Archives for July 2007 – Terrorists in SL

Mainstream media reporting of Second Life in Australia has a mixed track record, and one of the biggest low points would have to be in this article on the website published today. It can also be found on The Australian website.

The article starts off regurgitating the (never confirmed) accusation that the 22nd May issues with ABC Island were due to a ‘bomb’. Then it goes further downhill from there, describing how “landscapes are razed and residents are wounded or killed” after an attack by the SL Liberation Army.

It seems doubtful that the article’s author, Natalie O’Brien, has spent more than ten minutes in SL given the range of other factual errors contained in the story. Here’s one more example to get you worked up: “This terror campaign, which has been waged during the past six months, has left a trail of dead and injured, and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars’ damage”.

The sad thing is, the shoddy premise of the article overshadows the legitimate concern about the power of virtual worlds for use in criminal pursuits. Yes, terrorists groups COULD use streaming video in SL to broadcast propaganda or training. But why would you bother? I suppose potential terrorists may believe the misinformation about being able to wound or kill people in SL and decide they’ll register for some killing fun. My, how they’ll be disappointed.

The wolves are out for WSE

Over the past 24 hours reports have started appearing around companies delisting from the World Stock Exchange and moving to smaller competitor ISE. The impetus was the theft reported last week. What hasn’t helped is the current trading halt:


We’ve had some brief IM discussions with WSE Chairman / CEO LukeConnell Vandeverre about setting up an interview in order for him to put WSE’s perspective on events. We’re hoping this will occur in the next day or so.


We’d also like to hear from SL users with funds invested on the WSE – how concerned are you?

Griefers cause of grid problems?

Fellow Aussie SL blogger Tateru Nino is alleging that foul play is behind the past few days’ glitchiness in SL.

Whatever it is, it’s intermittent and causing a lot of frustration. I attempted twice over the weekend to complete a full lap on the Relay for Life and both times my browser crashed. Has your time in SL been affected by the glitches?

Thursday’s Fictions Q&A a success

This afternoon, the ABC Island Ampitheatre played host to the Q&A session following the ABC TV screening of Thursday’s Fictions.


The panel consisted of Dr Richard James Allen , Dr Karen Pearlman, Gary Hayes and Story Consultant Jacqueline Turnure and the discussion was moderated by Christy Dena and audio streamed. Around twenty-five people sat in-world on the discussion with lots of questions around the translation of the story into SL, the collaborative process that allowed the project to succeed and the potential for such projects to increase the engagement of the wider community with SL as an entertainment medium.


Check out Thursday’s Fictions in-world

(For more pictures: go here).

Welcome to error-land

There’s nothing on the LL blog at this stage but there’s obviously a significant issue with SL at present. When launching the browsers a stock standard ‘Access Denied’ message comes up within the browser:


It’s not been a great week for stability in SL, that’s for sure. One important note – you can still log in to SL by clicking the Connect button.

UPDATE: Linden Labs now aware of issue

Relay For Life commences

The SL Relay for Life is in its third year, and this weekend is the culmination of months of work and promotion.


Spread across four sims, the course has some great sights, music on tap and a bunch of entertainment and commemorative events scheduled (SL Insider has the full schedule listed). There are different themed areas such as Pinocchio and Tomb Raider to walk through in addition to chatting with other participants.


Like the Australian Relay For Life, groups have set up camping areas and the whole thing has that similar community spirit. You can even enjoy the sight of yor hair disappearing as you cross sims on the walk.


Do yourself a favour and do at least one virtual lap and donate some money for cancer support and research. Check it out in-world.

Weekend Whimsy

Each Friday we’re going to provide a sampling of content generated by SL users and posted on services like YouTube. Here’s Round 1:

1. The Cecil Codex Chapter 5

2. Second Me

3. Globe Theatre Opening

Blow up the pokies

Linden Labs have clarified in no uncertain terms their stance on gambling in SL – it’s not to occur, full stop.


The actual policy is:

“It is a violation of this policy to wager in games in the Second Life (R) environment operated on Linden Lab servers if such games:

(1) (a) rely on chance or random number generation to determine a winner, OR (b) rely on the outcome of real-life organized sporting events,


(2) provide a payout in

(a) Linden Dollars, OR

(b) any real-world currency or thing of value.

This includes (but is not limited to), for example, Casino Games such as:

o Baccarat
o Blackjack
o Craps
o Faro
o Keno
o Pachinko
o Pai Gow
o Poker
o Roulette
o Sic Bo
o Slot machines

It also includes Sports Books or Sports Betting, including the placing of bets on actual sporting events against a book-maker or through a betting exchange. Linden Lab will actively enforce this policy. If we discover gambling activities that violate the policy, we will remove all related objects from the inworld environment, may suspend or terminate the accounts of residents involved without refund or payment, and may report any relevant details, including user information, to authorities and financial institutions.”

It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes for compliance with the policy to be achieved. When I first joined SL in 2006 I was advised to pick up some free $L by using camping chairs. I still had a casino landmark saved from back then and I tried it this evening and took the pictures contained in this story. As you can see, this casino hasn’t done anything to meet the new policy as yet.

Whether you love or hate gambling in SL, the new policy will remove a cultural aspect of the grid. Maybe some will even miss the sight of rows of zombie-like chair campers:


Will you miss the casinos in SL?

Thursday’s Fictions

A fascinating Australian collaboration is about to make its SL debut. ‘Thursday’s Fictions’ is described as a surreal dance fantasy and it’s screening on ABC TV this Sunday, 29th July at 3pm AEST. Directly afterwards at 4pm at the ABC Ampitheatre on ABC Island there’ll be a Q&A session with Dr Richard James Allen, Dr Karen Pearlman, Gary Hayes and Story Consultant Jacqueline Turnure.

A standalone SL presence based on Thursday’s Fictions is close to completion. Gary Hayes was kind enough to point us to the build for Thursday’s Fictions for a preview and it looks like being an interesting and interactive presence. It’s likely a landmark for it will be provided at the Q&A session on Sunday.


Check the ABC website for more details on the screening or the LAMP blog for more detail on the SL build by Gary Hayes.

We asked Gary for his thoughts on the build:

“It was particularly exciting recreating what I had read and seen of the film and making it relevant to Second Life – so I was careful not to just clone the sets or be too real world in translations of the metaphors of spirituality – but try to imagine given unlimited pallette what the choices around reincarnation could be”.

Gary also gave a brief synopsis of the film and the SL build’s relationship to it:

“It is the story of a lady called Thursday who tries to cheat reincarnation in that she takes the wrong things with her into each new life. So the Second Life experience is to get you, to think about what qualities you would carry with you into a new existence. I have built a small user journey through this and the idea is to go into further development to build all the story elements – the days representing new lives. Richard Allen and Karen Perlman have been great in allowing me to work with them to be very SL specific with this”.

Update: Check out Thursday’s Fictions in-world”>

WSE – problems?

Second Life Insider have run a story providing some information on some challenges WSE may be facing. The grid is down presently so we can’t contact LukeConnell Vandeverre for clarification but we’ll attempt to do so later in the day.

Update: Reuters are now running the story based on a WSE announcement confirming the theft.

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