My hot take on Facebook’s Metaverse is this Toothpaste for Dinner blog post from 2007; also: how do I hit people?

Took me a while to find this oldie-but-goodie because sadly the original blog post on the exceptional Toothpaste for Dinner site is not accessible anymore. I finally found it here, and now I will shamefully repost it for my own purposes, as I tend to come back to this classic about every 6 months. Enjoy!

My adventures in Second Life
02/19/07 by toothpaste

Yesterday I downloaded something called Second Life. It is like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, except you can’t shoot anyone, and you can’t hit people. You just walk around. There are no prostitutes, and everything costs real money, and you can’t rob anyone to get money. You have to use your credit card, with real money, to buy fake money to use in the game. It’s not actually like Grand Theft Auto at all.

Second Life is free to play, and I keep seeing people referring to it in the news, so I had to take one for the team and just dive on in. I knew it probably wasn’t going to be intriguing when I got to the signup part and couldn’t even make a one-word name. I had to use some fantasy-ass last name and I couldn’t even use cusses. The best I could do was call myself Wenis.

Wenis Swindlehurst: How do I hit people
Foxbrand Leprechaun: You can’t
Wenis Swindlehurst: I need that shit you drive.

My character came pre-loaded as a “cybergoth”. Most people I saw in the game, jerkily wandering around, also had fantasy-ass names. They also had fantasy asses. Perfect, round fantasy asses. Which left me with only one choice: I had to become what they were not. Slowly, because everything in Second Life is painfully slow, I removed all components of my clothing, including Cybergoth.Armwarmers and Cybergoth.Boots. I even removed Cybergoth.Facetattoo.

After a half-hour of pulling on sliders, I had transformed from Wenis Cybergoth to Wenis Pale Corpulent Bulldog-Man. I shortened my torso and gave myself man-handles. I made my hands puffy. I enlarged my jowls to the maximum, and beaded my eyes down to… well, little beads.

Wenis Swindlehurst: How do I fly
Foxbrand Leprechaun: Press Page Up

The sight of a fat, naked white man flying over Introduction Island (because the game makes you complete a boring tutorial, to make sure you don’t play the game if you want to have fun) aroused absolutely no suspicion, probably because most Second Life players see the same thing when they go in for their weekly sponge-baths. The first thing I learned after I began to fly was that many zones in Second Life are un-enterable. You’ll fly right up to it, ass and all, and then, bam. NO ENTRY ALLOWED. I flew around for a few minutes, but was eventually walled in by invisible walls. Second Walls, if you will.

Wenis Swindlehurst: How do I find better things to look at?
Foxbrand Leprechaun: Teleporting

So I opened up the “teleport” menu. The most popular destinations are strip clubs. So I went to one, and hey, more fantasy asses. To see the asses up close – yep, you guessed it – real money for a fake lap dance. I’d already seen enough fantasy ass for the day, so I used my newfound flight skills to fly up into the virtual DJ booth.

The thing about Second Life that nobody mentions is that nothing in it is detailed. It’s not like you can roll up into a club and there are objects around you can do stuff with. Nope. It’s just a bunch of cyber-lap-dancing. The DJ booth didn’t have anything except rectangular objects decorated with a bunch of old JPEG files on the outside. It wasn’t like you could scratch on the Second Turntables, or that there was a mini-game that you could click on…. nothing.

I walked up the staircase to explore the back of the club, and heard an alarm go off.

Lady Disastra CLUB AREOLA VIP: The back room is for employees only.
Wenis Swindlehurst: How do I hit people

I watched Lady Disastra, who had her polygon of a titty hanging out of whatever kind of polygons she was wearing, fly up into the DJ booth, and head towards me.

Lady Disastra CLUB AREOLA VIP: You are banned from Club Areola.

Everything went black, and I was transported back to Initiation Island. I thought I’d poke around a little more, to see what was available. There was a place called Freebie Warehouse that I teleported to, which was full of…. cubes… with bad JPEGs on the side.

You can click on the cubes and download scripts, which make you do something, or make your guy move around, or wear something. It was retarded. Imagine that every time you bought a shirt from a store, you had to install Windows on your torso. Pretty fun. I walked around in the Freebie Warehouse, trying to strike up conversations, but most people were preoccupied. I suppose in hindsight they probably had to reboot their avatars after installing Rainbow.Armwarmers, or Dragon.Dick, or whatever.

Wenis Swindlehurst: I got kicked out of Club Areola
Rizien Wolfmaker: mayb cuz u r naked lol

What? I can’t be naked in Second Life, life of the naked, the life of the naked fantasy-ass?! I flew up and out of the Freebie Warehouse, and landed in some quasi-construction zone. There were walls and floors scattered about the landscape. Occasionally, I’d come upon a red dot, which I’d click, and it would make my character do some kind of humping motion. That’s what I came to do. Hump in the construction zone.

Everything in Second Life seems to be coated in a preteen’s understanding of sex. It was very titty-booby pee-pee doo-doo. From the fantasy asses to the cyber-ruins surrounding Freebie Warehouse, there really was nothing but clumsy cybersex. I wandered through this wasteland for a while, until I finally came to a normal-looking store, with windows, and people inside, so I went in.

The store sold penises, and penis avatars. I didn’t actually get to see what they looked like, because I didn’t have any fake money to spend (and I wasn’t really interested in chipping in twenty bucks to these cats’ weird sex trip.) A pet penis, which would follow you around and “come on command” (I’m guessing you have to right-click and load a script and wait thirty seconds is what they mean by “command”) was 100 fakebucks, which converted to US$0.68. Okay, that’s not bad.

You could transform yourself into a giant penis for 200 fakebucks, but one could argue that you do that anyway by spending time in Second Life. I quit the game at this point, because my wife was sitting on the couch, and we were about ten minutes deep into a conversation about how we did not enjoy our Second Life. She installed it at about the same time I did, except she got bored and quit before leaving Initiation Island.

“You missed the pet penis,” I told her. “For sixty-eight cents, you could have had a pet penis that followed you around.”

“How do people play that all day?” she asked me. “And how do you hit people?”

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