2000 Passions - 2000 Passions
Avatar Girl -

I have used Secondlife as a resident since May 2006 under my avatar, Simon Walsh and I was the first ever avatar to use a wheelchair full time.


Secondlife is a virtual world environment that has been a lifesaver for me at times where I had felt low as I had social contact when I needed it the most.  


This 3D virtual world has been a life changing experience for me, and my contributions to Secondlife have indeed been world changing.


My avatar’s full-time use of a wheelchair, which was a very natural thing for me to do, has sent shock waves around the world in media, academia and people’s lives, because of how it demonstrates disability and impairment as ‘chosen identity’.


When I started using Secondlife in 2006, the platform was regarded as being about escapism and being who you wanted to be within a ‘perfect’ environment. Therefore using a wheelchair at this time was very odd for some users but once people got used to the idea, I have had no criticisms to using a wheelchair, but people are always asking me why including the media and students around the world.


This attention was matched by the success of my award winning virtual nightclub, Wheelies, which first opened in September 2006 which is discussed further on the Wheelies page on my web site.


In December 2007, I took part in Secondlife's official version of Big Brother with 14 other contestants from around the world.


Secondlife remains an important part of my life although other commitments have limited my time ‘in world’.