The dark of night spread over the land quickly, like an invading army conquering all in sight. The battle between night and day was lost. The only solace to be found was that of the pale moon which was slowly making its journey towards the center of the night sky. A figure stood all in black with pale skin and dark locks. Piercing eyes of red that looked fierce and angry. In the distance the call of wolves could be heard singing there night song and swearing allegiance to their master.
The figure stood with his hands poised in the position of prayer. A mockery of all things holy. As we know, creatures of night have no need to pray. The man snarled and flicked his red tongue over his white sharp fangs as he eyed up his prey then suddenly – the familiar tone of an incoming IM was heard! The lady froze, as if some invisible concrete had been poured over her body. Her limbs locked and her lungs were robbed of oxygen. Her heart pumped rapidly in her chest. She opened the IM!
Forgive my Bram Stoker introduction, but you’ve probably guessed that this article is about the virtual undead, or Vampires, as we know them to be. The blood suckers that prey on the sweet pixelated red stuff of our favourite virtual world. Now anybody who’s spent any time at all on SL, knows that grid is packed to the rafters with Vampires. But what is it all about? What’s the appeal? It certainly isn’t garlic?
Since man had an imagination he has been obsessed with the paranormal, the occult and of course, the legend of the Vampyre! Great writers like Bram Stoker and Anne Rice are the late great masters of the genre, but now they all in our media spotlight once again with works like the Twilight Saga and True Blood. The thing is, did these blood sucking lovelies ever leave? And did we want them too? But what I wanted to really find out, do the folk in SL really role-play the role of a Vampire or is it more of a competitive game? I.e. How many vampires they could turn, how many souls could be captured?
“I’ve been a Vampire all of my SL and I’ve been here since March 2007.” - Jade Oynx
I was told to look at a website called Bloodlines to have a look at the ranking system that dominates the world of the virtual Vampire. For those of you who don’t know, Bloodlines is a Vampire HUD system that role-players use in world to do all things Vampire – from biting necks, creating mist, turning invisible and of course checking their blood supply. Of course, Bloodlines is a massive in world enterprise now and I am sure is a good little earner for its creators!
While researching for this articles, I spoke to a good selection of virtual neck biters and I was rather bemused by some of them. At one point some demonic queen threatened to unleash her army of darkness on me! Well I think that’s what she meant, my typonesse was somewhat lethargic that day! However, I did establish my objective. The first Vampire I spoke to, let’s call him 2PacVamp, which is surprisingly close to his real handle, began a conversation with me when the blue window appeared at the top right hand corner of my screen asking if he could bite me. So, I decided to get some info from him before he feasted on my red stuff! Note – I have edited some of the boring stuff out!
Linus Lowbeam: Hi there, may I ask you a few question about what being a Vampire in SL is all about?
2PacVamp: Sure, what you wanna know?
Linus Lowbeam: Great. So, what is the attraction to being a Vampire here in SL?
2PacVamp: I likes to suck blood ROLF. Na I likes it. Vampires do pretty cool stuff. Can I bite you? I need more souls?
Linus Lowbeam: Be careful, I could throw some holy water over you and be wearing a reef of garlic!
Linus Lowbeam: Stoker’s Dracula, Van-Helsing, advised that Vampires can’t stand Garlic or Holy water?
2PacVamp: Who is Stoker?
Clearly this chap wasn’t familiar with the original story teller. It was probably silly of me to question this particular guy, as he was also a member of Gangsta 4 Life group. We live and learn!
However, my next interview was a little more fruitful- thankfully!
Jade Oynx: Well for me it isn’t about the Bloodlines ranking system, how many souls you have and minions and all of that. Some go for that, I don’t. It’s not what I am about. I fell in love with the idea of Vampirism when I was a teenager, I grew up reading Anne Rice and of course Bram Stoker. Yes I do enjoy the Twilight Saga and the other modern day stuff. I’ve been a Vampire all of my SL and I’ve been here since March 2007. I’ve been a Queen on my Clan for 2 of those years. For me it’s all about the lifestyle, roleplaying what I think a true vampire should be. I like to model myself on a Vampire that Anne Rice would have approved of. My friends call me a classic Vamp!
Linus Lowbeam: I noticed you used the word ‘Clan.’ What exactly is that?
Jade Oynx: Basically, a clan is a group of Vampires, a family. We live and serve to protect each other and the make the clan stronger. Normally a clan has Royalty to lead it or some kind of leadership. Clans come and go all the time. Today Clans are lucky if they even last a month. That’s because they aren’t lead properly. The bigger the Clan, doesn’t always mean it’s the better. They are all about the numbers.
Linus Lowbeam: Interesting. So, do the Clans get a long? Sniggers.
Jade Oynx: No, there are feuds and wars all the time! These wars are normally fought via text or bumping into each other in public places Ha-ha. The juicier wars at fought in combat using SL Combat Huds. But mostly people just like to stand around and argue!
An interesting note – Jade’s avatar is listed in the top 5 in the Bloodlines rankings system. Obviously, I have changed her name, I seldom use real avatar names!
So you see, dear reader, there is a little more to these Vampires you see at Info Hubs preying on Newbies. They have a dark depth after all. When the sun goes down and the moon is out Vampire bats take flight!