14 May 2008

Second Life for the afterlife

Graveyards are almost always creepy. But who'd have though an online graveyard could be creepier than a real-live one — just in a different way?

Your honor, the prosecution would like to call Cherished Lives to the stand. At the Web site, you can pick a virtual plot for your dear departed. Click through the gate and you'll be greeted by a virtual woman in a large office — Olivia's her name — who asks you to enter a plot number. I punched in three random numbers and she says, "You're driver's waiting for you outside." Then there's the virtual drive, in what looks to be a '57 Chevy, over a covered bridge to someone's plot.

Then it gets really strange. The "plot" looks kind of like a not-so-busy MySpace page, with a photo of the deceased, a song playing in the background (I found two instances of "God Bless the USA"), and a cartoon looking tombstone on a little hill with virtual clouds blowing around behind it.

The reason for the site — besides to make $50 from folks having their loved one so "immortalized" — is explained in this excerpt from a press statement:

"For many people, the opportunity to visit deceased loved ones is not a viable option, so with CherishedLives.com, one can use the virtual world as a portal to memorialize lost loved ones. Visitors can place flowers on virtual tombstones, as well as receive the actual weather conditions at the departed’s real-world cemetery."

To which I say: Ugh.

"Won't let the creeping ivy
Won't let the nervous bury me

Our veins are thin

Our rivers poisoned"

Radiohead, "We Suck Young Blood"


Anonymous said...

i keep trying to type in a number and nothing is happening. how many digits did you use?

Brad said...

Three digits. Keep trying stuff until she turns the pages in a book, then wait. Lower numbers seem to work better.