Your Second Will

Monday, September 22, 2008 Monday, September 22, 2008

A while ago I posted hints for running your business after you die. Morbid, for certain – but a necessary consideration for anyone doing serious work in Second Life. This post is a bit of a follow-up that offers you a template that you can use to manage your post-Second Life non-existence.

Here’s what I mean. You’ve spent many hours in Second Life, establishing strong bonds with interesting people, building businesses, coordinating massive events.

And then you die.

What happens to all those friends, that stuff and your events in progress? You may have close friends or relatives in RL that are already aware of your SL existence, but more typically they will know nothing. In that case all things fade away in a terribly ungraceful and wasteful manner. But what if you could ensure that at least some loose ends were properly tied? To do so you’d have to make arrangements with one of your survivors to take the appropriate actions, but generally I suspect that your survivors won’t have a hot clue what Second Life might be, let alone being able to deftly handle your virtual affairs.

My idea is to ensure the right things take place, and the only way to do that is to make certain your survivors know what to do and how to do it. But how could your RL survivors know what to do? Simple – you must hook them up with avatars who can help them deal with the situation. In other words, you have to enlist several trusted friends who you believe will be capable of assisting your survivors execute your instructions. I say several because you don’t want to count on only one; you’re not the only avatar that might disappear, after all.

The key is to provide your survivors with very specific instructions. I’ve written a template in text below that you can cut, paste and edit for this purpose. Not every section is appropriate for everyone; use what you need. Once you’ve completed the form, sign it, seal it in an envelope and give it to your RL survivors, indicating that it must not be opened until you are dead or incapacitated.

--- CUT HERE ---
To: -name of trusted RL person-
To be opened only in the event of my death or incapacitation.

From: -your real name-   
Dated: -the date-

If you are reading these instructions, it means the worst has befallen me. Please read the instructions below and take them seriously.

As you may or may not know, I have been involved in an online service called “Second Life”.  Normally the use of an online “game” would not warrant special notice, but Second Life is not a game. It was such a significant part of my life that there are certain actions that must be taken by you in order to wrap up my affairs, since I can no longer do so.

In Second Life, I have grown many significant friendships, as strong as any in real life. The following people should be notified of my demise, with a request that they pass on the information to others who will also be interested. Although you do not know these people, I consider them to be entirely trustworthy and they can advise you on how to handle the intricacies of Second Life. Please use their talents and skills to guide you through the actions listed below. They have been told that in the event of bad news you will contact them directly:
-avatar name, real name, email, skype, IM, phone number, etc. any known info-
-avatar name, real name, email, skype, IM, phone number, etc. any known info -
-avatar name, real name, email, skype, IM, phone number, etc. any known info -

In Second Life, I own several holdings that are of significant value. As of this writing they could be worth $xxx if liquidated appropriately. They must be sold or gifted as you would do to any other asset, but you must do so on my behalf. As of this writing, my holdings and instructions include:
-Parcel description, sell / abandon / gift to avatar name-
-Island name, sell / abandon / gift to avatar name-
-Business name and description, sell / abandon / gift to avatar name-
-Object names and descriptions, sell / abandon / gift to avatar name-

In Second Life, I have certain obligations to fulfill, without which my Second Life assets may be in jeopardy. You must, with the assistance of my trusted friends, ensure these obligations are kept at least until the assets are disposed of.
-Parcel / Island rent description-
-Mainland or Island tier payments-
-Premium membership-
-Other obligation-

In Second Life, I coordinate several recurring events, which could be in serious trouble as a result of my absence. You must contact the following avatars and advise them of my demise and pass on my instructions:
-Event name and description--avatar name, real name, email, skype, IM, phone number, etc. any known info--continue without me/shut it down/other-
-Event name and description--avatar name, real name, email, skype, IM, phone number, etc. any known info--continue without me/shut it down/other-

In Second Life, I am primarily known as -avatar name-. You can access my virtual environment by signing in to Second Life with the Second Life viewer available at: Please do not pass the following information on to anyone, including the trusted friends unless there is no other option. My identities are:
-avatar name, password-
-avatar name, password-
-avatar name, password-

Outside of Second Life, I had a presence on several third-party websites that provide significant value. These services will also have to be closed down or transferred to others. My trusted friends can assist you in handling these services. Currently, my services include: id and password- id and password-
-blog name, url, id and password, instructions on posting a final entry, perhaps including text-
-flickr account and password-
-other third party service-

Once you have completed the actions above, the best action is to close the Second Life account(s) and cash out any residual funds. You may have to sell any remaining Linden Dollars on the Lindex Exchange, again with the assistance of the trustworthy friends.  Withdrawn US dollars will be sent to the following account:
-paypal id and password-

This is obviously a trying time, and I do not wish any extra work for those cleaning up my affairs. However, even though the Second Life environment may be invisible or unknowable to you, it is indeed very significant and cannot be ignored.

Thank you for all this work, from myself and the virtual friends you do not know.


--- CUT HERE ---

Needless to say, you probably should update your form at least once a year or when ever a significant change to your virtual life occurs.

Live long, and prosper!


Anonymous said...

Isn't this still against ToS's first commandment: 'thou shall not pass on your password'? ;) (It does not say anything bout 'except if you're dead'.)

It does also not contain, please contact Linden Lab with this testament and let all my other possessions be transferred to 'avatar name'. I'd love to bombard Smiley with 14k items, but in the mean while my avie does hold some full perm stuff that does not need to be let loose on the grid. So guess, if I go, my inventory goes with me.

ArminasX said...

That's a great idea, Vint - I will add that in as another step.

R. said...

I have been pondering this for a while and how Edloe, Nowhereville, and Harbour would be handled.

I guess I need to bring this up as a subject of discussion on those lists.

Anonymous said...

What do you do if you don't have a RL person who you trust to carry through on your instructions?

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