There are hypnosis machines in Second Life – objects that when you sit your avatar in them, you get hypnotised in the real world. They are soooo cool! They come in a wide variety, from alien slave pods to entrancing paintings, and even brain implants. I plan to review them all. But for this first review, I’ll start with perhaps the most common of them all, the device that sets the standard by which all others are judged. I am talking, of course, of the Hypnotron.
Read on to learn how to get the best out of a Hypnotron. I’ll describe the experience of being in a hypnotron, the diferent styles of machines, and then the different settinsg you can tweak to alter your experience. For veteran users, most of this will be familiar ground, but there may be a few tricks even for them, like learning how to view someone else’s trance, or queuing multiple trances.
A note about the word, Hypnotron: It’s common for people to call any hypnosis machine a hypnotron (especially those you sit inside). But only the machines manufactured by the Hypnodolls store owners Liriel Saarinen and Winterrose Ellison are true Hypnotrons. If you turn up at the Rygel and Lustbaby or Hypnotic Magic stores and asked about their hypnotrons, you’ll get corrected quickly enough on this point!
When you sit in a hypnotron, any observer will see your avatar posed appropriately inside the machine. But you see something different. Your screen becomes a huge spiral, and text starts to appear in this spiral. The trance has begun.
Most trances are also accompanied by a special sound, a binaural beat, which is designed to help you enter a trance state. It’s a good idea to wear headphones if you want the full effect.
Finally, many trances also include ‘visual aids’ – pictures designed to match the trance, and help you get into it more.
This combination of sounds, visual aids, and text messages, and the big spiral, can be very effective at inducing a trance, but they don’t work for everyone, and you may need to practice with a trance several times to see any effects.
What Does a Hypnotron Look Like?
Hypnotrons come in several shapes, as shown here, so you can have a device to suit your mad science lab, doll house, or whatever place you plan to put it.
Using A Hypnotron
While the look and shape of a hypnotron can vary, they all work exactly the same. Some other vendors might have machines with more advanced features (they certainly claim to, and I look forward to finding out for myself when I review them), but no other hypnosis machine I’ve encountered can match the ease of use and flexibility of a hypnotron. That said, they do still have a couple of quirks…
If you’re feeling lucky, just right-click the machine and select “Sit Here”, and the machine will do its thing. But each hypnotron is usually pre-loaded with several trances, and you probably want to choose which to experience.
So, before you sit in it, Touch (left click) the hypnotron to bring up the familiar blue menu.
From there, select Scripts (ignore all the other options), and you’ll get this menu:
Now click Select, and you’ll get yet another dialog showing a cryptic list of script names. There might be more than one page (use the Prev and Next buttons).
Unfortunately there is a length limit on words that can be shown in this menu, which is why some of them are so cryptic. You’ll have to guess at what each trance might be, and some are easier to guess than others! Not everyone will guess BE stands for Breast Enlargement, and I still don’t know waht GBaC stands for…
If you really want to know, you can visit the Hypnodolls store to check out the available trances. That’s a bit tedious, so I usually just jump in and see what happens. I don’t recommend that for anyone who isn’t a trance addict like me though! (When I start my series of trance reviews, I’ll explain what each is.)
Also, sometimes a machine seems to have the same trance multiple times (see Breeder and Breeder 1 in the above lists).
- A suggestion for Liriel: put up a sign in the main area showing a list of the scripts, with their short names matched to the full name.
Once you have selected a script, you’re ready. Now you can sit in and enjoy.
There are a lot of ways you can customise the experience.
Here’s that main menu again, with a description of what each entry does:
- Images Off/On: allows you to switch off or on the images, for those trances that have them. Note – if the button reads Images Off, it means the images are currently on, and clicking the button switches them off. If it reads Images On, it means the Images are currnetly off and clicking the button switches them on!
- Colour: Allows you to select one of several colours for the text, such as green or red.
- Fade: Allows you to change how bright or dark the spiral is.
- BinOff/On: lets you switch the binaural audio tone on or off (see Imagies Off/On for how it workd).
- Check: This used to tell you what trance was currently loaded, but hasn’t done anything for a long time. I think an update broke it.
- Scripts: This has already been covered, see above.
- Timing: You can change the speed at which the trance runs, and how long a line of text remains on screen before being replaced by the next line. Different people trance best at different speeds.
It’s worth experimenting with different settings to find what works best for you. I always check to see that images and sound are ON (the buttons will read Images Off and BinOff.), and Timing is Normal.
Tips & Tricks: Loading Multiple Scripts
You can load several trances to run in sequence, one after another.
You get this dialog when selecting Scripts:
The Select button has been covered above.
The List button outputs a list of all scripts to your chat window.
The Add button allows you to choose a script, and add it to the end of the current run.
So, for instance, you might Select the Induction trance, then Add the Touch of Bliss Trance. Then when you sit in the machine, both of those trances will run.
Tips & Tricks: Viewing Someone Else’s Trance
With at least one of the hypnotron designs, you can read the text the person inside reads, by manoeuvring your camera behind the machine. (It’s a bit tricky to find – fiddle with your camera and you’ll find it eventually.) This works for the hypnotron design you can find in hypnodolls, but I don’t know about the others.
This tip isn’t just handy for the stalkers among you. I have found it useful when watching over someone else, or offering suggestions, to know when to speak or to have an idea how long my friend will be incommunicado.
Safety Tip: Be Careful Where You Trance
When I first started on Second Life, it was possible for anyone to alter the hypnotron settings. If I got in the machine and started up a simple Induction trance, someone else could wait till it was running, then while it was still running, add a Brainwash or Total Erasure trance to the end, so that when I came out I was ready to be taken advantage of by them.
(To be honest, in my early days on SL I used the machines a lot hoping this would happen. The two times it nearly did, the evil hypnotist got scared away before he could take advantage of me. Aaaargghhh!)
For the machines on public display in Hypnodolls, and presumably other public places too, that isn’t possible anymore. Once you step in the machine, no-one else can alter its settings.
That doesn’t seem to be true for privately owned machines, such as those you might find in someone’s house. The machines you find set up for public use will be safe, but if it’s in a private home, be careful.
(This advice isn’t specific to Hypnotrons – it’s always a good idea to make sure you are in a safe place when trancing.)
As far as I know, the hypnotron was the first trance machine in Second Life. It may still be the best. It is certainly the best for public use. The other major trance machines are either more complicated to use, hard to set up for public use, or limited to a single trance. None of those limitations matter if you are buying the trance machine for personal use, but those reasons make the hypnotron the machine you are most likely to find in a public place.
I hope you get some use out of this review (more of an instruction manual, really).