The Incredible Mr. Limpet and Second Life

Having been enjoying the many resources available in Second Life, I realized that the environment is growing on me. I was trying to think of what in my childhood were some of the experiences that could have prepared me to accept its “cartoonish” nature. I thought back to one of my strongest emotional experiences involving cartoons and that had to be when I watched the movie, The Incredible Mr. Limpet, one night at my aunts while all the adults were having a discussion at the kitchen table.

In the movie Don Knotts wants to be a fish, and in this instance his wish is fulfilled. But for a child like myself that loved watching cartoons, here was someone who got to become a cartoon. Relative to Mr. Limpet, the creators of Second Life have chosen flying rather than swimming as a primary way to experience the new physics of this environment. Swimming here seems more like the video games in which after you’ve fallen off the path you have to move slowly through a sludge like environment. Perhaps someone will come up with a “penguin” mode so a person can sail through the water.

I remember being caught up in the movie as the two worlds of Limpid collided and interweaved, but the essential message was that being a cartoon underwater was a place were one’s dreams could come true relative to the harsh and unfair real world. He becomes a hero, falls in love, and with the help of his friend Crusty, defeats the Nazi submarine navy. At the end of the movie as Limpid swam off in the sea and his “oogah” sounds faded off I remember the tears welling up in my eyes and feeling sad. Was it because the two worlds that he had been in were going to forever be separated? I can’t be sure because getting back to how I felt I only remember the sadness.

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