Edit: List of in-world relief efforts here.
Last night / this morning / this afternoon depending on where you live — it was last night for me — there was an unbelievably massive earthquake in the northeast of Japan, followed by tsunamis that left hundreds dead. Last night I was watching the aftermath of the quake, and thinking that for a tremendous earthquake like that, the damage actually looked pretty manageable…but seeing all the people in their cars, stuck in traffic, fleeing for higher ground and thinking: oh, god, go faster. This morning, after two waves — twenty feet, then thirty feet — struck, so many of those people who’d survived the earthquake were dead. News reports say the waves simply traveled too fast for people to get out of low-lying areas.
Now there are aftershocks hitting an already scared country, and apparently numerous nuclear reactors have shut down all over Japan. Airports are flooded, so planes can’t even get people out or relief in to the worst-hit areas. I just…I don’t know.
One of the things I love about Second Life is the way we tend to pull together after a global crisis. We are a community that likes to help out. We have so many beloved Japanese residents, creators who have placed such an indelible stamp on our virtual world — whether it’s through clothing and fashion, beautiful architecture and landscaping, exotic avatar creation, vehicle design, or even the animations and poses that move us through our daily interactions, most of us owe a tremendous debt to the Japanese influence on Second Life. Many of us have Japanese friends in SL; hopefully, your friends and mine came through this horrible day unharmed.
I haven’t heard anything yet about relief efforts in Second Life. As soon as I do, I’ll update this post. I know our community: I’m certain there will be something soon. I only hope it will honor all that our Japanese residents have given us, and allow us, as a community, to help them as much as we can.
Pacific Relief Help in Second Life. I’ll keep maintaining a list here, but this looks like a good one.