Here’s a dirty little secret: I’ve never done a Second Life hunt! My good friend Amethyst, however, is an old pro.
For those of you who are as clued out as me when it comes to these things, a Second Life hunt usually involves following a list of destinations to find hidden items around stores that you can collect as gifts. The purpose, of course, is to build traffic and exposure for stores that might otherwise be unknown. It’s always seemed like a good way to get some free goodies while visiting new places in Second Life, but for whatever reason, I’ve never felt compelled.
That is, until Amethyst invited me to join her on this thing called Global Domination, and I’m so glad I did! Apparently, however, according to the organisers (Hottie Cooterati Experience), this is no ordinary hunt:
Global Domination will be an interactive game experience, leading you through a series of challenging puzzles themed to various countries and cultures around the globe. Each puzzle will be demanding and challenging and the entire process should provide for hours of entertainment with great rewards. Make no mistake… this is most certainly NOT a hunt.
Our first stop was the Global Domination Airport Departure Lounge, where we met a flight board with 17 destinations on it. Here, I got my Passport. What you’re meant to do, is visit each of these destinations (a Second Life store) to find a clue. At the store, there will usually be an installation or object that relates to the destination country in some way. There are no real clues about what the objects are – you just have to figure it out. Here is an example…
(VAGUE SPOILER ALERT – I don’t really give much away here, but if you’d rather skip the example, start reading again after the passport photo)
For the United Kingdom stamp, we visited Auxiliary (which is a store worth re-visiting!) Here, we found a portrait of Shakespeare. Touching the portrait gives you a clue in local chat. In this instance, Will needed a quill and parchment, which was somewhere in the store. We wandered around the store for a bit, found the objects, and returned them to Will. As a reward, he provided us with a SLurl to the puzzle build.
The puzzle build was a gorgeous library full of… err.. books. But among the books, shelves and furnishings, there were four objects: a skull, a dagger, a calendar, and a vial of poison. Touching these objects provided a few lines of text in local chat. If you have even the most vague exposure to Shakespeare’s work, you’d recognise the objects and quotes relate to four of his plays: Hamlet, Othello, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet. Even if you don’t know your Shakespeare, a quick Google search for the lines will tell you where the lines are from.
Then, you use this information to solve the puzzle. Of course, you need to find the puzzle first, and again there are no hints for this. Upon finding the puzzle, there is a further riddle that gives you a clue about how to use the information you’ve collected. Once your done, you get the United Kingdom stamp.
And that’s one of seventeen.
Here is my completed passport showing all 17 stamps. Working with Amethyst, Harvey, and by myself, it took me about seven or eight hours to complete over two days. I might have been able to complete it faster if I’d been more focused, but we took a lot of time enjoying ourselves along the way, and spent a bit of time revisiting the puzzles because Harvey didn’t enter the game until Sunday.
(END OF VAGUE SPOILER)
We started the game on Saturday. From that point onward my weekend was consumed with one goal – to COLLECT ALL THOSE STAMPS! That mission led me to feeding lemurs in Madagascar, climbing Mt. Fuji to find a thermos, purchasing produce in a Thailand market, scouring the world for marshmallows for a campfire in Sweden, snorkelling in the Bahamas, fighting crocodiles in Brazil’s Amazon River on a raft, solving anagrams in Australia, soaking in a Hammam in Turkey, and even hunting for extinct animals in Costa Rica. Like they said, this is no ordinary hunt!
One of the funniest moments for me was when I was explaining this to a group at the Basilique on Saturday night and realised I didn’t even know what the prize was! The realisation was that while it cost L$400 to play, this was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done in Second Life for a long time, and the prize at the end was just ancillary to the experience. Now that’s a game worth playing, right?
Nevertheless, claim the prizes I did, and here I am bouncing at the Baggage Collection Lounge. All of those suitcases behind me are full of prizes worth L$5000, from all the participating vendors. Thank you vendors! And thank you Hottie Cooterati Experience!
This picture was pretty late on Sunday night. Still though, I was keen to open up the cases and have a look at some of my well-earned booty. I rezzed the furnishings in an empty store at the Basilique, where you can have a look at them if you like. I haven’t unpacked all the clothes, jewellery or poses yet. For a full list of prizes, have a look at this list.
So much fun 🙂 If you’d like to have a go, the game ends at the end of February and you can get a special gift if you buy your passport at any one of these stores. There’s a helpful group of players that will give a few hints along the way, but try not to use that as it might be easy to get hooked on it. I must admit, I did rely on a few hints I saw, but nobody gave me any specific answers, which I’m glad for. Mostly, I just had fun looking for the stamps on my own steam, while playing as a team with Amethyst and Harvey. This is a great friends activity too!
So have a go. And if you need any help getting started, or playing the game, let me know – I’d be happy to help. I’ll keep you guessing though, don’t worry.