A Story of Sex, Love, Creativity, Money and Power...

Second Life is a virtual reality game from Linden Labs.

For a while it became such a part of my life that I was on it more than I was living my real life, which in those times became known simply as 'RL', as apposed to the game, 'SL'.

Early on it was difficult to play. There wasn't much help available on how to do anything, and for a while I just mucked about, going to places where you could get free clothes and hairstyles and things. Pretty much how most people start.

Slowly I began to get a handle on what I was doing. I started earning small amounts of cash by leaving my character sat on a 'camping chair'. It really wasn't worth it! Eventually I decided to just take the plunge and use my RL money to buy some SL money.

From then on, I didn't look back!

I bought myself so many cool things, like photo-realistic skin and hair, brightly coloured contact lenses, shoes, all sorts. After a while my character looked great, and I thought, 'now what do I do?!'

I decided to buy myself a small plot of land and set up a shop. I learned to use the game's built-in programming language, LSL, and the 3D creation tools, and started making ornate doors. It sounds like an odd choice for something to do in a virtual world! But they were easy to make, and sold for a few hundred a piece. People would take them and use them on their own building projects, but I retained the copy rights, so they had to buy more if they wanted more.

My RL partner at the time started playing too, and very quickly discovered there was a thriving sex industry within the game. She played for a while as an escort, having virtual sex with other virtual characters. That probably seems crazy too, but it's big money in SL. Didn't do much for our RL relationship though!

Eventually she decided to open up her own escort house, and I began creating scripted objects for use in her business. I made a teleportation device that took your payment for the hire of a room, and would teleport you to a 'skybox' - a room high in the sky that was usually filled with various sex apparatus! You'd get what time you payed for, and then it would throw you out once your time was up! I actually created everything you could need to run your own escorting business, and then started selling that too.

I tried using a girl a couple of times, which my partner encouraged me to do... but there was nothing in it for me - it was like Simpsons ****! I even had to make my own penis!

My partner and I spent about a year playing SL, in seperate rooms, and in truth it finished off our marriage. SL saved me!

Any way, not content with the money I had coming in already, I decided to buy more land and start another project. I built sky-scrapers! I programmed an elevator, and windows that could be tinted by voice command, and charged people a weekly fee to rent my apartments. It was great!

But still, it was all very material.

Then one day I was flying along over some land without paying much attention to anything, when suddenly my flight-mode switched off and I fell to the ground. When I... my character... got up, I found I had fallen into someone's garden, and was among a group of people who knew each other. We all greeted and ending up talking for hours.

Suddenly, unnexpectedly, I had found the -true- reason SL is something special - these people became my best friends, and we would go everywhere together. We visited castles, flew around in model Star Trek ships, went shopping, went for walks, relaxed on the beach. And slowly one of them started to stand out from the rest, a girl named Echo, with a very beautiful avatar.

In time we fell absolutely madly in love with each other. We tried to fight it, but it was bizarre how much we had in common, how we would always say the same things as the same time. How even when we were offline we would be thinking the same thoughts!

I even proposed to her, because you can get married in SL. It was the most nerve-wracking thing I've ever done, completely virtual, but I was shaking like crazy in RL! I had a speech, I read her a poem, I was wearing a smart suit, and my character got down on one knee and held out a ring for her - a ring that was engraved with a line from a song that meant a lot to us. It was perfect, everything was perfect... except she said NO!!

Ha! That wasn't a good day in SL! But we were still fine, she just had issues with marriage, even virtual marriage it seemed! In the end we found out we had a 25-year gap in our RL ages, and it wasn't meant to be.

I took up photography in SL next, and became really good at it. I built a studio with changeable backdrops and lighting. I rented a beautiful expensive apartment in the side of a mountain behind a waterfall in the beautiful Bliss Falls Gardens.

Then one day, when my marriage had long ago died, I was speaking to a childhood friend who worked in the local pharmacy. She was lovely, always had been. I decided to ask her to come on SL, because I knew she was into gaming and the net and stuff - she was a kind of female equivalent of me!

SL somehow removes your inhibitions, probably better than alcohol, and she very quickly confessed that she had always liked me, by which I was very pleasantly surprised! We actually set up a date in RL, which went well and ended with a kiss. A few days later my mother died, of cancer.

I built a memorial for her in SL, a large marble column with some text about my mother and how she lived and died. The response was amazing - people started leaving candles and flowers all around it, and sending me messages of sympathy. SL really isn't anything special - the people playing it are.

Within a month, the shock of my mother's departure finally gave me the strength to get the hell out of my wife's house and out on my own. The RL girl and I started from scratch, and a year later we are actually very happily living together. We have a cat named Mal, after our mutual favourite TV show character, Malcom Reynolds! (Firefly) We even now have a baby on the way!

My SL character still exists, and I sometimes pop on and greet my old friends, but right now, my RL is so much more fun! Second Life changed my life, kept me sane when times were extremely tough, and released me back into the world as a happy person. I would recommend it to anyone.

davidstone78 davidstone78
26-30, M
3 Responses Aug 2, 2007

An incredible story and one I can relate to closely. Also stumbled across this earlier today and it may be of interest to peoplw posting to this thread - an SL cynic turned virtual artist and SL champion. Here tis: http://mistikkalzazzler.blogspot.com/

that is sl all over, i think sometimes its just a way to help you heal, and sometimes you need that, but it is def the people that make sl.

That is an amazing story! Its sort of sad what happened to you and your ex. I tried playing second life for a few hours and just couldn't handle it. Its amazing how people crave escaping reality.