I don’t do scary, disturbing or dark if I can help it. I like light and bright and cupcakes with a cherry on top. Having heard many times about Bryn Oh’s “The Singularity of Kumiko” and thinking that all these people must have seen something worth seeing, I thought I’d give it a go, myself. I mean, it doesn’t say it’s going to be scary, disturbing or dark anywhere. Oh, but it is …
When you land, you find yourself in a room much like an art gallery, which isn’t really surprising, because The Singularity is indeed art. Interactive art. The room gives you instructions on how to set up your viewer, because it does require a certain windlight setting, without that setting the installations won’t look right at all. You’ll find instructions on how you can experience the story of Kumiko and how you can listen, read and collect her “letters” to Iktomi. You can pick up a head light too, you’ll need it. There is also a large poster on the floor with reminders to set the windlight again when you return “If by some unfortunate circumstances you happen to die …” while you’re in the exhibit and get TP’d out. At least they’re warning you …
The first and only failure of the exhibition was the door. It just would not open, no matter what I tried. Hopefully it was just me, or SL being difficult, or a temporary glitch. If you have the same trouble, make sure you have your preferences set so you can zoom your camera through prims, zoom through to the car and sit on it. You can then walk a few paces back to the beginning. Well, it worked for me.
I am going to have a lot of trouble explaining what it’s like to be in this interactive piece of art because I have absolutely no intention of revealing all of the story. The thing is, I couldn’t if I wanted, a visitor will have to fill in a whole lot themselves. That is, actually, part of the skill of it all. The fact that you think you get what’s happening – and that thought is wholly disturbing and should be replaced by thoughts of beaches in Hawaii or a nice Merlot.
It’s safe to say the exhibit could be seen a pieces of a dream, or snapshots of memory, but I know that once the rabbit came after me, it became a nightmare. I did see one lady running (and I know my head filled in screaming and the knife noise in “Psycho”) and it was that darned rabbit again, and something else that I didn’t stay around long enough to identify. The best way to really scare someone is to build up the tension. No gore, no hack and slash … tension and having things come and get you are more than enough.
The gallery section at the beginning does warn you that you may die, the area is only set for ten avatars at once. Don’t think for one minute that is the only reason you may die … I was looking at a nice clean gallery when I teleported in and I was TP’d out a gibbering wreck, my mind filled with disturbing images.
I would recommend a visit, and assure you that you should take the time to read the instructions. They are good advice. Don’t miss the gatchas either, they are nifty pieces of art and interactive too.
The Singularity will disturb you, unless you are not easily moved. You will run, you will start to reconsider pushing buttons and you will be looking over your shoulder. You will probably go back to see if you’ve figured it out and run screaming and get TP’d home until you too lie down and shudder, swearing to yourself you’ll never have a pet or play another virtual game … until the next time.
Please note that the images in this post have been cropped (as most in this site are) but in the case of this page, they have all been lightened to make it easier for you to see them. You shouldn’t have any trouble seeing the exhibit inworld. You can always see just enough. Or is “just enough” just too much … ? You might also wish to note that it may be a walk in the park for you. I may be a wolf, but I am also a scaredy-cat.