Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Now, don't get me wrong: I think that the idea of using SL to raise money for charity is a fantastic one. It makes sense to spread the love, as it were, into this virtual platform, and if it raises awareness and a little bit of money, then that's just fine by me. There have been some issues with SL charity events in the past, it would seem - perhaps most notably, the fiasco with the Props and Poses Fair, and the affair between the Jewelry Fair 2011 and the creator of MOOD jewelry - but on the whole, the designers in SL seem to want to do their bit for society, and appear to be quite generous in doing so.

The charity event that has caught my eye recently, mostly because it is all over the other SL blogs that I follow, is the Fashion for Life event. A massive number of people have come together to put this on, and they are raising money for the American Cancer Society. There are ten sims, each of them decorated differently, full of shops, many of which appear to be donating half their proceeds to the charity.

But what interested me most about this event - or rather, about the way it has been packaged - is Fashion for Life's tagline, 'It's Time'. Each of the sims is named as 'time', but with the word translated into ten different languages. Time, Zeit, Volta, etc.

Found on the gatcha signs on most of the Fashion for Life sims
It is time. It is time for conscientious Internet usage. It is time for social responsibility. It is time for generousity. Cancer is a global issue and, according to the Cancer Research UK website, somebody is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes. One in three people will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime. This our lives, our families lives, the lives of our friends. Of our communities.

But cancer and time are concepts that would appear to be inextricably linked in a different way, and whilst I would not want to detract from what Fashion for Life is doing, I find their choice of rhetoric questionable for that reason. Thrown into this context, 'It's Time' takes on a sinister undertone that I doubt was intentional.

I have experience of cancer within my family, but time never really became a question for us. I'm sure it was asked, but it was never something I became worried about. It seems silly to say, almost, but I knew on some level that my grandad would get better, and he has done. I realise and appreciate that we were the lucky ones. Not everyone is as fortunate as we have been.

Centrepiece of the Dreamseekers It's Time sim - the fifth sim in the Fashion for Life sequence
So is the decision to talk about cancer and time an appropriate one? Does it quietly underscore the urgency of the issue, or does it simply push already-sore buttons? I'm not sure. I don't think that it is the choice I would have made.

This seemed a little more obviously hopeful:

Also on the It's Time sim

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