Friday, 23 March 2007

Joining the Avastar

Well! What a week. That's what you say after a week in a new job, I guess. It's been interesting. The Avastar, for those who don't know, is SL's professional tabloid newspaper, covering, well, all the important stuff that goes on across our world.

I've been writing for some time. I'm a media junky, a news fiend. I love it. Give me a newspaper, you can keep the reality TV - go on, have it. I've been writing for several years (and I'm still young, I guess). On music, politics, technology, media. Now, along with Manta Mesmer, I've been taken on board at the Avastar, as a reporter.

I've not been in SL for so long, but it's been a matter of immersion over the last week. There are some decent folk in SL, I've had some good conversations, met some nice peeps, and added a bunch of friends. There are some tools here, too. That's life, huh? I've moved around plenty, all over the RL world. Same thing there too.

It's not hard to make friends in SL, at least it's not hard to talk to people. Most people are intrigued. Hell, you can walk round in some cracked-out T-shirts with a bushy red beard and bald head, and people barely notice. It seems that plenty of people would argue SL is a tolerant place where you can rock whatever you like, cos it's cool like that, it's democratic, liberal, happy to indulge the fashion tastes of others. But is it really? Ninety per cent of the residents are too blinded by each other's dazzling bling and shiny tanned legs to care less about the imperfect residents. The Avastar led with a story on Barbie SL being boring, and this week freedom of speech is the top topic. Do we want an SL where people can say whatever they like? Cos if people say whatever they like, this by nature includes inciting hatred, violence, and the denial of historical atrocities.

Do we want right-wing extremists in the form of the French Front National around? By the same token, do we want left-wing cyber guerrillas blowing the crap out of sims? Residents have different viewpoints, clearly.

A world created as a utopia for its users, and the problems from RL are slowly being imported in.

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