Breast Cancer Avatars on Second Life?

Indeed. You can have have virtual breast cancer, wear pink t-shirts, attend pink ribbon fund raising events, and even go to a support group. I’m speechless. Luckily, Anna Rachnel who writes The Cancer Culture Chronicles is not. What follows is Rachnel’s post about second life, titled “Virtual Breast Cancer.”

Virtual Breast Cancer by Anna Rachnel (October 22, 2010)

Today I thought I would take you for a magical mystery ride into a real-life Bizarro World.  So strap yourself in, sit back and enjoy the ride! Have you heard of Second Life ?  It’s basically social networking in 3-D with a fantasy gaming edge to it.  So you can create a 3-D avatar for yourself, choose your name, look, clothes etc and inhabit a virtual world of your choosing.  You can do all the things that you would do in normal life, like shopping, meeting people, decorate a house, run a business, have a relationship and…..wait for it……have breast cancer !!!!

You can even send your avatar to a virtual support group where you’ll be met by a virtual breast cancer counselor, and you can invite all your little virtual friends to a virtual breast cancer awareness fundraising event at something called Club Coalesce, where all the virtual money raised goes to helping run the virtual breast cancer support group that you attend in fighting your virtual breast cancer.

Now I don’t know about you, but this struck me as completely and utterly bizarre. If you wanted to inhabit a Utopian world, full of handsome manly men and perfectly proportioned and unrealistically sized women, why on earth would you want cancer to be part of that perfectly proportioned fantastic unreal virtual reality?

 The creators of Second Life aren’t in it for free. It’s a business. And within the Second Life world, you can run a virtual business and earn Linden dollars (yes  it’s a virtual currency), and then use your $L profits to purchase more virtual stuff for your perfect little virtual world. So wouldn’t you know it? The Breast Cancer Awareness pink ribbon profit-making business has made it to the Second Life Marketplace.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more ridiculous right ?

Now just in case anyone’s starting to feel a little teary at the thought of all those poor little virtual buxom breast cancer victims, and the virtual Breast Cancer Awareness Party Box just isn’t cheering you up, there is a place you can go to find virtual solace in your now slightly imperfect virtual world. Yes! A virtual Breast Cancer Tribute Garden “located within the beautiful Gardens of Absentia, this special area sets out to raise awareness about breast cancer. It is dedicated to remembering both loved ones and survivors of this global disease”.

But have no fear. If you’re now so virtually depressed that you feel like you want to jump off the closest virtual cliff and end your miserable virtual life, I say “don’t do it! “You can fix it and make it all go away. All for the bargain price of $1L. A magical breast cancer wand! Just what I’ve always wanted. If only it were that simple.

Read more of Anna’s insights on The Cancer Culture Chronicles.
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1 comment to Breast Cancer Avatars on Second Life?

  • Gayle – I’m sure there aren’t many instances that you are rendered speechless, but I certainly appreciate it in this case. Many thanks for featuring my blog post. And to leave you with another thought on this topic. I think it’s so interesting, nay frightening, that given a chance to create from scratch an alternative existence in an alternative universe (albeit virtual), that Breast Cancer wasn’t one of the things that the Creators chose to leave out. What does this really say ????

"women urged to get screened because it might save their lives. But that’s only 1 possible outcome, and it’s the least likely one" @cragcrest

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