Posts Tagged ‘economics

16
Aug
08

The Ethics and Politics of Synthetic World Interoperability

My series of posts at Augmentology are now all up! We posted part 3 today. You can read it here:

[Warcry for Birthing Synthetic Worlds, Part 3 @ Augmentology.com]

It was a real pleasure collaborating with Netwurker Mez! And the discussion it spurred on the nettime list was also really interesting.

Part 2 went up last week and there was a really provocative comment from Dusan Writer about open source and the economics of SL. Apparently, she disagrees with my claim that we should find new models for making money in SL besides copy restriction. I responded, but I hope I didn’t inadvertently kill the conversation. Its curious to me that there were a lot more comments to part 1.

I’d love to know what more people think of these posts, so leave a comment! Hopefully it’ll help spur the growth of the metaverse and spur new efforts towards more interopability and openness, which I think is critical for synthetic worlds to grow!

These posts were a new kind of thinking about SL for me, trying to look at a broader overview of Synthetic Worlds instead of phenomenologically describing my own experiences and thinking about the subtle working of those, like I tried to do in my earlier posts. I think, though, that a mix of both is needed, so I plan to continue to mix it up. I’ve got a few big ideas in mind for future posts, so we’ll see if I put them over at augmentology or just keep posting here… I guess it depends on their schedule and my energy level for writing! Anyway, I really love writing about SL and discussing it with people, so thanks to everyone who’s reading and commenting!

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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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