The mysterious world of

Photo: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons

I’m Paula Santolaya, reporting live from SANTOLIVE in my virtual reality. Have comments, questions, or suggestions? Post them in the comments section or email me at

Maybe some remember, a video game created in the nineties that allowed users to create virtual lives. At that time, it was a great novelty and became the leader of the games because it allowed to create 3D spaces with personalized rooms and online chat. With the passage of time, the game was practically abandoned and supplanted by other more successful versions such as Second Life, but it is still active and keeps a small community that refuses to leave it.

At first glance, it looks like a normal 3D design game, but its scenario is quite sinister and desolate. Its goal is to explore the mysterious worlds created by other users who, through doors, links and hyperlinks access to places where they find all kinds of strange and terrifying avatars that are real people in flesh. Some have given rise to terrifying urban legends, such as the black avatar with the head of a horse, called ‘Nexialist’, which is dedicated to persecuting and frightening users with horrifying stories. «No cults. No crypts. Nexialist, only him», repeated to identify some users who roam around there. You can also visit disturbing rooms that do not leave anyone indifferent: some are completely empty where you hear an anguished melody in the background, others simulate satanic rituals, some look like ghost towns and one in particular shows an endless corridor whose walls hang portraits of the developers, administrators and former players.

But the most frightening thing about is that there are no limits, conditions of use or legal impediments, so that anyone has been able and still can carry out malicious acts with total impunity. It is known that this space hosts an ecosystem of satanic cults, sects and meetings for criminal purposes. Who knows what crimes have been committed? has become a bizarre game that many users explore today out of sheer curiosity. What its creators never imagined is that it would open a door in the Surface Web, or the secure network, where the most Machiavellian users from the Deep Web would freely cast themselves to perform their misdeeds.

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