I have a neighbor in SL that I have never met, and something tells me that I never will. I know her name and a few details of her SL past from the items she left behind in a parcel that she hasn’t visited since 2011. It’s a small 512 sq.m. lot on the western coast of Satori. By the date on the land, she claimed it on December 2009. Since then she’s been paying for a plot that gets no use and receiving a weekly stipend she’s not really benefiting from. Based on that 300L fee, her account must have accumulated some 50,000L since the last day she logged inworld, more than four years ago. That’s a small fortune for whenever she decides to come back, if that ever happens. But maybe she no longer remembers SL at all.
There are no sculpts or mesh objects among her forgotten belongings. Her oldest rezzed possession, a sofa, dates back to October 2006, just two months after she was born. It is chronologically followed by a chair and a room divider four months the sofa’s junior, and a Mediterranean pot from early 2007. From that same year are two clumps of golden bamboo that compliment the ensemble. The furniture is suspended above the sandy ground, suggesting a construction of some sort may have housed them sometime in the past.
This lady was last seen inworld the 13th of December of 2011. I know that because we have one group in common, from where it was easy to corroborate that fact. What happened after that day, maybe no one else –but her– knows.
I guess her RL self is still somewhere out there, if there’s a credit card backing up the premium subscription… or else that parcel wouldn’t be on her name this long. That, or the Lab hasn’t taken the time to clear the record even when it’s not getting any money to lock the lease.
How many accounts are there in SL just like hers? To how many disembodied customers LL keep charging a subscription fee for a premium account that is obviously inactive, if that were the case? Or how many parcels are showing a pretended ownership that only tells of a former tenancy? Does LL contact these ghostly residents to inquire what is going on and maybe try to attract them inworld once more? How many ex-residents still populate the ranks of the so-called active users? Are these inert people still holding onto SL expecting to resurface someday? Is my neighbor one of them? What about yours?