When Technology Gets Creepy: Giving Birth in Second Life

By Melissa Lafsky | January 15, 2009 3:44 pm

There’s plenty of real-life drama to go around in the land of virtual worlds. And given what a major part sex plays in Second Life, it’s not altogether shocking that one activity gaining traction is the chance to give virtual birth [link not in any way safe for work].

Avatars are able to get pregnant the (virtual) old-fashioned way, and can choose the location in which they deliver. The whole process is mighty up close and personal, and results in a somewhat surreal-looking newborn avatar. The details often depart substantially from reality—babies are typically born in a matter of minutes, and sometimes emerge from the womb wearing cute onesies or resembling teddy bears—but the general experience is nonetheless captured. The births have even made waves in the (real) midwife community, with a midwives’ group setting up meetings and performing deliveries within the virtual world as an opportunity for professional education.

Here’s a pretty typical example [Warning: Not really suitable for children, or most adults, for that matter]:

MORE ABOUT: birth, second life, sex
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  • http://sarah-stewart.blogspot.com Sarah Stewart

    Just thought you’d be interested to know that the midwives’ group was set up as a means of meeting, networking and professional development in SL, especially for midwives who are remotely and rurally isolated and unable to attend face-to-face PD. I am currently lead educator developing a SL birth unit where we are developing scenarios for students to manage. We’re not focusing on the actual delivery, but rather the thought-processes and decision-making involved in caring for a woman and her family. Please feel to visit my blog to watch how the project is developing. thanks a lot, Sarah (Petal Stransky in SL)

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  • Phoenix Psaltery

    Second Life Babies said:
    > Second Life is not generally appropriate for children
    > or for use at work.

    Second Life, in fact, is restricted to age 18+, although there is a Teen Second Life for ages 13-17.


  • sanjay

    yuk, pretty yuk

  • Kay

    Why is this yuk? There’s none of the blood or fluids generally associated with birth, so why? Unless you think vaginas being used for anything other than sex is a yuk thing?

  • Trainingmidwife

    I find this pretty yuk because there *isn’t* any of the fluid found at a birth. The fact that the moms genitalia is depicted as a small slit while the baby is coming out really disturbs me. Can we not show women’s bodies opening the way they do? Are we that focused on making sure the girl parts are small and tight that we instead find it less disturbing to show a babe coming out of a perineum with an undistended labia? Jeebuz.

  • Frederick

    Actually, in Second Life, you really CAN’T show women’s bodies opening the way they do. The closest you could get would be to wear a similar skin texture that just had a larger opening painted on. Anyways, you’re focusing on how unrealistic the digital vulva looks? Did you see that horribly-made, stock-stiff, cartoonish excuse for an infant?

  • http://thewelltimedperiod.blogspot.com ema

    “The details often depart substantially from reality…but the general experience is nonetheless captured.”

    Um, not really. The first link shows a rectal birth.

    Now, as an Ob/Gyn, I’m not going to get very picky but I have to point out that it would be most helpful with the “general experience” part if the correct organ system was depicted. Delivery isn’t so much about the digestive system as it is about, you know, the genital one.

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  • Karen

    second life is creepy overall because everybody in there is cabbalist and they dont know it, some do, the rest of them are very weird social darwinists who think they are ahead of the curve so far that regular people think they are weird. the truth is they are stuck in a world with no meaning, no real point, so they fixate on things that have meaning in the real world that they cannot or will not do.

    because the governmental system is a dictatorship/oligarchy everyone knows that all the work they put in can one day be deleted.

    I played sl for a very long time and i tried to see it as more than a haven for sexual deviants who were fixated on all issues below the belt, sadly i had to withdraw from it because the truth is just the truth, burning man/burning life other rituals just wore me down the constant request for bdsm furniture which i did not make and had no intrest in making and the usual path of friendship [always leading to gross poseballs and handcuffs].

    second life has the ability to turn a spiritual non sexual deviant person into a religious person, something strong like islam

    there are plenty of things to do in sl that dont involve gross sexual deviance that if you did in real life you would be arrested, but not much

  • Heidi

    I am sorry, i cant stop laughing, that was the funniest thing I have ever seen!!!!

    I thought giving birth in SL would be beautiful… Now I may do it just for a laugh…

    PS The baby came out the wrong hole, and it looked like a teddy bear cross ginger bread man!!! Anyways thatnks for making me cry with laughter!!!

  • Christina Viering

    So, will this slow teen pregnancy because now their avatars can give birth for them? Hmmmmmm.

  • http://yahoo.com bobby

    I dont know how 2 hav a baby

  • http://secondlife.com court

    iomgeee thats krazy….&& whyy dhatt babay lukk lyk dhatt ??
    aftr its qutte tho.

  • Liz

    Things have come a long way in Second Life sense the residents started experimenting with virtual pregnancy. The prim babies these days are much more realistic. see the album here to show this realistic line of babies http://www.flickr.com/groups/1047202@N20/pool/

    As far as having a baby or getting pregnant in Second Life: Your avatar cant actual get pregnant in the way you can in Real Life. To play out a pregnancy in Second Life you may or may not choose to have a partner to do this with.

    First. Make or have someone else make a set of pregnancy shapes for your avatar for however many weeks you intend to be pregnant.

    You may choose to buy a hud to make this process to get pregnant seem more realistic ( Tantra hud)

    You can also purchase a tummy talker ( any brand will do, just look at all of them first)

    You will need to buy a prim baby You can purchase everything from different shops if you want, no obligation to buy everything at the same place. You can also buy the pregnancy packages at the clinics which include a baby ( just ask the clinic staff for help).

    None of this is free. There is no way at all to get this for free. It will cost you a good deal of money, so if you are not prepared to buy L$ then you will need to save up money you earned. It can cost you anywhere between 3,000 and10,00 depending on how many babies you want and the pricing of everything you buy.

  • Anonymous

    You may want to know that the group of midwives was established as a means for development meetings, networking and SL professionals, especially midwives, who are remote and isolated rural and can not attend face to face PD . I am currently a teacher leader to develop a unit of Birth SL that are developing scenarios for students to handle. They are not focusing on the actual delivery, but the thought processes and decision making involved in the care of a woman and her family. Please feel free to visit my blog to see how the project is in development. thank you very much, Sarah (Petal Stransky in SL
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  • Girly29567

    Okay maybe it’s just me but why don’t any of the comments say that this is going to make teen moms??? Cuz it is and will. And anyway the game is disturbing cuz of how small the baby opening is. It’s like woman have to be small and skinny. Omg! It’s a way of life and you should wait until ur out of college. Maybe its just me but only slutty people r going to do this.

  • Popsterallygirl

    Birth is an amazing time in someone’s life. For people over maybe twenty one. There abusing the fact that sluts are going to use this and teen moms. I’m fourteen and realize this someone plz tell me this is wrong!

  • http://twitter.com/LzepedaNYU Lillian Zepeda

    While the virtual motions in childbirth on Second Life are fascinating, I’m interested in the fact that these “newborns” have no life beyond infancy – they don’t grow! Not the ones in the programs I’ve encountered anyway. What need does childbirth on Second Life then fulfill?

    Is it just a chance to get that up-close to women’s bodies since in the real world labor rooms are off-limits and perhaps the one place where a woman’s body is not sexualized?

  • Kayla

    how do u get prego?


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