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Click the image above to learn about this extraordinary performer in his first and virtual lives.

Burt Tienken, Jr. is a singer/songwriter whose performing career was short-circuited by a combination of the pandemic shut down, being diagnosed with Primary Lateral Sclerosis (PLS), and discovering he had colon cancer. Rather than give up on his music, Burt created an avatar in Second Life and began doing live concerts there.  Performing as an avatar has allowed him to reach a global audience and to collaborate with other musicians from all parts of the world

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One of the biggest complaints I hear about social distancing has to do with the lack of physical contact. People really miss being able to give and gets hugs – a universal and welcome reminder that someone cares.


While I can’t single-handedly flatten the viral curve, I can recommend an unusual but effective solution – get an avatar. It turns out that there is solid scientific evidence to support my claim that hugging other avatars feels real and can have a positive impact on your mood. I asked some of my avatar friends to share pictures of themselves hugging one another. The results are chronicled in the little video above. Enjoy.

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