Second Life is a virtual world. I joined in 2005 and can say for a fact that the way it is often portrayed in the media (as primarily a place for unsavory behaviors) is most definitely not what it is all about. Sure those things happen on Second Life. After all, it is a virtual world where one can do almost anything one wants and create almost anything you desire. It is so, so much more though.
It is a place where those (such as myself) who are disabled in real life can do many things that we cannot do in real life such as go skiing, drive a car, fly a plane etc.
Even those who are not disabled in real life can experience things in Second Life not available to them in real life – you can fly (without a plane), take a trip to the moon, climb mountains, go scuba diving, horseback riding along country trails, spend time in almost any type of boat or ship navigating waterways with a wide variety of themes and landscapes, meditate in a beautiful zen garden, etc. Or just relax at home and enjoy a beautiful sunrise.
Second Life is where I met Jamey
Most importantly of all, you can meet people from all around the world you most likely never would have met otherwise. Not only have long lasting friendships been made in Second Life, but so have many real life relationships including marriages. I met two of the most important people in my life there, one in 2005 and one in 2007. I now share my real life (and this blog) with the one I met in 2007, i.e., Jamey.
Jamey loves his science meetings
We both have many long time friends and activities in Second Life. Jamey is very much into science and math and attends regular weekly science based meetings where he can gather with others to discuss some of the latest happenings in science. He is particularly interested in outer space and one of his weekly meetings is devoted specifically to that topic.
What else can you do in Second Life?
There are also religious groups for practically every religion in Second Life. You can gather and meet with others who practice the same religion that you do from around the world or it can be a way for you to learn more about a religion you have been curious about. You can visit art museums and libraries (yes, there are actual books you can read in Second Life). And, of course, you can go shopping for things for your avatar and home, which can be anything from a mansion or castle to a small log cabin or shack. As with everything else in Second Life, it is all up to you.
If you are in a long distance relationship
If you are in a long distance relationship, you can get together on Second Life while you are apart in real life and go dancing in a club with almost any theme (and type of music) that appeals to you or you can cuddle by the fireplace at home while chatting in text or voice.
From Second Life to Real Life
Jamey and I are both grateful to the developers of Second Life for all that we have experienced there over the years, not the least of which is the many long term friendships (some of which have spilled over into real life) we have made there, and, of course, our own relationship.