Second Reality was an online virtual world launched on Earth in the 2000s. It was an online community, advertised as a "Massively Multiplayer Online Game", whereby users assume identities called avatars that can be of any sex, race, or species (within the parameters of the game).
For some players, Second Reality provided an escape from the dull reality of their daily routine. They could be brave and confident, visit places they couldn't afford and have sex with complete strangers. Toshiko Sato called it a form of addiction. Owen Harper had a different view. He saw it as a way of testing people's potential and recruiting new Torchwood members.
Owen became addicted to Second Reality, especially after Tosh modified the Hub's computer systems to create a far more realistic version than that normally available (and Tosh couldn't resist trying out an avatar for herself). Harper's interest became even more piqued when he discovered that an avatar he had become attracted to in the game actually belonged to a former lover. Owen's obsession with Second Reality was an annoyance to his superior, Jack Harkness. (PROSE: Another Life)
Behind the scenes Edit
- Second Reality was based upon the real-world online community Second Life, which features many of the same traits as the fictional version, including the ability to adopt avatars of almost any type (including avatars based upon Doctor Who and Torchwood characters), the option of playing an avatar of the opposite sex, and the notion of having online sexual relations via avatars. At one point in the novel, Owen finds his avatar banished to a boring nether-region for misbehaving players. This is based upon an infamous section of Second Life called The Cornfield, an intentionally boring, endless area where habitual trouble-making avatars are sent for a time out. The name of the novel, Another Life, is also a play on Second Life.
- In Second Life, several areas have been created by Doctor Who and Torchwood fans featuring motifs and recreations of locations, costumes, and props from the series. Several Doctor Who/Torchwood-themed "exhibits" have been created and in the fall of 2007 there was even a fairly accurate reproduction of the Torchwood Hub (though this had been removed by early 2008). Many TARDIS-like vessels exist, some of which can be explored publicly while others are privately owned vehicles. In 2009 PodShock, a Doctor Who podcast, held their annual meeting in one of the larger Doctor Who themed regions which is a replica of the Cardiff Bay Rift area around the water tower and plaza of the bay. The region featured a public useable TARDIS console which was able to transport Second Life users to different areas within the game, allowing them to arrive at their new destination within the police box exterior, a recreation of Torchwood was also present.