Relay for Life in Second Life

Have you had a chance to check out the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life (RFL) in the virtual world of Second Life?   My colleague, Liz Dorland (SL = Chimera Cosmos) took me in for a tour this week – and what an experience it is! This is a amazing temporary build set up for a virtual relay that is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.  It includes some of the most amazingly creative structures and experiences – gardens, cathedrals, ferris wheels, pagodas, and waterfalls….if you can imagine it, it’s there.

Teh RFL track, lined with luminaria

Liz had already spent a lot of time, wandering through the exhibits so she was able to guide me to the greatest hits.  A good place to start is in the Relay Informaton Station. There you get your orientation notecards, your pedometer (to measure how far you walk), and some good basic information. I learned that, in 2009, the Relay for Life was held in 21 countries around the world to raise money to fund cancer research. The Second Life version of RFL is built along a central artery, or track, along which you walk with your avatar, stopping to see whatever interests you as you go.  The track is lined with Luminaria which were lite on Saturday (July 178th) in a special ceremony of hope. Each luminaria (pictured here) represents one person – surviving or deceased – and each is set to receive a donation (starting at $L100).  The luminary changes color as the Linden dollars mount.  So if you see a green one it’s in the $100- 999 range, a pink one is in the $1000 – 2,499 range.  All the way up to yellow with fireworks (over $L10,000).

Second Life map, showing the Relay For Life square

As you can see on my SL world map here, the RFL track is set up in a giant, hollowed-out square.  You walk the square (along the track) and visit sites along the way.  Notice all the green dots (other avatars) on the map – when it was running live, Liz tells me, the map was covered with green dots!

From the starting point, Liz lead me to this one – a beautiful gothic cathedral on RFL Knowledge, called St. Illuminatius Cathedral.  I was so taken by the details here – inside and out.  Stained glass, rough-hewn rock surfaces, shadows and light….you could almost smell the incense.  This one was built by Abel Dreamscape of Morphe Inc.

A little bit down the path we came upon this incredible structure.  It’s a Tesla built by Tensai Hilra and Total Lunar Eclipse.  Sort of a magical, Jules-Verne-like structure surrounded by steam-punk looking flowers, complete with falling pollen.  Electricity courses down those wires that you see, threaded between insulators and the whole place lights up (amazing!).

Next door to the Tesla building was another tower with this incredibly powerful looking statue inside (nice texture).Rotating above the statue is a rotating model of a lunar eclipse.  And if you notice, the filagree windows in the stone walls each look a little different – if you use your camera controls to zoom in on those, you can actually see through them to the mountains on the outside.  Alix Stoanes is the builder here. Lovely.

Unfortunately, Relay for Life is temporary – so if you can, go in today, before everything comes down. If you’d like to see more of the pictures I took while touring around, you can look them over on Koinup or check out Liz’s photos here.


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