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If You Have a Second Life You May Want to Consider Getting a First One

By: Bobby Finstock on 01/31/08 @ 6:35 am

For those of you that don’t know, Second Life is a giant online video game where people can establish alternate realities for themselves. I don’t like Second Life. I don’t get the appeal of it, I don’t want to get the appeal of it, and I have open disdain for it. We were talking about a couple in class the other night that was having marital difficulties because the husband was married to another woman in the game Second Life. While it could not be considered adultery, even though their avatars were having sex online, it could be considered grounds for divorce and in some cases it has been. (And really if you haven’t had avatar sex with someone with a horses head, well I guess you haven’t lived.)

There have been articles written about this (like this one) that talk about people getting things from these cyber relationships that they can’t get at home. I get that, sometimes you need an outlet that you might not be getting at home. Your significant other might not have the same interests, so it is good to discuss certain topics with people online, establish some friendships. That is totally logical, but when it gets to the point where you are getting married to another character and banging them, well haven’t we crossed the line a tad? Don’t you think you may want to disconnect from the internet for awhile and talk to your partner saying something like, “Honey, you know how I always ask you to use the feather duster to tickle my anus while hooking the car battery up to my testicles and you refuse? Well I found someone online that will do that for me on Second Life. That is why I go on there every night after work for 8 hours, you see I am not balancing our stock portfolio. I think we need to work something out, like maybe just using Duracells instead of a car battery”

How do you get to a point in your life where you are basically so disillusioned with your relationship that you decide that having a fake one with an image onscreen is the way to go? I think this makes real cheating so much more logical. Let’s take that crappy Zack Braff movie “Last Kiss” as an example, in the movie he cheats on his pregnant fiancé with a hot college chick. The fiancé flips out when finding out about this, understandably so. Now the girl Braff cheats on his girlfriend with is played by Rachel Bilson.

rachel bilson

While her hotness doesn’t make the cheating right or forgivable, at least you can somewhat wrap your head around it. A young college seductress that probably invigorates him and makes him feel free on some level. Versus let’s say a Second Life avatar:

second life avatar

Plus you have the added bonus that the avatar could be run by a dude, so your boyfriend has been having online sex with an avatar after building a relationship up with a “woman” that is probably actually another guy at the end of it. What makes you feel worse? If this happened in the movie his fiancé would probably have shot him.

If it were me and I was married or dating someone I would personally rather have her getting split into two by her personal trainer rather than her coming home getting on the computer for hours and having cyber sex with another cartoon character. Throw in her getting married in a game because she feels like I can’t give her what she wants emotionally and you have the worst possible situation ever. In fact this makes me want to never have a meaningful relationship so I don’t have to worry about it, so um who wants to go bang on Second Life?

Which do you think is worse, someone cheating on you in real life or someone cheating on you in an online video game?

Filed in: Pop Culture

About the author

Bobby Finstock

Finstock is founder of Pointlessbanter.net. He is known for his encyclopedia like knowledge on the life and times of Scott Baio. In the future he hopes to write again under his own name in order to impress the ladies and build his celebrity to the levels of other failed internet writers.

49 Responses to “If You Have a Second Life You May Want to Consider Getting a First One”

  1. Steve says:

    Are you serious? These things can have sex?

    I’ve done some sick things in my life but having some avatar have sex for me isn’t one of them.

    These people are dumb as hell. They should really get the shit kicked out of them.

  2. Steve says:

    Nothing wrong with a sex doll…Unless it’s a guy sex doll. That is just wrong.

    Oh btw, I changed my website from Kingsteve.wordpress to Http://sansbrains.com

  3. Jamie says:

    Cheating is cheating, whether it be real life or second life. Although I do agree, it would probably be more understandable if my husband cheated with a real woman and not an avatar…although he’d lose his balls either way. Just kidding (kinda). :)

  4. Ben Dover says:

    What happened to the good ole’ days, where you HAD SEX?! I think this behavior is destroying families, because at least real cheating is understandable. Little Jimmy can at least say, “we’ll at least that whore has bigger tits than mommy.” Shame,Shame, Shame.

  5. em em says:

    I don’t know what would be worse, either way I think it’s cheating, but I also couldn’t be married to a “gamer”, so that would factor in at some point.

