Naiki’s 365 this past week was health which I find an interesting topic in SL. People come to SL for many reasons, but one that is fairly common is because they have RL health issues that may impact their abilities. I have met deaf people, mute people, epileptic people, cancer survivors, people dealing with active cancer, people with MS, people confined to wheelchairs, people with autism spectrum disorder who find it easier to communicate with their avatars than in RL and people with a host of other disabling illnesses. I’ve lost friends battling with cancer. I myself am a cancer survivor, a fact I share willingly because I believe that education is so important…and if little ole avatar me can make one diagnosis less scary, or one person go for a mammogram, well, I’m the same in RL and in SL. There are many of my SL friends that I know little about their RLs other than perhaps what continent or timezone they are in. I myself tend to be a little vague on location because I’m slightly security paranoid, but I find great comfort in my SL friends who share that little RL part of themselves…we have a bond….beyond the game, we have a support network that we can lean on when we need to. Odd that pixels can bring that sort of comfort to my life, but it’s not like you can walk around the mall and stop interesting looking people and ask if they’ve every had cancer! So, kudos to those who are toughing out some major life crap while letting their avatar live vicariously. In memory of friends that were taken too soon….visit the american cancer society’s memorial garden….it’s a lovely SL place, where you can honor a RL or SL friend or family member. It’s a reminder that behind ever pixel is a person who deserves respect, compassion, support and understanding.