For the last few years, twists on the Eudeamon story have been prevalent in Second Life, with an array of “Bane” outfits and Banishment programmes to be had.
Now, at the risk of courting controversy, I’m not a great fan of Banishment per se in SL; I enjoy various degrees of interaction, and Banishment simply removed too much for make SL attractive to me. But that’s not to say that I don’t appreciate some aspects of isolation and restriction and the Bane look itself.
As a result of the popularity of the Banishment movement, many and varied hoods and helmets have come out over the years; some with complete “Banishment suits” others as standalone items. All offer varying levels of restriction, and the ability to be self-locked or under the control of another.
Recently, a new contender arrived on the market – and I have to say that it is one of the best in terms of functionality, and very wicked in conception. This is the SLiCK! Isolation Hood by Mika Feiri.
Comprising 20 prims and sculpties, the hood is quite simply one of the best on offer for very secure SL bondage. Somewhat resembling the head of Gort the robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still, the hood presents a remarkable look that sets it apart from the more usual ovoid hoods common to SL, with the front upper sculpties highly suggestive of a visor-like panel closed over the wearer’s eyes; something enhanced by the two side pieces to the hood, positioned over the ears.
The visual aspects of the helmet are completed by the inclusion of two “air tubes” and a sturdy collar, complete with D-rings for leashing / securing, and the overall finish of the hood can be set to one of latex, leather or steel. As a nice touch, the hood includes a number of LEDs (in the collar, on the ear pads, etc.), which will change colour when various restrictions are in operation.
The hood attaches to the skull by default, and should fit most sizes of head without the need for adjustment. Care has been taken with the design to ensure it should rez accurately at even low RenderVolumeLOD factors.
It is on wearing the hood that one starts to note this is something rather unusual, as two status messages pop-up:
- Isolation Hood Datastore: Datastore initializing…
- Isolation Hood Datastore: Contacting server…
These refer to the fact that rather than recording the hood’s status internally in its own scripts, the hood uses a server located elsewhere to hold this information – something I’ll return to a little later.
Touching the hood for the first time (or when unlocked) brings up a simple initial menu with one option: LOCK. This means that anyone touching an unlocked hood can become the “keyholder” and have total control over the wearer.
Clicking LOCK secures the hood in place – under RLV, as one would expect, it cannot be removed by the user. If you are running Windlight, locking the hood will also force your Viewer to the current Windlight settings for the region you are in.
Once locked, the main menu is automatically displayed, with a range of options. Of these, PUBLIC is perhaps the best with which to start.
This option is available whether the hood is self-locked, or locked by another. As the name suggests, it enables the hood to be manipulated by anyone – with an important caveat: while all the restrictions on the hood will be available to whoever touches it, they won’t be able to unlock it; only the “keyholder” can do that. Furthermore, if you self-lock and set the hood to PUBLIC – be warned: you all lose all access to the menu until someone is kind enough to switch the hood back to PRIVATE use – you’ll effectively be stuck in whatever restrictions you activated prior to making the hood PUBLIC.
The APPEARANCE option of the menu allows you to switch the hood between its three finishes: latex, leather or steel. LEASHING delivers a traditional leashing options menu, which includes the ability for the hood to deliver a leash handle to the requestor, options to leash and unleash the wearer and to set the length of the leash.
The rest of the options on the menu are the truly devious.
GAG provides a number of gag “levels”:
- Muffler – the wearer’s voice is limited to whisper in chat
- Mouth Gag – invokes mild garbling of words automatically (“Thank you very much” becomes “thhhk you vewy much”
- Expand Gag – a higher level of garbling (“Thank you very much” becomes “fuahnk yuh vuny nnufn”)
- Throat Gag – the wearer is totally unable to speak or emote; attempts to do so are replaced by a range of messages such as: “SLick (skull) bulges at the mouth as Inara Pey strains to issue any sound.”
Activating each level of the gag does not disable any other setting, so it is theoretically possible to have all four active at once, but the hood only acknowledges the highest gag setting (so if both Muffler and Mouth Gag are active, the wearer’s words will be garbled under Mouth Gag).
