The Singularity of Kumiko is perhaps the most immaculate sim I have ever seen in Second Life. It has taken me hours to fully explore. Everything is extremely detailed, to include the many clockwork-looking creatures. In addition the the visuals, many parts of the sim are interactive. Bryn uses sound, scripting, and many other devices in Second Life to tell a very complex yet mysterious story.
Also be sure to check out the creator’s blog.
My journey into the Singularity started in a “lobby”. In the lobby, I am given instructions on how to set the proper graphic and windlight settings so that the sim can be enjoyed as intended. I am also given the instructions on how to use both the accompanying HUD and headlamp. The “visitor” is also tasked with finding 14 bottles containing messages, either in a flash drive or on a piece of paper. The HUD always gives visual clues as to the location of the bottles. However, I chose to wander the sim aimlessly until I found all of them.
Upon exiting the Lobby, I am teleported into a dark forest. All the trees have little or no foliage attached to them, and appear to be dead or dying.
It is not long until I come upon a two-lane road. a short walk down the road leads to a car crash. There appears to be no blood or or dead bodies on the road, although personal belongings are strewn everywhere. Among them, I find my first bottle. The message appears to be written by the titular Kumiko, to her friend Iktomi. She is apparently stranded on some sort of island, although the island appears to have human habitation, as demonstrated by aforementioned car wreck.
Further down the road I come upon crates full of bees, as well as a rusting swan full of gears. I can’t help but wonder who put them there in the first place, or why they had been abandoned. The Swan looks like it has been rusting for quite a few years, but the bees still live. On a table by the crate of bees, I find my second bottle.
The road ends abruptly, leaving me to wander the forest aimlessly. I come across many odd creatures similar to the swan. Many appear to be giant insects. However, rabbits and pigeons are also common. I also come across a large number of bees.
In addition to many odd creatures. Someone appears to have taken the time to nail up paper advertisements around the forest. Advertising artificial pets, and other gadgets.
That is not all the weirdness that I found in the forest. Many structures and statuary adorn the forest throughout. The most bewildering being a mass of shopping carts. Oddly, I did not come across any stores on the island, leaving me to wonder if the carts ever had any purpose other than to confuse those who wind up here.
I finally manage to find a shoreline, and a dock. On the dock stands a little girl. Behind her appears to be a flock of pigeons carrying a bomb. I look to her feet, and see what appears to be a bird she has killed. The dead bird and the bomb are both very unnerving, so I wander back into the forest.
I do find a pair of children alone in the forest, one of which is drawing in chalk, the other reading. The boy is named Elliott, the girl is Imogen. Imogens story is much longer, but no less interesting. Elliott likes bugs, whereas Imogen is obsessed with pigeons. Neither child seems very coherant, so I bid them a good day and left them to their own devices.
Eventually, I find a stone staircase to a large building. I can’t help but think I am dreaming.
The entrance appeared very foreboding, but my curiosity had overidden my fear, and I trudged on.
Inside the home I found all sorts of things that are as horrifying as they are bewildering, very similar to what was in the forest outside. Insects both real and clockwork. School desks meshed together like the shopping carts outside. people sitting lifelessly, dilapidated playground equipment….
….However, the most unusual of them all are the rabbits in the basement. Kimiko tells a rather odd story with her correspondence to Iktomi about the rabbits, and supposedly some foxes.
Finally, I come upon a portal. Upon attempting to cross, I am told that I must find the 5 remaining bottles. I spent the better part of a day searching both the house and the forest for the remaining bottles. When I do, I am finally allowed to see the end of this dream. I’d tell you what happened to Kimiko, and what she discovered, but it doesn’t make sense even to me.