Who Are You?

Who Are You?
Sociolotron: How the Other Half Plays

Russ Pitts | 11 Sep 2007 12:18
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I found a shopping terminal in a tavern of some sort and set about making my pixelated doll look a little prettier. I picked a plastic vest, a large skirt and a few other things. The skirt had a nasty habit of swinging wide open when I tried to sit, but otherwise I thought the effect was pleasant enough. I was not the only one.

"You look nice, Janet," he said.

I thanked him. There were no introductions. That's one difference between virtual worlds and the real one. Introductions aren't technically necessary. Names float in the air above their avatars. I could see his name, and it was as meaningless there, in a virtual tavern in Sociolotron, as it would have been in a real bar. His name was Phil. It could have been anything.

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Phil showed me how to change the color of my clothes. I made my vest a bright orange, the skirt purple. The vest was more flattering to my avatar than the shirt I started with. He told me so. I thanked him. Then I set about trying to find an interesting way to pose. There's a menu screen for various sitting, standing and lying positions, and multiple variations of each posture. Exploring them, I started to get nervous again. My avatar was doing untoward things in a public place, and the skirt seemed to have a mind of its own.

"Skirts aren't good for sitting," said a woman, LadyLilac, standing next to me. She had been engaged in conversation with another woman named SexyAnimal. I didn't think either of them had noticed me. I agreed with her assessment and chose a lying posture.

Perhaps in response, SexyAnimal removed her clothes entirely and squatted on the floor, penetrating herself with a large phallus. The description of her sex acts scrolled across the screen for everyone to read. It read like something pulled from an adult magazine. She and LadyLilac continued chatting. The conversation was fairly banal.

I decided to try the sitting posture again, but decided to change clothes so as not to flash the whole room in the process. I opened my inventory screen and changed from a skirt to pants, and suddenly I was naked. Another lesson learned: In Sociolotron, underwear is optional.

"All the woman here have shaved twats," said SexyAnimal. Her friend laughed.

I sat down for a few minutes but got bored. I looked pretty sitting there, but the conversations in the room had trailed off. I wasn't sure if this was significant or not, and I didn't really have anything to say myself, seeing as I had no idea what I was doing. I would have been content to sit and listen, to learn by observation, but I'd learned all I needed to know about SexyAnimal's genitalia, and everyone else, perhaps enthralled by her show, had nothing more to say. That's when it occurred to me that the floor show may have rendered my fellow players speechless, which in a game means your hands are busy. I decided to explore another room.

So far I'd been "playing" Sociolotron for about an hour. I'd stumbled around a variety of outdoor environments that all looked the same, and the indoor scenes I'd explored weren't any different. In almost every room I encountered there were various tables and workstations I didn't know how to use, as well as the occasional sex altar, complete with restraints and, according to the in-game text, copious amounts of dried semen. The room I entered just off the main tavern room was like all the others.

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