The messages given out as the various levels of the gag are activated are also – for me at least – rather kinky and add to the flavour of wearing the hood.
The EARMUFFS option has two options that impact chat hearing; DEAF blocks out all chat while NO EMOTE blocks the reception of chat emotes.
Additionally, both GAG and EARMUFFS have options to block the sending or receiving of IMs, respectively.
Between GAG and Earmuffs sits the wicked SIGHT option, which those with Windlight active are going to either love or hate. This has three options:
- Blindfold – as the name suggests, turns the main window on the Viewer completely black, leaving the wearer “blind”
- Tint Glass – produces some very interesting tinting effects on the screen when active, an example of which is shown on the top right
- Blur – pixelates the wearer’s view.
All of these options can be activated together, although combining Tint Glass and Blur obviously produces the most interesting results. Note also that the tint effect can be influenced by the time of day and local lighting. Sunsets can be very psychedelic!
The final two options are where the hood can get even more devious.
TIMELOCK allows a timer lock to be set on the hood with various time increments available, allowing a good deal of flexibility to be used in setting the overall time. Once a time has been set-up, clicking TIMER ON will start the clock counting down. But be warned! If you log off when you are wearing the hood with the timer running – it will reset when you log back on! So, if you have only 5 minutes left on a 2-hour timer and log off – you’ll have to wait 2 full hours before the hood will unlock after logging back in. Also note that if you use the timer while self-locked, you’ll have no access to the hood’s menu throughout the time the clock is active.
The hood is unlocked and any restrictions applied prior to the timer being set are released once the timer expires.
The ADVANCED menu, which is only available to the wearer, contains three options:
- Reset – allows all set restrictions to be removed in an emergency (not displayed when running RLV)
- Hardcore – when set, removes the RESET option reset restrictions even when the wearer isn’t running RLV. Use this option with care and see the notes below!
- Support – delivers the hood’s user manual and support information to the wearer.
The server settings
I earlier mentioned a couple of start-up status messages that will be seen when the hood is worn. These indicate that the hood is communicating with a server system located elsewhere – and they are what makes the hood so very devious.
When any restriction is set, be it a gag level, vision restriction, hearing restriction or time lock, the information on the restriction is sent to the server and not held within the scripts in the hood. This means that there is almost no way to cheat out of the hood: if you remove it by dropping to non-RLV and taking it off, any restrictions will re-apply as soon as you re-wear it under RLV once more. Similarly, resetting the scripts will not clear any restrictions set on the hood: they’ll simply be downloaded from the server the next time the hood is worn.
Almost the only way to successfully reset the hood is to go to non-RLV and use the RESET option under the ADVANCED menu – but if the hood has been set to HARDCORE, then even this option will not be available.
However, there is a “last resort” option, should someone end up thoroughly locked-up and unable to get the hood back to a state they are comfortable with, Mika includes an “emergency key”. This is a one-time use object that can be used to reset the hood to an unlocked condition (further emergency keys can be purchased for L$100 from any SLiCK vendor).
The use of an “external server” really does add an extra dimension to using the SLiCK hood; and even when there is a “ultimate” way out, one tends to be cautious in using it, as it will cost a nominal sum to replace – and we all hate spending money; given L$100!
The SLiCK hood is one of the best enclosure devices to come on the BDSM market; it is suitable for scene play or even elaborate sci-fi oriented bondage play. For my own part, the scripts in the hood have been my favourites to use. For anyone into enclosure scenes, I cannot recommend it enough!
ADDENDUM: APRIL 10TH
Mika has released an updated version of the SLiCK! hood with the following additional features:
- Auto update facility – no need to be at a SLiCK vendor when updating!
- More choices of colours for the texture options in appearance, together with an option to colour the breathing tubes or not
- A Forced Mouselook option for the Blindfold
- A No Touch option to block the wearer’s ability to touch things (requires the latest RLV functionality).
These new options push the SLiCK even further ahead of the crowd and enhance it as being a Toy To Have.