Touching Real Lives with Second Life

Brianna’s typist temporarily hijacked her blog, but promises to give it back soon.

“My family doesn’t “get” Second Life.”  I’m sure many of you have heard that, and possibly even have that issue in your own family.  There’s no “end state” or way to “win” in Second Life like other MMORPGs…well, at least not for most of us.

My husband is a banker, and as such, he feels it’s his duty to ensure my checkbook is balanced…to the penny.  He also has no interest in understanding my penchant for Second Life. For those of you who know where I’m coming from,  I’m sure you can imagine our first conversation concerning spending real USD for virtual property.  I remember proudly showing him my SL interior decorating skills, which made him inquire as to why I haven’t put the same detail in our RL home.  “Babe, when I can have our house look this good for $7, I’m there”  *insert playful smile*  Two days ago, he asked about the slight increase in my SL spending (which isn’t much, by the way; my tradeoff was giving up my designer coffees ((well, most of ’em)) to fund this form of entertainment).

Anyway, I told him I used the extra money to start a business for Brianna, and the rest was for donations to a few charities.  He looks at me, eyebrows raised, and asks if these are real charities or fake ones…?  Okay, maybe I deserved that question, since the few initial interactions he watched Brianna partake in, in the past, consisted of a Barbie-like doll, dressed to the nines, out on a dance floor. I’ve never explained to him about the diversity of Second Life.

“Yes, the money goes to real charities.”  I watch his eyes squint as he processes the concept.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit, that I really don’t give alot of thought to what Brianna donates to;  if I believe in the cause, and have been fairly generous with Brianna’s allowance, we donate.   However,  an event tonight made me feel really good about one of my choices. Brianna was busy taking pictures when a notice came in, and, barely glancing at it, I almost hit the discard button.

This one was a plea for help…for a real person..with a real life problem.  A veteran.  I immediately opened group chat to follow along with the conversation.  Now, I’m not going to give out details here, as that’s the group’s business, but I do want to recognize the work done by Second Life’s US Military Veterans group.

In my little over a year’s time in SL, I’ve always been at the max group limit.  Groups come and go, as Brianna evolves her character, based upon her needs, she drops and joins groups.  However, the US Military Veterans Group has been a constant, and will remain as such.  Never have I seen a group of people in SL who work as hard as this group to effect RL change for an individual, whether it’s a vet suffering from PTSD, a retiree who didn’t get their check and wonders how s/he’s going to pay the bills, helping out someone who’s simply lonely (nothing “simple” about that), or passing out info of use to the group, such as upcoming legislation, updates to Veterans benefits, etc…these guys are always there to help.

They are not a role-play group, so don’t assume you can pull the wool over their eyes with your best RP swagger to join. But,  if you’re a Real Life veteran, family member, or supporter, check them out.  Maybe you don’t need their help, but maybe, possibly, someone in the group could use yours.  Who knows?  You could be the person that touches someone’s Real Life in a positive way.

You can find the group’s headquarters at

US Military Veterans Group sim "Patriot Island"

Bri’s typist,    USAF, Retired

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