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 news.com.au 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.