We all lead this second life away from the “real” one, and many people in our real life don’t/won’t get why. Society doesn’t get it. Our parents don’t get it. Our friends, family, colleagues, even strangers don’t get it. We don’t bother explaining it anymore, because let’s be honest, you won’t get it unless you’re in it. Unless you know what it is to bond and be free in both your interaction and imagination, having them both play well together with the help of friends that have the same yearning.
It’s incomprehensible, to those living outside of it, how living in a virtual world can fulfill, inspire, heal, excite, stimulate and rejuvenate areas of our lives that somehow RL sadly can’t accomplish. Many have social anxieties and find it easier to relate in-world. Many have disabilities that make SL their only outlet. Some are creative and SL provides that additional outlet. Some are business minded and SL is their launching pad! Heck, there are as many reasons for being in SL as there are residents who choose to be in it.
Whatever the case might be, many of us spend hundreds of hours a week in this world that exists exclusively to us – the open minded who dared to explore it. Many countless hours and hundreds of friendships, but….does it really carry weight when it comes to matters behind the avatar?
We are a small collection of virtual wanderers and it seems sensible that that much time spent inworld, bonding and living, should be justified in some way by the quality of what we get out of it. In other words, at the very least our commitments and connections ought to be as authentic as we claim, especially when the chips are down.
Today, a dear sweet little SL persona of a street kid, was truly rendered homeless in RL as a result of a spontaneous fire that broke out in his RL home. He shares it with his mother, stepdad and lovely cat, Nibbler.
His name is Skyler (RL name, Mark) and he’s a dear friend to me and my son Taelor, as well as countless good citizens of SL. Inworld he lives on the streets of beautiful 1920s Berlin, an impressive sim owned and managed by Jo Yarley, and from what I know he is a very beloved part of that community. For a short time, we were blessed to have him be a part of our small orphanage family on his alternate account, Dieter.
If you have met him, you’d know that he is a friendly, gentle, sweet soul with a heart that is good through and through. SL is beautiful in the sense that we are given the opportunity to see beyond masks and directly at the heart of others. Mark’s heart shone BRIGHT LIGHT all the way through, day in and out. He is truly a good guy!
Stepping behind the scene now, that fire today has done the unthinkable and robbed him and his RL family of every single thing except their lives, the clothes on their back and the cell phones he managed to grab as he raced out of the house for dear life.
Fortunately, the insurance company has gotten them refuge for the night at a hotel, but try to keep into perspective what has happened here. He currently has no PJs to change into to sleep in said hotel, no toothbrush to use, no comb to comb his hair, no clothes to wear, no deodrant, no underwear, no nothing….!
Take a moment and try to picture the natural progression of your morning dress up routine, for instance. Such a small portion of your the day that occurs almost on reflex so you don’t step out naked into the world (and get arrested). The simple steps it’d take you to go from waking to dressed up in the morning requires the barest minimum of products. Products that Mark no longer has. Mark and his family won’t be able to step through fluidly tomorrow or the day after, because they literally have nothing! No drivers licence! No bank card, No spare key. No plastic fork….Nothing. Everything that’s taken a lifetime to gather literally needs to be replenished.
I’m not trying to exaggerate and make it sound more horrid than it is, because it IS as horrid as it gets. They have no address, no base…none of the necessities save for what they’ve been granted tonight by the insurance company. They also have no family near by. All they have right now is each other.
And well… US! All 42,659,008 of us SL residents, if we decide to do something.
Try to picture what it is like to lose EVERYTHING you have in a flash! That is where he is now, with his family. Unlike SL, it isn’t as easy as finding another sim, rezzing a new house and furniture and carrying on as if nothing happened. It’s so disorienting, and can leave one feeling so helpless…It stinks!
Please, I beg/challenge/implore you to find it in your heart to give SOMETHING/ANYTHING to this friend and his family. No matter where in the world you are, I know you can relate to this feeling of loss if you take a moment to reflect. Let it be reason enough to band together. You can make an impact even by the littlest you have to give. We can make it so that the value of SL is proved in terms that those outside of it (like his family) can quantify and feel. But more so, for “Skyler” to know his efforts existing here and making friends hasn’t been simply an act of his imagination.
Let’s act as REAL people right now and be real friends/comrades, rather than characters in a game.
If we all choose to come to his rescue in one small way. It’ll add up! You’ll feel good about it, AND the world will know that SL isn’t just a place people go to escape, but a place where friendships are just as real as the ones in RL!
We are a community, so let’s pull together like one and help them get back on their feet or at least bring them hope in humanity during this tough time!
I thank you so much in advance for your help and for sharing this so that others may help too.
Donate directly to Skyler’s Family via their GOFUNDME page!