um, well, I’m not sure how fast they actually move. But it only took us about 45 minutes to cross a continent, so I guess you could say they move slightly faster than one continent per hour.
Hey, that‘s pretty fast! I‘d like to see you cross a continent in less than an hour. On foot. On one foot!
Of course, Second Life’s continents aren’t really all that large, being on a computer and all...
Anyway, it was loads of fun, running along at a (giant) snail’s pace, passing other giant snails, and being cheered on from the checkpoints and road turns (giant green arrows marked the way) and from above (spectators were welcome to fly along over the racing snails).
I passed snail after snail, sometimes charging right through them, sometimes sneaking by on the rail, so to speak, when one went wide at one of the many curves of the roadway. If I had gotten away a little more cleanly (I was in a bunch behind the leaders, who must have been first out of the gate -- no one passed me, by gum) I might have done better, but as it was I came in fourth, so out of the money, but not too shabby.
After all the racers had arrived, we changed out of our snail attire and had a group photograph session. We then enjoyed some time chatting with each other around the other end of the road at the other Edge of the World while waiting for the winners to be announced. All the cash prizes were donated back to the cause, which was the American Cancer Society. Winners went home with other prizes designed for use within Second Life. A splendid time was had by all.
Yours truly as a giant snail: