26
Jun
08

Virtual and Actual Politics in Second Life and out

Update: The folks at Second Life Left Unity also dropped us a line, they describe their project as “The SLLU seeks creative, non violent means to foster revolutionary social dialogue via the virtual world platform of Second Life.”

This video shows a really interesting phenomenon, virtual political tactics, specifically griefing from SL, being reproduced in real life against real political figures.

http://secondlife.reuters.com/stories/2008/05/20/garry-kasparov-targeted-in-real-life-repeat-of-the-anshe-chung-incident/

there are lots of political issues in SL:

– land ownership, linden labs recently stopped selling land to try to control the prices of land in SL, which have dropped dramatically

– RL mega events like the world economic forum

– RL entities like the border patrol training in SL

– SL people sufering political repression in RL, like Eshi being deported from the US after her husband died

– Prim limits, limiting the complexity of avatars (i wish i could find the link for the page that said “you can take my land but you can’t take my designer shoes!”)

– the huge debate about PG restrictions around the linden’s official 5 year birthday celebration

– Enforcing copyright on virtual objects, enforcing the DMCA

– RL corporations like Coke’s happiness island (somehow, killing colombians doesn’t make me happy). This video is hilariously disturbing, it says “the essence of cocacola: refreshment, joy, unity and experience”

Here’s a slightly different view:

Which of these are most interesting and relevant to you? Are there common threads or factors here or points of intersection? It seems like the overriding question is: will SL be a space for residents to create the utopias they can imagine, or will it be just another corporate advertising venue? Although dichotomies like that always already fail in their construction. Maybe open source efforts like OpenSim and realXtend are the biggest political question, will SL be corporate owned, or will the metaverse open up to be a real outgrowth of community efforts? Although, it seems like Opensim is M$ friendly at least, being written in C# and thus requiring windows, or heavily influenced by M$ at worst, while realXtend is at least gpl licensed. What do you think?

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4 Responses to “Virtual and Actual Politics in Second Life and out”


  1. June 29, 2008 at 4:01 am

    Thanks for highlighting this. I hadn’t realised Coke had a presence on SL yet. A bit silly of me really.

  2. 2 secondloop
    July 1, 2008 at 6:54 am

    wow, thanks a lot for posting. your blog is really interesting. even though i find both the concepts of Left and Unity really troublesome, i like a lot of what you’re working on. I think the ideas of “from below” and “multiplicity” or multitude resonate with me a lot more.

    i added a link to your site in my post. maybe you share the love and do the same?


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