Some time has passed since S-6734's release. During that time, several other Banes (L-1109, V-4275, L-8746 and others) were born and enjoyed (sort of) their short sentences their own personal way. All of them learned how hard Banishment is, how alienating and sometimes depressing it is to not be able to communicate with friends in a world where communication is the key. But at the same time it is very rewarding, like an accomplishment, a challenge, and a vacation from the everyday concerns. From all I could read and all I've discussed about with friends, SL Banishment has the exact same effect it has on Katrina in the novel. I would call it "asymmetrical isolation" as the Bane is isolated from the world but the world is not isolated from the Bane. To pull the plug off would be "symmetrical isolation", you just cease to exist but it frankly becomes old and unrewarding very quickly. This, on the other hand, to me is BDSM at its best. Helplessness and vulnerability to an entity (the Custodian), and safety and isolation from the rest of the world.
Isolation... well sort of. It's more a matter of focusing the attention on something in particular instead of the usual scattering and waste of time. Banishment requires an Operator (a human) and/or a Custodian (a machine) to "handle" the Bane and monitor/correct her actions. For now, the two are the same because there is no script made to punish the Bane for her Protocol Violations yet. Some people are on it already. I will be working on a Custodian script as well, that will interface with the Spy plugin of my stuff (as in : the remote will have a special Custodian sub-menu and both scripts will communicate and act like one). I have done the specs already and have plenty of wicked ideas. But as it will take a while before I'm even able to start coding (some other projects are higher priority), I will not talk about what it does yet. And I need to build ground rules for a Banishment Project prior to starting anything technical. And last but not least, I don't want other people to stop their work when learning I'm working on something similar, while their creativity and experiences are what the project needs the most.
So far the group will be divided in two categories : Banes and Operators. The former will have to buy a Banesuit, while the latter will be paid to monitor the Banes (several Banes per Operator). Now will they be paid by the Banes, or by a donator (me for the matter), I still don't know. It will be a business, I'm pretty sure of it, because it requires time to monitor someone, leading to a retribution. What I'm sure of is it will be a select business, not just anybody will be able to join. To be a Bane requires an iron will and a strong personality. And only non-violent "criminals" will be allowed to go for Banishment.
So there will be Operators, and there will be Custodians. N Banes per Operator, and every Bane will have her own wicked Custodian. The Custodian-to-Eudeamon transition will of course require human roleplay (I may be specialized in AI, there is no such thing as an AI yet, let alone coded in LSL. lol). That's where things have to be really kept under control because each Eudeamon will be unique. Will an Eudeamon played by an Operator ? Or by the Bane's best friend ? I would love the second option but that would require the friend to read the novel, and that would lead to clashes when other friends learn they have not been "selected" to be part of the Bane's mind.
Mind. I'm weighting my words here. What is an Eudeamon anyway ? Barebones it is something that enters your mind, judges your inner self and decides your "value". It leads to inner peace, it creates a symbiosis that transcends human abilities, to make something almost supernatural out of the poor isolated hopeless creature, to become a human computer. In the novel we only hear about "good" Eudeamonic-Banes, those who have been judged "worthy" and granted "salvation" by their Eudeamons. But what about the others ? Those whose mind is dark enough to create a conflict with the Eudeamon ? How do they survive ? Do they turn insane ? Do they desperately attempt redemption ? Do they exist at all ? We don't know. As I said, each case is unique and that's what I want to reproduce here. The Banishment Project might become an institution one day, but it will never be an industry. Of course there will be little ways to tell one Bane from another but inside their helmets, the experience has to be unique and earned. Those who come demanding "I want to try Banishment ! Put me in a Banesuit ! Show me my Eudeamon !" will be kindly ignored.
But there is no such thing as a mind-reading computer yet. Someone has to read the Bane's mind and that's where S-6734's brilliant idea of writing her own experience down on notecards solves the problem. Other Banes did the same and I think this is the key to a successful Banishment experience. But let's take a break here. How does it work in the novel ?
Katrina is banished and starts thinking about her own condition, strives to keep her own sanity, and suffers merciless punishments from an autistic computer solely programmed to make her life miserable. But as her mind takes the heat and as time passes, that computer learns about her inner self. After some time (months usually, but in Katrina's case it went faster due to the child rescue), the Custodian is able to decipher all these thoughts, to put a pattern on them, and to find the right way to learn and anticipate the future violations (it's what it has been programmed for in the first place). And it judges. One day, the Custodian strays from its primary function and you know the rest.
The learning process is long, and I would very much compare it with reading notecards written by the Bane herself in SL. The Bane writes her thoughts, fears, findings, insights... Not necessarily long stories (I would encourage her to keep things short), but key informations that would be useful to "improve the efficiency" (whatever the meaning) of the sentence. These notecards would be aimed at the Operator and used as a base to the roleplay. Saying too much only gives them more means make her life even worse, while saying too little delays the ability to turn the Custodian into an Eudeamon. There are several possibilities : the Bane could keep all the notecards to herself until she decides to give them to someone in particular, or she could keep them until an Operator requests them and gives them to a friend of the Bane's, or something in the middle.
Perhaps the Operator will be in charge of deciding when to hand the notecards to the person who will take the role of the Bane's Eudeamon, if any. Perhaps several friends can incarnate the Eudeamon even (who said it could not be schizophrenic)... Perhaps most Banes shall never find their Eudeamon because their sentences are too short (I would tend to think the majority of Banes will be in this case, as it's about isolation in the first place). As I said earlier, this Project will not be a "find your own Eudeamon in ten days" diet program.
Anyway this duality Isolation/Salvation is the key part of the Project. Some people will come for the first part, others for the second one. Both will have to be carefully thought, tested, trashed, thought again, tested again... but we have time.