Well, why not? Why anything in SL? Because we can. Second Life is a world made by us, for us, to do with what we want. Lots of people want lots of different things. Now, while this entire article is mainly my opinion and my own personal feelings and experiences, I do believe that what I have to say may match the mindset of many.
A little while ago, there was a great article written by Marianne McCann, a Second Life resident and child avatar, about why people may chose to play child avatars in SL. She made several very valid points. And it’s in this article that I can also see several reasons why people may decide to parent SL children.
Maybe this is something you’ve never thought about. I have to admit that until starting this blog, it wasn’t the foremost thought in my mind. But I also know I didn’t just one day wake up and say “I wonder if I can bring one of those short people I saw at that store home with me!” The choice to become a virtu-mommy (or virtu-daddy) comes differently to everyone. For me, I was ready for a change in my SL and a new adventure. I got exactly what I was looking for.
Some people just want the experience. I have to say that of all the experiences that I’ve had since coming to SL 3 years ago (and there have been plenty), being a virtu-mommy is one of the most challenging and rewarding that I’ve had, unlike any other. Role playing takes on a whole different light when you make the decision to dive into the family community, at least it did for me. And trust me when I say, going from medieval fantasy RP to full-time mommy mode was a big culture shock. But it was also one that I would not change for anything.
I am by no means saying that we all think or role play the same way. There are some more dedicated to strictly PG, family only, realistic role play, 24/7. Others are much more relaxed, letting connections flow into activities into bonding into familial ties. And still others just enjoy having a group of people to “hang out” with and call “family”. But there are so many aspects to the family community, nothing is cut-and-dry. And underneath those aspects are subsets of people and groups that make the entire process work. There’s sort of a collective mindset here, shared by those who wish to have a safe, happy environment to role play out what makes them happy. When familial ties are formed in SL, despite the drama and the hurt that may come with them, those ties are there.
On a more serious side of things, sharing a last name with a person does not make you their “parent”. It’s a mind-set, a way that you look at all situations between you and the person (or people) that you are promising to love and care for. When someone trusts you as their Second Life parent, that person is trusting you with their inner child. It’s a responsibility that should never be taken lightly or for granted. Not to make everything sound all drab and hard and scary, but people are vulnerable, they just are. And just like real life children, the people that you trust (trust goes both ways here if I didn’t mention that) to be the child to your parent are trusting you to be the parent to their inner child. No matter the age difference or similarities, the family activities or how you spend time together, when you make that commitment, it’s made.
Some people undertake this responsibility and discover that it’s not for them. While that sucks for all involved, it’s better that they figure that out and begin to live their SL how they were meant to live it. For those, like myself, who decide to work through the heartaches and the ups and downs because it’s what we want to do, parenting in Second Life can be rewarding like no other type of role play experience.
So, why become a Second Life parent? Because people want children. Because some people want childhoods and those people need to be cared for and protected and the parents are those who do that protecting. Because people want genuine, deeply bonded relationships. Why have families in SL? Well, because we want them! I’m sure there are more reasons. If I missed some that you’d like to see talked about, or you’d like your personal reasons highlighted, submit to my Ask Me page, or leave a comment!
As always, my inbox is always open! ❤