    • Dou says:

      You wouldn’t be married to a “gamer”??

      Oh gees…the horrors of your significant other playing games.

      Sorry, but I don’t agree with that statement. There are many people that play games.

      • em em says:

        I don’t mind people who play games…occasionally. I don’t sweat my boyfriend over the Xbox he spends a little time on. It’s the people who spend 12-18 hours a day in front of a game and have no real life, and I don’t feel bad about saying that at all. I live in the real world, I require that of the people I choose to spend my life with. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having that kind of standard.

        • Douleur says:

          There are those that spend a few hours, one hour or even ten hours “gaming”. But generalizing a “gamer” is just a person that “plays and enjoys games”. They do live in the “real world” yet enjoy spending a bit of time playing a game.

          Now what about those that actually get paid to “play games” you know…those “gamers”. Do they have no “real life?”

          • em em says:

            The people that I know that enjoy a few hours a week of video games do not consider themselves “gamers”. The “gamers” I do know, rarely see the light of day when they have the choice (not job related- free time related). When your activity of preference is to sit inside the house in front of something that is not real in lieu of spending time with real friends and family or actually getting out into the real world, I find that problematic for my particular lifestyle. Notice I made no judgements, I simply state that I would not be married to a person with those preferences. For me virtual reality is no subsitute for actual reality. After having a friend have to kick out the father of her child because of an extreme addiction to World of Warcraft, I feel I’ve made the right decision. I have no desire to ever have to compete with a game for a loved one’s time, and therefore I won’t.

  6. Lori says:

    I really have no comment other than I’m glad I’m not the only one that thought “Last Kiss” was a crappy movie. I didn’t even finish watching it.

  7. PitChik says:

    I’m just glad me and my man don’t do internet games. I mean I play on pogo.com but that is waaaaaaaaaaaay different. We refuse to connect our PS3 to the internet at all or the Dreamcast for that matter!

  8. Dou says:

    Banging on Second Life is actually funny.

    But you have to realize something when you go into these types of games. “RL” and “SL”. There has to be a complete distinction.

    That’s what virtual reality is – escapism. If you consider those that play these types of games lame then you’re talking about over 2 million people that are lame.

    • PitChik says:

      Easy enough to do since there are over 4 billion people in the world. 2 million is a small percentage, hahahaha

  9. Laura says:

    I never heard of second life. I suppose it’s better than those parents who try to live vicariously through their children. Personally, I’d rather try to make my real life better before I start trying to get a second life to fix whatever is wrong in my reality.

  10. sporkgasm says:

    cheating is cheating is cheating. i personally would never be with someone who would even play one of those weird games, so it’s not something i’d ever have to deal with. seriously, who the fuck would be in a relationship with someone who’s online 8 hours a day, and it isn’t a paying job? self-esteem is free. people need to get some.

  11. Matty says:

    Rachel Bilson is hot. Like she’d have anything to do with Zack Braff in real life, but I guess that is Hollyweird for ya. Pffffttttt.

  12. Sophia sturges says:

    I’ve never heard of that game, but that muscle anatomy picture is creepy. My hubby plays W.O.W. I’ve never gotten the roleplaying games, (I know there are a lot of couples who play this together) but everyone has their little hobbies. As long as they’re not hurting anyone, I’m not here to judge.

  13. randi says:

    How out of touch am I that I had no idea such a “game” existed? Whatever happened to Super Mario Brothers?
    Adults that “play” this shit should be shot.

  14. Meghan says:

    You’re really having an Animated Porn kind of week! I’ll assume you’ve seen getafirstlife.com. ‘Fornicate Using Your ACTUAL Genitals’.

  15. christine says:

    Second Life seems like the logical next step to reality shows… people getting hung up on someone else’s “reality”… which is the logical conclusion to the earlier writer’s strike and people getting hung up on soap operas… imo. Second life is just an interactive soap opera. IMO soap operas, reality TV AND second life are a lame excuse for a real life. But then again… so is this, right?

  16. Michele says:

    Didn’t I see this on a cop show? Some psycho killed a stripper avatars real person? I thought it was made up for the show. go figure. Of course, I’m still shocked people can lose themselves for hours at a time playing world of warcraft.

