The Dying Game

November 7, 2011

By Lara

“There’s people dying here! Feman Falters!”

The cry goes up between my friends, accompanied by laughs and jokes.  Such a comment, I would have thought, would usually be a cause for alarm, but oddly enough this time it’s a major source of amusement.

I, a newbie to Ur, follow along with a giggly euphoria rather than fear.

The event is the ‘Die-in,’ the mass death organised by a group called the Undead of Ur, whom I assume specialise in this sort of thing.  When we arrive at Feman Falters, tombstones litter the whole map – all the way up the mountain and even scattered all through the air as some resourceful Glitchen make a well-timed jump to their deaths off the top of its heights. Not so much chit-chat as the crazy Candy Swap, though – this time there is a strangely silent and focused atmosphere.

Rather than chatting, co-operating, and congregating in a big heap at a central location, Glitchen stand in little groups or by themselves, trying to die as stylishly as possible. Individual strands of conversation float between the graves. Now and again candy switches hands, but for the most part everyone is intent on one thing - death.

Envelopes of no-no powder are opened here and there. Some people grind powder, others blow bubbles. Some mill spice. Others are obviously near expiry, and are practicing jumping to see if they can get an extra special spot with their gravestone. The local chat is filled with a steady stream of names constantly leaving for Hell One.

I look wonderingly at the strange situation around me, trying to take it all in. Perhaps it’s because death is a personal event, and there’s time enough for talking after the fact. Or maybe death is so effortful to achieve in the perfect way that you have to be focused to get it to happen exactly as you want it. Or maybe it’s awkward to talk about death while you’re doing it. Or maybe it’s some other mysterious force altogether. I’m starting to think of death in a new light.

I wander up the mountain, passing gravestones left and right, thoughts filling my head. On closer inspection, I notice some dedicated individuals have landed multiple gravestones around the place. Having never died myself, I’m pretty impressed. Maybe I’ll be brave enough someday to join their ranks.

Photos by Marebito are here and here.  An additional post with an incredible panoramic photo done by Brib Annie is up at the Glitch Addict blog.

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