TIPP CITY- As COVID-19 has altered the plans for graduation ceremonies across the world, Tippecanoe High School has found an interesting alternative to give graduates a proper commencement. Tippecanoe is leading the pack with the recent release of a new private “Second Life” server, and are inviting neighboring schools to do the same.
“It’s simple. Lots of teens play Second Life. We just want them to enjoy their graduation on a familiar virtual server, hopefully bringing some normalcy to their senior year,” said Henry Sheath of the Board of Education. “We hope other schools in the area will follow our lead and do the same.”
The Second Life server will set up graduates with their own customizable avatar, allowing students to alter their appearance and deck themselves out in graduation garb. The commencement will also take place on a perfect replica of each school’s stadium, and pack the audience with virtual users to make the ceremony more live than ever before.
THS has already conducted a rehearsal on the Second Life server, with all things working to plan except one small mishap. Principal Steve Verhoff, a known Second Life enthusiast, accidentally arrived on stage with a shirtless avatar wearing tight leather pants. Fortunately, Verhoff was quick to flip his wardrobe and conduct the ceremony as originally planned.
“That certainly won’t happen again,” said Verhoff. “I play Second Life late at night, and often fell asleep in front of my elite gaming rig. I simply forgot to switch my outfit before logging back in. Mistakes happen.”
Despite a rather entertaining rehearsal thanks to Verhoff’s mishap, student opinions on the ceremony still vary. The Miami County Bugle Caller reached out to a few students for comment.
“This is a dream come true. I can bring my virtual pet hippopotamus with me as I walk across the stage. Hopefully they will let my virtual boyfriend Xeryx attend. We met on Second Life, and it would mean the world to me,” said Tippecanoe student Delilah “Waifu” Smithens.
Conner Roy Spinkler, another upcoming Tipp graduate, says it’s “an absolute joke. Nobody plays Second Life. If our faculty was with the times, we’d be graduating on Fortnite with an EDM and Dubstep concert for the afterparty.”
The Board of Education is well aware that some students are pushing back on the concept, with one representative claiming that “those twerps are impossible to please. We gave them a vaping lounge, permission to text in class, and spiked the prom’s punch bowl, and they’re still not happy. Ungrateful little shits.”
Fortunately, the virtual graduation is still moving forward despite the feedback of some students. The Tipp City Board of Education is appealing to the public, asking all local citizens available to log on and help fill up the historic ceremony. The server has capacity for over 100,000,000 attendees, so the city has been investing in digital advertising in hopes of a full ceremony.
Unfortunately, the ads on Facebook caught the attention of one 4chan member, and the forum is now planning to attend. With over 3,000,000 users a day, it has the potential to derail the ceremony. Forum members claimed they would overwhelm the servers and use it as a virtual sex dungeon. So Tipp City officials wasted no time in hiring virtual bouncers for the event, who will only be allowing visitors with a verifiable Miami County IP address.
For more updates on the ceremony, be sure to follow the Miami County Bugle Caller on all platforms.