There are several reasons why some of the residents of Second Life decide to have a family in this virtual world. All of the reasons vary and can be more complex than others. It could be that they are doing it for the experience, since Second Life makes it as a realistic as possible. It could be that they are reliving what they had in real life since some people who have families in SL have children and families in real life. Others may do it for fun, as it is part of having another life, but for whatever the reason, it could mean a lot to those who take part in this experience.
Abigale Whitock (Persephane) talks about her experience of having a family and why she decided to have a family in the virtual world of SL, “The reason for me is pretty simple, I can’t have children in real life any more and I wanted a good experience. When we got together in real life, we met in Second Life and we brought the relationship into real life, we weren’t married and I got pregnant young. My pregnancy was fairly normal, the only issue I had was that I was sick more than other women at pregnancy. I spent a lot of time in hospital when I was 7 months pregnant started to feel pain that got worse over time. I went to see the doctor but he told me that it was just back pain and I went home. 2 days later, in the early morning, I felt worse and my water broke. After that it went down hill. 3 days later I gave birth to a daughter and after five minutes she was gone.
I’m not sure when we decided to try Second Life pregnancy, we just always wanted children and our second life always reflected our real life, so we adopted in world and in real life we’re currently going through the same process.
My husband and I went through the complete nine months, getting pregnant through insemination. I looked for the perfect pregnancy HUD settling on one called Pooterbelt. We also spent some time looking for a good clinic, we eventually settled on a clinic called “First Choice Medical Center” where we found the doctors to be nice and offer a lot of fun ‘treatments’ such as Lamaze , weekly checks and ultrasounds as well as Yoga. They also have emergency support and other great things although we didn’t have much time to do everything.
While pregnant, we did everything we would have done in real life, from shopping to going to Lamaze classes. I think we probably did everything differently than other people, normally they’d go through a pregnancy for about three months tops but we wanted it to be as close to the real thing as possible and doing that here gave us the experience we were looking for.
Since then our SL family has grown, along with our Zooby baby, five more have joined us, we have also adopted several child avatars although one is still around and he’s been with us for almost a year.
Second Life can never replace or correct what happened to us. It did give us what we were looking for, it made us, along with our experiences in real life, strong as a family and a couple.”
She closes the interview with her own set of tips: “ If I were give advice to those are interested in having a Family in Second Life, I would say this: if you are with a partner, discuss it with them, look for a clinic that works for you as well as babies that work for you. Be careful when adopting child avatars, some of them are great but like everything else there is the odd one that can be just horrible.”
With everything we write about at the Torch SL Guide we always state that your experience will vary, this is one of those articles. As I stated before, everyone has their experience for different reasons and before you decide whether or not it is weird, look into it, talk to the people around you who have experienced it and give it a go yourself, because you’ll never now what you might find.
Why do we do it all? Because its one out of thousands of brilliant experiences that Second Life and other virtual worlds have to offer us.
Dedicated to the loving memory of Elizabeth Whitlock
Pictures by: The Whitlock Family