Thursday, January 12, 2006

A space, not an oddity

I'm in New World Notes! Well, two sentences of mine are, in the recent post about the MTV avatar fashion show:
But under that objection lurked a larger one, perhaps: feeling imposed upon by a media giant that didn't seem to appreciate the essence of Second Life culture. As Brodie put it, "MTV is about what is popular, not creativity." And why a fashion show, when there was so much more to the world? "I wouldn't want SL to get any more of a reputation as basically being computer dress-up," Ordinal Malaprop worried, "That's only a small part of what goes on, fun as it might be."
One thing that does interest me about the MTV event is that, shallow as it might be (and I don't think I'm exactly taking a huge risk in thinking that could be the case) it's about something within SL rather than SL itself. Coverage outside of gaming and futurist media has mostly been along the lines of the Newsnight program linked to previously - events were used to illustrate things that could happen, but the subject was Second Life.

In this case the subject is a virtual event rather than the concept of virtual events, and I think that marks something of a step in the direction of considering virtual space as a valid environment for things to happen in, as when the BBC reported an outbreak of plague in World Of Warcraft. I also think that it's a step forward. Introductory "what is this thing?" articles are all very well, particularly considering that SL is an unusual online environment, not an easier-to-explain "game", but I think that illustrating interesting things happening within SL, and treating them seriously rather than just as a gimmick, is a better tactic to raise interest. Not only are you showcasing SL, you're implying that what goes on in there has value in itself.

If this leads to an immense flood of new bling, though, I will be demanding compensation.

(Democracy Island post coming soon, but my screenshots are at home.)


Blogger James Baker said...

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1/18/2006 06:26:00 AM  

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