When I first came to Second Life in December 2006, I really had no idea what to expect. I came there by chance because of a real life software company that decided to hold their product launch there. After the event, I decided to explore Second Life more. I was amazed that there was a whole virtual world created by the users.
Like many other people new to Second Life, I experimented with many of the different entertainment paths it had to offer. For me, it was a fascinating game where you could shoot zombies one day and roleplay a fantasy creature the next. If I wasn’t in the mood for roleplay, I could hang out with friends at one of the myriad live music events that I loved.
But as the years went by, I started to see that Second Life could offer much more than just a fun gaming experience. The first time I learned this was after hurricane Katrina. I’m originally from Louisiana, and I was devastated by the monumental amount of damage to the communities and proprieties in southern Louisiana.
So, on the advice of a friend, I visited a New Orleans SIM replica in Second Life. Visiting the SIM was like taking a step back in time when some of my favorite locales were not lying under a pile of ruble and water. The experience brightened my day, and made me hopeful that one day southern Louisiana would be made whole again.
Last year, I watched members of SLUniverse.com come together to raise money to help Eku Zhong get a life saving surgery. Some people that helped out with the Second Life fundraising event were friends of hers. However, there were people, like me, that helped out who only knew her through her witty and knowledgeable forum posts.
After a year of seeing the worst in humanity, it really lifted my spirits to see the community come together to support Eku. Of course, that isn’t the only time that the Second Life community has come together to help a member in need. There are countless examples that could be listed just from last year alone.
Second Life is just a game for some, but it can be much more for others. To me, that is what makes Second Life great. It can be whatever you want or need at the moment.