  17. Tish says:

    Why when anyone and everyone ever talks about SL.. its always about sex, and all the sex.

    Second Life is ENTIRELY open source, you create, build, code, anything and everything possible.

    Why does no one mention that? is everyone just too preoccupied with their dicks to think other wise?

    Don’t shoot SL down because of the sex, you can be as far away from the sex as you want, you don’t even have to get anywhere NEAR it.

    • Kevin says:

      Ok, remove the sex from it and it still is a complete waste of time.

      • Tish says:

        Well I guess you’re not much for web interactivity, programming, technology, and the internet then.

        You could say the exact argument about the Internet Period, and I suppose yes I would be making this same argument aswell.

        Second Life is the Internet, just animated.

        So, I assume you believe all the same about the internet then, eh?

        • Kevin says:

          I won’t deny that the technology is revolutionary but the site is still a flat out waste of time. The stats show that the usage for second life isn’t there compared to other social networks.

          The TECHNOLOGY of second life might be a base for something larger in the future but right now it is just the SIMS on steroids.

    • Douleur says:

      Because those that actually do play it don’t want to be harrassed by others that don’t look at the whole picture.

      It’s not just about sex, I agree. But then again, that’s how people pick out the weak spots of things.

  18. Meghan says:

    I dated a guy last year who called me immediately after he found out about Second Life. He wanted to tell me about it, AND to ask if I would help him build his virtual profile?!?! Luckily, I was already two steps from breaking up with him because his Primary Life plan was in the shitter. In the end he cheated on me the old fashioned way – drunk, with a girl he had previously told me was a lesbian friend, followed by lots of lying and regret afterwords. Kinda warms the heart.

  19. Vic Beckham says:

    I’m actually thinking of starting a ghetto in Secondlife. There have to be some Secondlifers who want to spend their play money on prostitutes, strippers, crack, gambling, etc. right? Doesn’t Secondlife need a hood? I’m going to buy land and open pawn shops, strip clubs, liquor stores, and payday advances. It’ll be my own 2ndlife version of The Wire. Where can I find Omar?

    • Kevin says:

      I’m in… Can I be Cheese or Bode… well an alive Bode.

      • Vic Beckham says:

        Ha ha. I want to be Weebay. Have you been watching Season 5? I know a good website where you can watch the episodes before they air. I think they have up to episode 7.

        If I learn how this 2nd Life is done, I am seriously going to build a hood in there. We’ll have avatars playing craps on the corner.

  20. hands off the diet coke says:

    I tried second life to see the appeal. The news has reports of second life people going dancing, going to news programs, various concerts, but all I found was people who liked to walk their avatar around naked and have sex. You had to find the right sex balls though.

  21. James says:

    All I got from this blog is you having the need to express how much you disliked Last Kiss and how much you love Rachel Bilson

  22. csven says:

    “Which do you think is worse, someone cheating on you in real life or someone cheating on you in an online video game?”

    Neither is an issue to me. A long time ago a woman I planned to marry cheated on me. I got angry. But when it was all said and done I made a choice.

    In that case, I stayed. I could have left.

    I also made another choice, not to “own” anyone; to think of them more as a piece of property than a person who can and should be free to do as they please.

    In the end I left that relationship. No, she didn’t “cheat” again, afaik. And no, I didn’t cheat on her. But she did treat me like property and would become violently jealous at the drop of the proverbial hat (e.g. a primetime television commercial)

    As for Second Life, it’s a shame people only see what’s on the surface (sort of like how they view “cheating”, perhaps). A recent video from some researchers in Georgia shows why the issue *isn’t* the videogame/virtual world/technology, but rather the people using it. In other words, should phones be avoided because some people use them to have phone sex? Should computers be discarded because a few lonely housewives sat in chatrooms striking up text-based relationships, some of which led to marital splits? That’s what this post is suggesting.

    Instead of judging too quickly, watch this and perhaps you’ll stop thinking of SL, or any 3D technology, from one extraordinarily narrow perspective – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2i-W9ncV_0

    • Kevin says:

      I study social media and new media in grad school. While the technology of second life impresses me the use of it does not, it is a niche site for people with too much time on their hands.

