Thursday, February 22, 2007
Try Getting A First Life
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Early adapters of Second Life, the online virtual world, are starting to wish for the good old days before real-world corporations like Adidas and American Apparel opened up "in-world" virtual shops and Nissan started giving away "in-world" virtual cars.
So much so that a group of players has formed what it calls the Second Life Liberation Army. Last year they gunned down avatars that frequented the offending stores. Recently they blew up two nuclear devices, the first outside of American Apparel, the second in front of the Reeboks outlet. Their demands? Voting rights for issues effecting their "in-world" experience.
The problems don't end with corporations, though. With the steady growth of Second Life, the "in-world" has become overrun by trend-followers, losing its original utopian edge. Consider the case of Catherine Fitzpatrick, 50, who joined Second Life "...to explore her creative side and meet like-minded people...":
She built a nice home for herself with an ocean view, which she said was ruined when someone moved in next door and built a giant refrigerator that blocked her light.
Of course, we've all had the experience of a favorite underground club or local watering hole get written up in New York magazine, with the change in atmosphere that follows. But getting blocked out by a giant refrigerator? Now that's a dis.