Just about anyone who plays Tiny Empires recognizes the name Julie Apocalypse, especially those who have the Federation expansion. She was the first to win 10 jousting tournaments, and for a long time held the all-time record of 28 wins. That record is currently tied; I know not by whom.
Well word reached the Empire yesterday that Julie passed away. In light of a recent likely online death hoax, it wouldn’t be difficult to doubt the veracity of this one. So just to quiet those nagging voices of skepticism in my head, I did a quick bit of research. My conclusion is that this one is very likely the real thing.
It lacks the “formula” of a faked death. There’s no crying out for attention in a blog; hell, as far as I can see, she didn’t even have a blog. There certainly was no mysterious spokesperson saying “This isn’t one of the mind games she was known for…”, a red flag in itself. The closest thing to any attention drawn to her failing health in any way that I was able to find was a post in a group blog last February, where a poster asks the community to send good thoughts in her direction, because she has been ill and is undergoing surgery. Simple, straightforward, stated fact, and little else.
The thing that irks me most about people who do fake deaths–or for that matter other tragedies, be they miscarriages or attacks on a pet or what have you–is that they make it hard to trust the next one. It’s good to have a healthy amount of skepticism. Skepticism by definition, however, doesn’t mean simply doubting the truth of anything that meets one’s attention; it means not knowing whether to believe something until one has more evidence.
And according to what evidence I was able to glean, the person we know in SL as Julie Apocalypse really has passed away, probably after a longtime illness that she didn’t like to talk about much. I never met her; only–like many of us–heard her name in Tiny Empires circles. Still, it’s sad when people get sick and suffer, and sad when they die. And very sad when people who lie to get ego strokes cause us to wonder if it’s the truth when people really do leave us.