    • Steve says:

      Are you fucking kidding me? Please tell me you’re joking.
      That video was dumb as hell. Second Life is LAME and so are the people who use it. PERIOD.
      And if you start trying to make your avatar appear in the real world then you have serious mental problems.

  23. csven says:

    By the way, there are many practical, productive uses for the technology shown in the above video. For example, Boeing has long been interested in it because it would make aircraft maintenance easier and more efficient.
    National Geographic has a short video showing some of the practical uses: National Geographic video.

  24. 2manycatslady says:

    I find the avatar thing rather alarming and revolting. If it ever comes to the point that I would consider something like that sexually attractive, would some body please shoot me? I have enough trouble in real life. I don’t want a second one.

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  26. csven says:

    @Kevin – “While the technology of second life impresses me the use of it does not, it is a niche site for people with too much time on their hands.

    My father says that about the internet; “for people who got nothing better to do than waste time”. He wouldn’t even understand what “social media” is, but he might say it was stupid and for people who didn’t know how to do real work for a living.

    @Steve – “Are you fucking kidding me? Please tell me you’re joking.

    No. I’m not. And neither are the corporations investing in this technology.

    That video was dumb as hell. Second Life is LAME and so are the people who use it. PERIOD.

    In the early 90’s people said the same thing – made the same kinds of overreaching declarations – about the World Wide Web. Funny how history repeats.

    And if you start trying to make your avatar appear in the real world then you have serious mental problems.

    I’d suggest you talk with the people at Cisco ( http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=csco ); get them some mental health treatment. They’ve been pushing virtual conferences hard this past year. Talking about how it makes more sense to hold virtual conference meetings with people from various globally-dispersed locations than fly them all over the place. In fact, there’s a story about it today: Christian Renaud on Traveling Virtually to Live Eco-Friendly.

    Personally, as a product developer, I could definitely use a better means of communicating with my overseas clients. And augmented reality technology – coupled with the CAD data I sometimes generate – would speed the process and lower the costs (including the retail prices people pay for goods).

    I guess being more efficient and paying less isn’t something you want. Well, to each their own.

    btw, you all realize that Amazon’s engineers are especially interested in this technology (they’re often experimenting in Second Life), and that eBay’s founder is one of the investors that kept it afloat, yes? Oh wait. No one here uses Amazon or eBay, do they? That’s because buying stuff on the internet is something only fools would do, right?

  27. typical one-sided commentary says:

    Every article I’ve ever read about Second Life that portrays it negatively thus far have had one thing in common:

    ALL of them focused on sex.

    Every. Single. One.

    Perhaps if you could shift your focus away from your penis, you might find a thing or two to appreciate about SL.

    There are a lot of talented musicians who are performing “live” in SL that I would never have heard of otherwise. I’m able to do things with SL machinima that simply wouldn’t be possible with my real life videocamera unless I happened to be a Hollywood director with a special effects outlet like ILM at my disposal. There are lots of real life artists who have set up virtual galleries, yet another set of people that I would never have learnt about were it not for SL. And then you have the artists who are exploiting SL and using it to express themselves in ways that unique to the virtual environment and they could not possibly accomplish otherwise.

    There’s so much more to SL than just digital wanking, folks. Sheesh.

  28. Jillian says:

    For the married/living together folks who are getting involved in “love” on SL. I am the spouse of a cyber sex/fantasy addict. He went in world, originally for business reasons he said. Within a week, he was spending every waking hour in world. I asked what was going on, what the deal was etc etc, do I have anything to worry about with you in “there”. I was assured no, nothing going on. He would come home from work, wolf down his food, and run to the computer within 1/2 hour after arriving home. Stayed up all night, would pass out drunk in front of the computer, be HOURS late for work. I would spend at least a half hour trying to get him to wake up, and it was not successful, he would just go back to sleep/passed out world. He basically abandoned his family for a hot avatar, telling her he loved her, proposed to her. He was so caught up in the fantasy, he couldn’t stop. He was 20 again, she was his princess. I sat alone every night, slept alone every night, had nobody to share with anymore. He continued to deny his behavior. Since trust was now lost, I logged on, bagged him and her. Reality hit him in the face. Got all the sorry didn’t mean to etc etc, told me it had stopped. Well come to find out, he was still logging on, lying to her as well, telling her he had left me, was living alone etc etc. She is also married, also cheating on her husband, and also neglecting her family. The feelings there are real? Hmmm…the fantasy is real, the feelings are not. How could they be, they are part of the fantasy. He betrayed 20 years of US, was thinking of leaving me for her at one point, but the problem was…since she is also a cyber sex fantasy love addict, when I took away his computer and the SH** hit the fan in RL, she appears to have found somebody new to be her prince charming.

