I know it's heresy, but for the next few days I'll be logging on to real life for extended periods of time. Of course, I am a little worried that this may lead to something called Real Life Addiction, or RLA as it is known amongst Second Life therapists.
This is a syndrome that is becoming increasingly widespread in Second Life despite the fact the many people want to deny its existence. Seemingly happy avatars are spending more and more time in Real Life, seduced by its false realism and ease of access. Sufferers are choosing to forgo normal things like teleporting to mermaid-infested seas or adding new slaves to their harem, and turning to things like shopping for groceries, eating food, and even having sex using their genitals. Apparently, there is an enormous amount of sex going on in Real Life, some of it too disgusting to contemplate!
You can help.
Talk to your friends and see if they exhibit any of the following behaviors:
1. Do they fail to log in between their local hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm? This may be because they have something called "a job," which keeps them away from normal Second Life activity.
2. Do they log off at around their local time of 11:00 pm? This is indicative of their doing something called "sleeping." This is a dangerous condition where they lie down for hours and fall into unconsciousness. They are very vulnerable in this state and could easily be injured.
3. Do the say things like, "I need to log off for an hour but I'll be back." This could be an excuse to "eat," a behavior that involves putting things in their mouths and swallowing. (Note: this is a by-product of the "shopping for groceries: behavior.)
4. Do they say things like "My girlfriend/boyfriend is here" and then poof away. If you cannot see them on your Friends list, it's possible they are having a relationship in Real Life! This is very worrisome because it can lead to sex - and this can become very addictive, leading, in extreme cases, to individuals abandoning Second Life altogether and becoming lost forever.
If you suspect your friend of any of these, please make sure you help them through their crisis. Take them shopping. Go to a club. Offer sex. Buy them a primmy baby. Send them to this blog. Do whatever you have to do in order to bring them back to their senses and focus on unreality.
There's no doubt that a little Real Life can be harmless. After all, it's just a game. The trick is to balance Real Life with Second Life rather than chose one over the other. But just be aware that Real Life is out there; that is can be very seductive; and that you are not alone.
I need to log off for a few hours but I will be back.