Why I dislike the term “RL”

A recent Plurk thread got me thinking again about my disdain for the term “RL” when used in contrast to SL. I do understand that most of the time, the term “RL” is used in relation to your privacy, and yeah, whatever. Do you, boo.┬áBut if you’re a content creator, and you feel like what you do in SL isn’t “real” then you’re doing yourself a disservice.

I sell a vendor system in SL, and it’s a combination of LSL (SL scripting), HTML5/CSS3, Javascript, PHP, and MySQL. Trust me when I say those are “real” technologies. And my recent job search proved that, when the interviewers were equally interested in my SL business as they were in my day job experience. You can bet that SL was listed on my resume as my own side business where I create an e-Commerce system for an MMORPG.

If you can texture, or you can do 3D models, then you’re using very advanced software and what you do is absolutely valid and valued in the “real” world. If you sell your creations in SL, and are generating income for yourself, then you own your own business. Your business is developing digital assets for an MMORPG.

I first heard about SL from an article talking about people quitting their day jobs and living off of SL income. The article was mostly about the Chung dynasty, but mentioned that many other people were doing it, too. So I never once thought of SL as a “game” for even a second. My whole purpose for starting was to see how people were able to make money. Regardless of why you first got into SL, I think the first step to truly valuing your own work is to get rid of the mindset that SL is a game that you play. You can play Halo all day and never make a cent. But if your Paypal account has seen money go in and out of it, then thinking SL is a game is just another mental block to appreciating the value of what you do in SL, and using the experience to bolster your value in the workforce.