    I would urge anyone who is in a RL relationship and is cheating on their SIG in SL, step back and look at what you are doing. Are you prepared for the devastation that your actions will cause when you get caught? And you will get caught. Your spouse has that gut feeling. Think seriously about the avatar you “love”…words..anyone can say those, how does one know they are true, who is it really behind the avatar? Actions, that prove love…those are done in RL. It is a fantasy world. He lied to her, she lied to him..it was make believe. If you prefer a relationship based on lying, cheating and dishonesty, then I would say have fun in SL. Both of the people in my case, were lying, betraying and cheating. Is that really the character of a good person? The character of a person you want to “love”? When you lose your RL over it, suddenly the fantasy goes out the window. Its a pretend world folks..may seem real to you if you have issues, but it is a pretend world. 3 months in SL and he is “in love”, vs, 12 years of friendship and 9 of living together. Gee I know who I would pick *shrug*. If you are hiding your behavior from your SIG, that is your brain telling you it is wrong…if it is so right, why do you hide it. If it is so much what you really want, the SL relationship…why do you lie both in real life AND to the avatar? Why not just say I found the love of my life am leaving etc etc. Reason? You know it isn’t real, you lie to keep what you have that is real. Wake up, second life cheaters are ruining lives with your behavior. As to which is worse, a one night stand or 6 months of sharing every waking moment with a stranger and abandoning you spouse and children to use a cartoon penis to screw a cartoon vagina and type oh yeah baby you make me feel so good..and lie about love rather than deal with your problems which are of your own making? I do know the answer to that one.

    I created an account to catch him as I said. What have I found there, well lots of the above, but in fact there are good things there. Dieting groups, religious meetings, AA meetings, support groups, charities, educational things. So it is the person driving the game. Not the game. Funny how all my time there I have never been approached by anyone for flirting or anything…so hmmm…people go there looking. If you don’t look, you don’t find.

  29. Concerned says:

    Second Life is ruining my relationship. I have been in the relationship with the same guy for almost six years. We are a gay couple. he found second life and is now a sex slave in order to get the nice virtual clothing. It is like an egyptian harem of sorts but even worse. He talks sexual he has even told his “masters” he loves them. he tells me to not worry he can determine the difference between sl and rl. he normally ignores me anyways for the most part but now he is ignoring me even more and it hurts. I dont want to leave him as I know I have been with him so long I cant take care of myself on my own. I do love him and I just want him back. Originally he had a porno addiction that stopped for a few months then he went back to porno now I have to contend with porno and second life for his attention. He says he pays attention to me while playing but really just saying two or three words when I ask a question isnt really paying attention is it? If i were a stronger person i would wait until he goes to work and just pack my bags and leave no matter how much I love him just to see if he would come for me. Thing is i have no where to go no friends no relatives that care enough for me because of who i am. I am scared.

    • Jillian says:

      Hugs concerned, that is how it was for me too. He just lied and lied. Its not you hon, therapists will tell you that as well (I am in therapy over this). There is something broken in your partner. Those who do what “ours” do justify it any way they have to, IE, it’s us, it’s just a game, nothing going on, it’s just virtual, I deserve to relax, if you gave me what I need I wouldn’t do this etc etc on and on. In my case, I gave him everything sexually and emotionally he asked for, gave him honesty, caring, committment etc, there was nothing wrong with us, there IS something wrong with HIM, his therapist says so as well. All the people who do this share one big thing …they LIE LIE LIE, to keep their addiction. You deserve more, once trust is broken, it is just that, broken. Is like living with a junkie.

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