Missing Persons Report

One of the hardest differences to swallow sometimes between RL and SL is the way that people can just up and disappear.   All it takes is for somebody to one day out of the blue just decide they aren’t going to log in again, and poof they are gone from your life forever.   At least in RL you typically have a little more context, maybe the person moved away, changed jobs, died, or even just drifted away.   In SL the person may have been grappling with the change over a period of time on their own, but unless you were super close to them, you probably have zero idea until one day the person is not there any longer.  Over my short three years here, I have lived through a lot of public scandals around things like people dying but other loved ones wanting to keep it quiet so as to not lose all the creations and revenue potential from the individuals works or rumors of people faking their RL deaths to “experience” what happens with their friends.   Although these examples were all somewhat sensationalized, I am sure that each and every one of us have people on our list who just disappeared for one reason or another.

Depending on how close the person was, it is a natural reaction to want to grieve their loss.   The issue is that you have no idea at what point to actually begin to grieve.   I mean no sense feeling all sad if you keep thinking they are going to be back the next week, next month, or whenever?    At some point you find yourself looking over your friends list, and realizing that you have not heard from X, Y, or Z in a really long time.   It could be as simple as the person removing your rights to see them as online, but at the end of the day, they are still dead to you.   I encourage each of you take a moment and look at your list, and then feel free to either reflect on people who have went missing, or else share your story here.

I will share a few of mine in memoriam:

Joker Speedwell:

This guy was like a rock in our lives for a long time.   He was known for his love of motorcycles in both worlds, and I still think that a likely scenario was that he went down in some sort of horrific motorcycle crash.   He was one of the weirdest disappearances though, since he also left his SL girlfriend completely hanging right at the time they were taking it to RL.  Even calls to his RL cell phone remain unanswered, so the mystery is deep.

Kala Wildcat:

She hung on for several months waiting for Joker’s return, but in the end gave up, and logged out for the last time back in November of 2008.   Her craziness is missed.

Harlan Panacek:

This guy came out of nowhere to rapidly rise through the ranks of our TE empire as one of our biggest recruiters.   There was not a puzzle out there that he couldn’t explain to the group.  He also was becoming a huge help with our machinima and JH production studios (even complete with his own office space) until one day he just up and disappeared.

Haos Honua:

Haos and I were always close dating back to my earliest days playing tringo at Bad Azz, hosting, and hanging out.   I think he still logs in on occasion, but I haven’t ran across him online in probably a year.

I still have hope of reconnecting with one or all of these great people, but after many many months, I am left to think I might never see them again.

3 Responses to “Missing Persons Report”

  1. Arialle Dufaux Says:

    What a great post! This is one of those SL anomalies that nobody usually talks about since so many of our ‘relationships’ within the virtual world are ephemeral in nature. However, the sense of loss and grief when a much-loved person simply disappears is no less real that RL. Wonderful thoughts :-)

  2. Start up a missing persons SL website! I’ve got about 5 peeps to add to it too.

    Sad.

    I just hope theyre not back in sl under an alt and misleading everyone.

  3. ♥JellyBean♥ Says:

    That always worries me… that an alt will come along & you think it’s someone you knew or know – it makes it hard to not be suspicious when meeting new people.

    I also have a few that I miss terribly that have disappeared. One being Neo Whiplash *tear*

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