Waypoint

Thousands of 'Second Life' Bunnies Are Going to Starve to Death This Weekend

My heart is breaking for the lives of these adorable, soon-to-die virtual bunnies.
May 20, 2017, 9:06pm

Here's a grim little curiosity for you; a story about what can happen at the intersection of DRM and virtual pets, straight from the reaches of Second Life.

One of the biggest markets in this unfairly sensationalized virtual world is in so-called "breedables." These scripted, modeled and animated objects take countless forms—from cats to chickens to dragons to shoes to flowers— with the general premise being that someone buys them blindly (usually in egg or nest form) with certain odds of getting rare versus common varieties. As their name might imply, breedables can be raised and "bred" with each other, which created a thriving niche of individuals breeding their virtual pets for resale. Beyond that, the features vary from brand to brand. Some breedables can play with toys and interact with their owners, some produce items as part of larger systems, some are more or less just decoration. Most need to eat, as a way to ensure their creators still get a cut of the action while their original product propagates without them. Most need to communicate regularly (if not constantly) with a database, to prevent any tampering.

Maybe you can see where this is going.

Image courtesy of SL user Malkavyn Eldritch

The Ozimals brand has been synonymous with virtual pets in Second Life for the better part of a decade. Their breedable rabbits were explosively popular when they were initially released, and arguably kicked off the breedable boom in earnest. With good reason, because Ozimals bunnies are adorable. Even though they came before Second Life allowed full mesh models to be imported and therefore had to be assembled from more simplistically sculpted lumps and bean shapes, they remain pretty darn cute.

Read the full story on Waypoint.