A Tear in the Time/Space Continuum Permits Talking to Internet Ghosts in Second Life

Ghosts of the Internet (general)

I’m quite sure many people will take much better shots of this installation, it certainly deserves them. In my own defense, I’m not great with avatars and their ghosts don’t improve my abilities.

Let me back up and set the “stage”. Years ago I used to sit in on discussions about “interoperability” in the metaverse, the idea of the free movement of your avatar between worlds. I don’t mean logging off SL and then logging onto another one – the premise was that the metaverse was “one thing” and, once in one world, you could transport somehow to the others as you felt like it. Think of it like driving a car from country to country around Europe.

Ghosts of the Internet (general)

I didn’t contribute much but a source of irritation to the group. There would be a lot of debate about “how” to do things, and agreement that the technology meant you’d have to make certain choices. My feeling was that the “what” was important to articulate first – decide where we want to go, what was the future we envisioned, and then figure out how to do it.

On the few occasions that “what” was a topic, there were (to me) fascinating subjects such as; border control and immigration for each world (do you let a troll that’s been banned in 6 worlds into your own? and how do you know their history?), a central inventory (do you have one inventory that is accessible by you on your journey?), and communication between the worlds (could you send an IM that would reach me even if I was a gazillion pixels away?).

It could be, however, that we were ignoring the possibility that the metaverse would conform to the pseudo?-scientific laws of the multiverse.

Ghosts of the Internet (general)

I mention all of this because right now, on LEA21, communication between avatars on two different grids is actually possible. Glyph Graves, one of the strangest and most wonderful people you’ll ever meet, has created identical sims in Second Life and Inworldz.

There are ghosts
they inhabit other grids.
They are the souls of avatars lost to us,
like echos
from other dimensions,
it is said,
though no one knows for sure.
What we do know is
A weakness in the structure of metaverse
has opened
and they now

When you land on the ground in SL your ghost will appear on the Inworldz sim Translation, and you can talk to the people on that sim. You’ll see their ghosts at the same time in SL.

The population is much smaller in Inworldz, so having people on the other side isn’t always possible. The good news is that you can be in both grids at once – the image above is of the artist Giovanna Cerise with the ghost of Dr. Fran Babcock. The latter helped me get a photo of a specter by logging into both locations.

Ghosts of the Internet (general)

The ghosts float around (and, yes, you do on the other grid as well) and are visible as long as their avatar remains within the boundary prescribed by large glass objects you’ll see on the sim. Name tags are sitting above their heads and you touch the apparition to initiate a conversation. If they are milky white they aren’t talking to anybody at the moment.

You’ll find instructions at the landing site and a stark, but beautiful, sim below. Sasun Steinbeck provided Glyph with some cool scripts that helped make this all possible but, even knowing that, I still prefer to think of it as a small tear in the fabric of the metaverse which has allowed strange things to happen.

Space and time can be warped even by pixels, and we can reach out to each other. :)

PS. Any rumors you hear of Glyph “stealing avatars’ souls”, or that the process causes any discomfort to said avatar, are totally false. (The avatars do not feel any pain and they do not scream in “Horrid agony”, though they may feel a slight twinge as if someone walked over their graves.)

Ghosts of the Internet (general)
Leave a comment


  1. carama Mizin

     /  May 11, 2014

    Honor, how funny you mention the concept of being in two virtual worlds at once, when I joined inworldz I did think to myself at the time how marvellous it would be to be able to communicate to friends from SL, I rarely go to inworlds now, as my life really is with SL. I look forward to visiting the above Sim soon. Thanks.

  2. I did visit it yesterday, being in the Sl and in the Inwordz one at same time, it did work pretty well the communications (My partner stayed on sl and i was able to speak with her from Inworldz).
    Is not the best solution, (hypergrid travel is the obvious choice for me to travel between grids) but it is something amazing for commercial closed grids and i do wish we could have a region just for this purpose, communication between grids.

  3. krantrueblood

     /  May 27, 2014

    Reblogged this on Kran Trueblood and commented:
    Very Informative and interesting blog .Accolades to Honour McMillan

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