Sunday, July 08, 2007

Tommy Taney, Remembered

Many moons ago, I wrote about how RL emotions happen in SL. Whether it be love, spite, jealousy, fear...those emotions affect us in RL.

On Thursday, a SL friend died. He was young, smart, funny, kind, generous, loving, witty, and energetic. In SL, he could dance, played a mean game of poker, and was a blast. to be around. In RL, he was all of those things, but he had muscular dystrophy and was wheel chair bound.

Tommy and I met during my research phase; he was one of only a handful of people that knew I was doing research on gender discourse; he was a guy you could trust. It turned out that we live only miles from each other. We became Skype friends and, well, he taught me some tricks on how to play SL poker!

It is sometime hard to remember that real people operate these avatars. Tommy's kind heart and his sense of humor kept him on the friends list past those 30 days. I spoke to him before he got really sick, and he never mentioned it. He didn't' want to be know that way in SL.

I tried to think of a way to remember him, but fell short. I knew he would be mad if we sat around and cried (though I did), and would rather we celebrate the life he did have and the fun he could have in Second Life. so I gathered up some friends, gave them all linden money, whipped out a blackjack table, and we played to celebrate his life.

They only gave him 2 years to live at birth. He lived 25 more. He lived fully in RL and fully in SL. He will be missed in all realities.

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