SL Double Dare – Games From The ShadowsFebruary 17, 2007
[This article originally appeared at Second Life Herald]
by Onder Skall
I’m fairly compulsive when it comes to my web surfing, so how I ended up at the SL Double Dare blog is a bit of a mystery even to me. I found myself looking at featureless black with sparse grey text describing a new game of dares in Second Life. Members would agree on a dare and pay those that completed it. One final quote caught my eye: “Risks: Warning from SL Police, couple of days suspension …. region banning.”
There was no contact information and no hint about who might be a participant. Leaving a comment asking to be contacted felt a little like slipping a note under a stranger’s door with your phone number. I wasn’t sure what to expect, if anything. I checked back at the blog over time and didn’t see any new posts. After awhile my comment was deleted. Maybe that was it.
The other day I opened my inbox and a cryptic note greeted me: “hello, questions here, DD”. I had made contact! As I typed out questions I couldn’t help but wonder what I was getting myself into.
A few days passed. I reviewed some games, hung out with game developers, and did the general SLGames reporter thing. Still, the whole time, I kept thinking about the secretive DD. Are these just a bunch of kids playing greifer games? Will they just offer up a bunch of two-word answers? As it turns out when I finally received the response to my questions they were intelligent, detailed, and still as mysterious as ever.
In their email, DD tells me that the group is currently composed of gamblers haunting poker clubs and wherever large groups of people gather. They socialize, observe, and seek out new members discreetly.
You might be in an argument somewhere – say at a poker club with the dealer or at the welcome area or a meeting – and because of how you are arguing, your sense of humour, your ability to convince, your conversational skills, you might [after further observation and direct engagement] be given a notecard.
Full members pay L$1000 to join which entitles them to participate in 10 dares. Completion of a dare earns you L$100 per member, so the more members, the bigger the kitty. Failed dares mean that the kitty goes towards “development only, and sometimes bribery – which are often mini dares – or for buying crowds. Did you know you could rent a mob in SL?”
I had asked them about their motivations: were these people rebelling against the system, or hoping to become a power to be reckoned with, or simply greifers? Their answer was simple: they do it for fun.
“[…] this is ‘live’ and based on the skill of individuals as personalities, social sentient beings. We are wary of dares that have the quality of revenge […] we’re making a contribution and enhancing the feel and quality of SL and risk-taking is part of that”
I did ask them straight-out if they had anything to do with everybody’s favorite poster children for mischief, but apparently: “something awful and w-hat.com are not associated”. Alright, so they’re indie. Apparently they don’t consider themselves fully-formed either, waiting for a quorum of 20 members before they launch some of the larger dares they have scouted out. Some ‘test dares’ they’ve tried so far include:
- getting people in a large camping area to leave and not return
- persuading 5 to 10 people to follow you around naked in an orderly queue formation at a club for at least 4 minutes
- undertake the CIA – Mi5 ‘balcony test’, and get a snapshot of a view from the window of a private protected residence.
So here we are at the end of the interview and I’m realizing something: I still have no way of finding them. The email address used to contact me was a throw-away hotmail account that I haven’t received any further communication from. They’re out there right now, social engineers and mischief makers, ready to misbehave.
I only hope I’m lucky enough to be around when they do it.
Onder Skall comes to us courtesy of Second Life Games
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