Friday, June 11, 2010
Sad, Surrealistic and Utterly Second Life
I took this photo at a memorial created by Codebastard Redgrave to honor the casualties of Linden Lab cost-cutting. It was a surrealistic scene: dearly not-yet-departed Lindens mingling with mourners attired in not-caught-dead-in-at-a-funeral outfits, all wickedly lagging semi-rezzed through a vista of neon-lit tombstones, blankly staring teddy bears and bondage-wear advertisement posters.
The thing is, what would be a bizarre freak show to the Farmville-loving masses Linden Lab hopes to attract through its layoff-funded initiative, was actually a deeply moving experience for those of us who attended. It felt as if we were not only gathered to mourn the loss of Linden employees, but also the possible passing of the Second Life culture they were instrumental in building.
I have to wonder whether a native culture that is based upon the open-minded, all-embracing celebration of diversity will survive an onslaught of RL-named, identity-verified, photo-realistic avatars streaming in on their smart phones. Time will tell.
If you can't go to the actual memorial in Second Life, please check out Stuart Warf's excellent silent machinima.