WA Police “Step Forward” into Second Life: detractors in hot pursuit.

The WA Police "Step Forward" Pavilion

The WA Police “Step Forward” Virtual Recruiting Pavilion was launched this week in Second Life. The plan is for the pavilion to be run during a three month trial period, after which this method of recruiting will be reviewed.

“Trudi Karu” and “Dreibergs Lannock” are the avatar names of the recruiting police who will be attending the pavilion at various times over the weeks to come. There is no information yet on how often these staff members will be available to talk to interested parties in Second Life, but it is promising that, unlike with some other government agencies and corporations who have created a virtual presence, there will be an actual person to converse with, rather than a simple 3D rendition of a web site. Unfortunately, there was no-one on staff on Saturday, a day on which many people who work would have the leisure time to get in-world and talk.

Poor video quality mars presentation.

The pavilion consists of a ground-based structure, from which you can teleport to the presentation suite – a sky box consisting of four conjoined, circular huts. The first room is a welcome area, from which you can reach each of the other dedicated rooms. Each room has a link to an appropriate web page, an image of that web page, and a multimedia screen on which to display video content. The video content arrives speedily and without skipping, but is of low visual quality – words cannot be made out – so what the actors have to say has more importance placed on it. Nonetheless, Binary Culture, the company responsible for the build, has produced an attractive and functional build.

On the other side of the story are the folks from the Retired Medically Unfit WA Police Officers Forum (RMU WA POL). While the “Step Forward” Pavilion was unattended by staff, we met up with a member of RMU WA POL at the pavilion. Western Australia appears to be the only state in Australia in which the police, due to a legal technicality, are not classified as “employees”. Due to this legality, police in W.A. are not due any pension or compensation if retired due to medical unfitness. According to RMU WA POL, some of those who have been discharged are not only denied any financial support, but are also denied emotional support and respect.

This is an example of a situation in which a build in Second Life can become equally important a venue for people with opposing or conflicting views as for the people who originally put it together. Indeed, if staffing is irregular, or as is so common in Second Life, absent, virtual presences have the potential to foster numerous views that were not originally intended.

Perhaps the WA Police’s Assistant Director for Attraction and Marketing, Trudi Angwin, may have some secong thoughts about the assertion she’s made: “the pavilion met our needs of being low maintenance, highly accessible, and functional without needing our ‘real’ staff to be logged in for long periods of time canvassing avatar inquiries.”

“Step Forward” page on the W.A. police web site.

Article from “The West” web site.

Binary Culture’s media release.

Live Future 2020 event in Second Life this Sunday

Global Youth Futures are running an event this weekend called ‘Live Futures 2020:A World of Possiblity’.

It’s being held in Newtown, Sydney but there’s a stream being coordinated by Jokay Wollongong, with some interesting speakers confirmed (all times in AEST):

12pm – Welcome and Second Life orientation

12:30pm AEST – Dell Wolfensparger shares some his work and insights, followed by a tour of his island.

1:30pm – Topophilia – Love of Land: AAEE Gallery Exhibition, Islands of jokaydia. Birut Zemits and members of the Australian Association for Environmental Education will share their exhibition in Second Life, titled Topophilia – Love of Land

3:00pm AEST – Global Challenges and Sustainable Futures – Cocreation and Collaboration Session
Janine Cahill and her team will lead an inworld discussion and collaboration session – which will explore some of the issues presented at the real life conference. Help co-create the future!

4:30pm – Dr. Andrew Wallace PhD, Director of the Network of European Technocrats
Dr Wallace will give a presentation titled Technocracy: Building a New Sustainable Society for a Post Carbon World live in Second Life.

If you want to join in, here’s where to go.

Jamm for Genes

I received a press release today for an event occurring around 12 hours from now so I’ll just reproduce it in full:

Jamm for Genes – SL Benefit Concert Supporting An Australian Charity with Global Benefits

This weekend Australians will raise money for Children’s medical rsearch by holding musical events all across the country – and now in Second Life too!

