Back to reality in second life

It is an extraordinary thing Second Life

One of my favourite stories from its early days is when they lost a bunch of data from their central database and had to roll back time several hours in the world in order to recover. Great concept!

The level of escapism that it now represents is fabulously enhanced by the intense reality with which people are inhabiting it. The announcement of the first SL book launch this weekend by sci-fi novelllist JC Hutchins is interesting because not only is he inviting all his fans to join him in SL for a convention, but he has got a whole series of environments based on the book created for his fans to walk through and avatars based on characters in the book for his fans to wear when they join him. So you kind of become a character in a virtual world, then you take on the guise of another character in that world which is based on a fictional character in a novel which is going to be published in the real world. Then, disguised as that character you wonder around a fake set built inside your virtual world replicating scenes from the novel. Hmm. The mirrors within mirrors of reality that this suggests do boggle the mind!

And more than anything they seem to me to testify to the fact that the more Second Life attempts to be a complete escape from your real dull life, the more it becomes a representation of it and intensification of it. It’s no longer just a boring blog, nor even a more intimate podcast, nor even an embrassingly revealing vlog – it’s a bodylog – the ultimate blog perhaps! And as such seems to join up with the earnest bloggers somewhere around the back of a virtual world. JC Hutchins book is about a secret government cloning project. I rest my case.

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