Monday, November 07, 2005


The Extraordindary Avatar Expo was last month's showcase for some the strangest, weirdest, and most fantastic non-human avatars created in Second Life. Voters at the Expo selected five Residents from 50 nominees, and I've been featuring over the last couple months. Previous entries include the Arabian Phoenix of Psyra Extraordinaire and the Cute and Creepy Tabula Rasa of Max Case Today's entry is from Satchmo Prototype, last mentioned in New World Notes over his Homeland Security project in Second Life. He's also the main developer of the popular SL game River Riddle City Ransom.

Satchmo Prototype on his avatar

I am Satchmo Prototype, Cyberpunk Community Relations. I was born in the year 3050 to parents who descend from the human race. You can imagine the hardships man faces in the next thousand years including the end of fossil fuels, the disappearing ozone, GMO-hardened insects, widespread viral epidemics and the militant AI revolution. Mankind had no plans in the year 2005 to live a symbiotic relationship with the environment, despite clear and present warning signs. Instead he ruthlessly harvested the earth's resources while polluting the soil with hazardous chemicals and metals.

Frail human bodies would be unable to survive the upcoming horrors, but science trampled Mother Nature again in 2020 when man merged with machine. It was a first step for the triumph of cybernetics, and in the following decades genetic engineering and nanotechnology spawned a new race descended from mankind. As the new race evolved, the environment grew desolate and harsh and nations fought fiercely for the last of the remaining natural resources.

Turning to computing power for an answer, scientists created sophisticated AI systems to fight wars, manipulate the weather, and predict locations of the last remaining fossil fuel sources. When the machines turned on humans, they turned man's complete arsenal of Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles against them. The awesome power man had unleashed wiped out the last of the remaining pure-bred humans in a matter of months. The cyborg races that survived, enhanced with computerized vision and accuracy and super human speed and strength, waged a great battle to destroy the machines. When the battle was over, human derived races survived but at a great cost to their natural habitat. Through the continual practice of genetic/nano engineering a surviving race would evolve. Our skin is hard and scaly, and our blood cold.

Maybe a better question is what inspired me to come back to 2005 and Second Life in particular. In my time, I'm a historian, and through technological achievements time travel has allowed us to assume the life of computer technologies from years ago. The start of the the third millenium is a critical era in the history of mankind. It is a time when corporate greed was put ahead of well being and a tightly controlled mass media rendered people incapable of thinking for themselves. Exciting times indeed. Second Life is the most sophisticated computing technology at this time that allows me to interact with a large cross section of your society.

On creating his avatar

DNA Prototype (an apt name that foreshadows his great future) is one who will eventually become post-human. His keen intuition allowed him to recognize me for what I was right away. He made me feel comfortable shedding my virtual human skin by developing a lizard-like skin prototype. With minor modifications, I created a faithful representation of my true skin. He also created my goggles which while important in my home world where the sun could burn out your eyes, provide a comfort level for me here in Second Life. My clothing was purchased throughout the grid and is subject to change. My shoulder pads were created by Magnus Zadoq (192 prims each), and certain cybernetic enhancements were taken from Chosen Few's Borg Avatar. My shirt and pants were made by Canimal Zephyr. I wear X-men gloves courtesy of NeuralClone Zaius and boots by Feri Beckenbauer.

On whether he ever uses a "normal" alternate human avatar

No, this world is not bound to the social norms of Earth.

As of press time, no word from Michael Chertoff's office on their reasons for awarding a research contract to an alien cyborg.

Posted at 12:35 AM | Permalink


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Satch truely has a great av, and on top of that, is doing great things as a person. I must remark how awesomelicious the "Cyberpunk Community Relations" title is.

I only wish more time travellers would discover the joy of SL.

Posted by: Torley Torgeson/Torley Wong at Nov 8, 2005 9:03:40 PM

Our game was called Riddle City Ransom, which contained a ransomed SL Crystal, and was largely based around Riddles. River City Ransom rocked though.

Posted by: Satchmo Prototype at Nov 10, 2005 9:09:19 AM

Sorry, Satch! Fixed the name.

Posted by: Hamlet Linden at Nov 11, 2005 2:09:58 PM