The unprecedented fast growth of the virtual world Second Life, creates serious problems not only between the veteran users and newcomers, but also between Linden Labs (the creator of the metaverse) and most of the residents. These are not limited to the frustrating “technical issues” that both the free and paid customers experience almost everyday; there are more cultural, social and political problems in SL that urge some veterans to act to do something. Alana Semuels of Los Angeles Times talked with some of the important figures in the metaverse, like the political officer of the Second Life Liberation Army, Marshall Cahill and SL Herald‘s powerful “voice of opposition” Prokofy Neva. I clipped some paragraphs below, without any comments. It’s surely an interesting read and caused many discussions in SL, so I recommend the entire feature. (I hold my commenting rights reserved and will express my opinion and concerns here on this blog soon.)


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As political officer for the Second Life Liberation Army, Cahill is passionately committed to righting what he considers the wrongs of a world that exists only on the computer servers of Linden Lab in San Francisco.

In the last year, the number of people who had visited Second Life skyrocketed from 100,000 to 2 million. As the population grows, early denizens are learning the truth of Jean-Paul Sartre’s observation “Hell is other people.”

Cahill and his compatriots say they don’t necessarily mind the new residents, but they want more influence in deciding the future of the virtual world. Most important, they want Linden Lab to allow voting on issues affecting their in-world experience.

The army has staged a number of protests in Second Life to publicize its position. Three gun-toting members shot customers outside American Apparel — bullet wounds in Second Life are not fatal but merely disrupt a user’s experience — and Reebok stores last year.

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