Originally written by Isabelle Pavlova for mmorgy.com

For all of our coverage of virtual world sex, it would logically follow that at some point, someone would want to simulate full reproduction. Virtual conception and pregnancy are by no means a new idea. From the BBS days when couples could have children in LORD, games have evolved in terms of what players could do with conceiving children, with games like Sociolotron having built in rule systems for pregnancy (including menstural cycles), and virtual worlds like Second Life have emergent conception and pregnancy markets.

All pictures taken at Vindi's Baby Heaven, Second Life

In this article, we start our series on in world pregnancy by covering something that general to all of the virtual worlds, reasons for wanting to engage in virtual conception and pregnancy. Though each world offers a different setting and rule structure, many of the reasons users would want to experience childbirth and raising in a simulated environment stay the same.

The first question that comes to the non-user's mind is probably "What's available?". Though we'll be covering this for pecific worlds in later articles, we'll discuss pregnancy in some of the MMOrgy covered worlds briefly. Second Life has a rather large pregnancy market. From ultrasound units and delivery rooms to scripted babies and nursery sets, the amount of baby related user built content is massive. Sociolotron not only has breeding schedules built into female characters, conception and abortion are available (and sometimes required to have certain events happen in game). Heavenly Bodies (not yet released) will allow users to alter the genetic sequence of their children, with children being NPCs until they reach 18 years of age in game, at which point they can be taken over by a user. Child bearing also affects the stats of the player.

The next question is... why? In a world where you can do anything, be anything, why procreate in the same way we do in the real world? The answer mirrors the same reasons behind the act of conception or sex in general in virtual worlds. We do what we know how to do, we do what we want to do, we do what we sometimes can't do.


Probably the most talked about reasoning on the Second Life Forums is therapy. Many couples have expressed that they use Second Life to get over a miscarriage or infertility issues in real life. Whether or not this is safe is not something any of us here at MMOrgy are licensed to judge. The fact that material/virtual things can make people feel better or worse is something that has kept therapists paid well for many a year...

From the Second Life Forums (Free SL account required):

_Second Life is different things to different people. Prims assembled into symbols can be very powerful. I can think of people who have left Second Life because of Symbols made of prims.

I can't help but be reminded of the first person that I remember seeing with a baby in SL. She really had lost a baby in RL, that's why she made babies in SL. Maybe it was a way to work through things, I'm not sure.

I do know that when I started SL I was very homesick and so one of the first things I created was my old home back in Kamloops. I don't know why but somehow it made me feel better, like painting a picture of it._


Virtual world babies are absolutely no replacement for real babies, but in terms of the "take care of an egg/sack of flour for a week" assignments of secondary school students, online environments can certainly teach as much, if not more. New couples can use virtual babies to get into the habit of child raising schedules and chores, and talk to other couples about their experiences. The AI right now is such that the realism of a virtual environment isn't going to be a boon to real life experience, but it could certainly supplement topics learned from other mediums (books, tv, etc...).


Obviously, this can't happen in real life:

No matter how much you wish and dream and squeeze kittens and put your real baby in a fursuit (MMOrgy takes no responsibility squozen kittens or for you putting your real baby in a fursuit), it won't be the same as a furry baby. As virtual worlds provide a way for people to act out fetishes that are not physically possible, it also allows them to live situations that can never be realized. Furry babies are a rather extreme example of this. A couple/group in a long distance relationship may be interested in having a family, and scripted babies may be as close as they can get. In situations such as that (where both parties are mentally stable enough to deal with the gap between reality and the virtual world), anything is better than nothing.


No one usually references the "Fun" reasons, because there's just not much to say.

Virtual worlds are built for fun as much as anything else, and playing house is popular among children not only because it's mimicing actions of adults, but because it's also entertaining. If you can have a no strings attached baby, why not? There's no excuse not to have the experience if all it's going to cost is some virtual money. You may get bored with it in 5 minutes, or it may deepen your roleplay. But, it's something you can say you did, at least.

We don't claim this to be anywhere near a full list of the reasons users would want to have virtual children. As with all things in MMOs, experience and personal context are what drive the humans behind the avs to do things, and number the combinations of those is infinite.

In our next articles in the series, we'll be covering pregnancy in Second Life and Sociolotron, as well as the future of online conception and pregnancy in virtual worlds.