Up until recently, many of my posts in regard to the similarities and differences between the virtual world of Second Life and the life I live in my physical environment have been differentiated by two phrases; Second Life and "Real" Life - SL and RL.
I have since revised this to First Life as opposed to "Real Life". SL and FL
My Second Life is every bit as "real" as the other life I lead.
I have a "home", a place to rent, friends and places to see, things to do in Second Life which to all intents and purposes are just as important to me as the friends, family and things I do in my First Life.
My First Life is charachterized by its physicality. I need to eat, sleep, engage face to face with family and friends, neighbours and bank managers. I need to get the washing done and the toilet cleaned in order for that life to be enjoyed and lived positively as and when it counts.
My Second Life is characterized by its enduring visual appeal and communications. In Second Life, there are people to meet, friends to discuss issues with, new things to learn, places of interest to create and see. I don't "need" anything in Second Life that isn't directly related to 1) creative expression 2) other people or vice versa!
I've said it before and I will keep repeating it. Second Life is an EXTENTION of my First Life. It is neither a game, a mere past-time or a singular "hobby". It is every bit as important to me as the meeting I attended at my local church last Tuesday evening in my First Life.
Just as sewing is important to my mother, Second Life is important to me. Sometimes it might be perceived as an "escape" from the First Life "realities" of existence in this corporeal form of Human. But, most of the time it's simply a different expression of my creative and social nature AS a Human.
My SL won't replace or supercede my FL. But my FL is infinitely richer and more rewarding because of my SL.