The “Filling the Cauldron” event is in full swing, the marketplace is brimming with lovely goods, bids are being made for the silent auction items, the donation kiosks are in constant use, the event is approaching its climax, the Live Auction… and I am asking whether all this is real…? Many of you stare at the screen with a raised eyebrow, I suppose, Dear Readers… so let me elaborate a bit.
Quite much has been said about Second Life by professionals – psychiatrists, psychologists, media experts and the ilk – and laymen as well, and one of the returning debate topics is whether any feelings experienced in SL can be considered “real”. As far as love is concerned, many residents openly admit that their emotions for their SL partner are at least as (or even more) intense as the feelings they have for their RL husband or wife. On the other hand, at least as many other residents will say that such love is merely an illusion.
And what about friendship, compassion and support? Some sharp-tongued opinion makers suggest that we choose to be charitable in Second Life because it requires no other action than transferring some money to a virtual account, and we can return to our daily routines without a single drop of sweat on our RL foreheads.
So are we all here, filling the Cauldron, because we want to tick the box that says “Be good”? Or maybe it is all about some superficial impressions and “almost-as-good-as-real” feelings of friendship and sympathy? Not at all, Dear Readers, I don’t think so.
Although in Second Life one never truly knows who he or she is “playing” with, nobody can hide their real personality inworld forever. Sooner or later the real you will shine or burn through the image that you have created of yourself in Second Life. A kind person will be kind, a mean spirited one will be nasty, just like in RL. Some people will reveal themselves through their words, some through their deeds and interactions with other residents, and still others through their creations. We might not have met RL Elicio, but his art speaks for him clearly and loudly, and this is why we have gathered around the Cauldron. You haven’t supported an illusion created by smoke and mirrors, Dear Readers, but a real man with a gentle soul, great artistic skills and a unique imagination.