The Children’s Medical Research Institute works to understand the causes and cures of childhood genetic illness to make a brighter future for children the world over. Jamm for Genes is part of the Institute’s annual Jeans for Genes fundraising drive.

For 24 hours from 5 PM Friday 1st August SL time more than 20 of SL’s best live musicians will perform at Sailors Cove Theatre with all proceeds to be donated to Jamm for Genes.


Jamm for Genes Beginning at 5PM SLT Aug 1 and ending at 5PM SLT August 2 is a charity Live Music Event To be held at Sailors Cove Theater by Ohmy Kidd , volunteers, and his team from Friday Night at The Pocket a weekly concert showcase for over a year in SL. All are invited to and if you like you can wear your jeans in support. If you don’t have any jeans for your avatar we will have some great freebie jeans for you along with some other Australian gifts..Vegemite anyone? Join us for at least part of this wonderful 24 hour live concert in SL .

Aug 1
5PM Tpenta Vanalten
6PM Wread Writer
7PM Dexter Ihnen
8PM Artel Brando
9PM Ande Foggerty
10PM Pato Milo
11PM Army of Ignorance

Aug 2
12AM Jaggpro Mcann
1AM OhmyKidd
2AM Lacey Lohner
3AM Jackdog Snook
4AM Paisley Beebe/Freddy Halderman
5AM Phoe Nix
6AM Midnight in Canberra
8AM Winston Akland
9AM Robie Bloch
10AM Luigi DiPrima
11AM Mason Thorne
12PM Raspbury Rearwin
1PM Noma Falta
2PM Freetar Tammas
3PM Cylindrian Rutabaga
4PM Ohmy Kidd

China earthquake appeal in Second Life

Metaverse developer Simuality is holding a fundraiser for the China earthquake victims.

The full details:


Evanston, IL – 05/15/2008 – Metaverse developer Simuality LLC is seeking to help raise funds for relief of the horrible human tragedy in China’s Sichuan Province following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which devastated the region this week.

Hosting their appeal in the virtual world of Second Life, Simuality will be turning over the very popular Club Mannequin for a 24-hour fundraiser. The club is one of the most popular locations in Second Life, and is a hub for nightlife and designer clothing, as well as being the future cornerstone of a developing virtual fashion and entertainment district. Club Mannequin is one of the highest traffic spots in SL, featuring urban styles and hip-hop music. Special guest DJs will be on hand to keep the party going.

Prominently featured in the middle of the dance floor will be an attention-grabbing donation kiosk, with smaller versions placed around the club and in surrounding areas. The event will take place from midnight to midnight (Pacific time) on Saturday, May 17th at Club Mannequin in Second Life.

Virtual world donations are being collected in the Second Life currency of Linden Dollars. All monies collected will be donated to the International Red Cross to support their efforts to aid the hundreds of thousands of survivors of China’s major earthquake disaster.”

Check it out in-world

Two key reports released on Second Life and education / non-profit sectors

The first is entitled: Best Practices from the Second Life Community Convention Education Track 2007 and was prepared by Cathy Arreguin, MA Educational Technology.

Get the report here or further details on it here


The second is Best Practices for Non-profits in Second Life – Fall 2007 by Rik Panganiban.

Get the report here or further details on it here


If you work in either the education or non-profit sector these are well worth a read.

Kiva – real outcomes for the real world

I’m a bit slow off the mark with this one. Kiva is a brilliant non-profit organisation that funds disadvantaged individuals via microfinance. Essentially, you donate a minimum of $25 US to fund a person’s business and within 6-12 months the amount is paid back and you can choose to re-invest that amount in another venture or withdraw it from the scheme. The default rates are well below the developed world and Kiva has received a lot of attention from Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey which has grown Kiva substantially so it now has 16 staff administering the loans throughout the world.


I’ve invested some money in Kiva in recent months but was unaware that Kiva has been in Second Life for quite awhile. They’re launching some new in-world offices on the 5th January at 10.30am SL Time (6th January at 5.30am AEDT). If you can’t make the launch, do take the time to walk through their offices to find out more about the work they do.


Thanks to Business Communicators of Second Life for the heads-up.

Check it out in-world

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