Monday, August 3, 2009

Ain’t nobody here but us chickens

I am not one to mindlessly follow hysterical trends – hell, I got my first pair of bell bottom jeans in 1979, I still think Katie Price is an It-Girl. I might even go so far to say that I was surprised to hear that the reports of Mark Twain’s demise were not greatly exaggerated. So I’d not be that astonished were I to discover that everyone has already heard about Sion Chickens.

For those of you still wearing bell bottoms let me briefly describe them: They are virtual chickens in SL that hatch, eat, grow up to become roosters or hens and have sex. Actually, I’m not so sure about the last bit, but this being SL I suspect they do. My friend Bavid has aptly depicted them as the tamagotchis of SL. Tamgotchis are the latest craze from Japan… no, wait, I think I’m a bit late on that one as well. Just google it if you don’t know what a tamagotchi is.

There is, of course, something amazingly peculiar about having a virtual pet in a virtual world. Peculiar, but apparently also very persuasive. Just how popular the little balls of feathers have become can be seen by visiting the main store of the creator. I haven’t seen a line like that since I accidently visited Neva Neva.

I am, of course, not falling for this mass hysteria. But I do know I have a duty to stay informed and in the loop. So, I purchased a starter pack (three eggs and four portions of chicken feed) for scientific purposes. And yes, I know “scientific purposes” is a euphemism for everything from using recreational drugs to buying porn mags to voting Republican. It’s disgusting and dirty and demeaning if your friends find out.

I also know from a bit of scientific reading that it would have been best to name the chickens something like “Chick001", “Chick002”, and so on. Giving them names like “Eugene”, “Lucy” and “Linda” might emotionalize my research and bring people to believe that I lack the emotional distance to observe these fluffy little balls of joy… I mean Gallus Virtualus, of course.

I’ll also deny that I stood watching the eggs for 15 minutes hoping something would happen. And even if I did, it wasn’t a very emotional moment – open your fridge, take out an egg and look at it for a while. It was about that exciting. And, to be honest, after that brief moment of parental pride when Lucy, then Eugene and finally that little beauty of a biddy Linda deshelled, watching them stumble around my land was about as exciting as reading a phone book.

As you can see, I’m not going to get caught up with doting indulgently on them. Though I will keep you up to date on their current state. I think I might just go check them now. I wonder if Lucy would like a satin lined nest when she gets bigger...