It still always amazes me when I hear people refer to SL as a game. Sure I guess, for RPers as such, it can be a game to some extent. But for the majority of people inworld, I would imagine that it is just so much more than a game. I fit most definitely in that camp.
And what, for me, makes it more than a game? Well, it's relationships isn't it?
As much as I have loved playing Football Manager for hours and hours (and days and days) in the past where I have control over the lives and careers of virtual sportsmen I cannot develop a relationship with them. They do not interact when I act (other than developing a virtual huff if I stick them in the reserves but still tell them they're a key member of the team, of course).
But SL? Well so much of it is based on relationships. Relationships between people do exist. Relationships start. And they end. They develop and flourish. There are friendships. And romances. And one-night stands. And love.
You can have regrets over something said or not said. You can be elated when a friend simply IMs to say hi. You can have butterflies as you sit next to some-one hoping with all your heart, fingers-crossed, for that first kiss.
Whether the AV is a true(-ish!) representation of the person typing at home or not really does not matter in the slightest way. Through the medium of those AVS, be they human, neko, furry, elf, tiger or terrier, people interact and develop relationships. What I say and do impacts the thoughts, feelings and actions of real people on the other side of the world. For that reason alone SL, to me, is not a game.
5 hours ago