I’m glad that someone with some heritage and history in Second Life has come out and said this: Second Life Herald: Gallery of Lies. And said it very loud. I’d have loved to have written this piece, but as my Second Life consists of about 2 hours of time over 6 months (and I work on the fringes of advertising) I’d have felt like a total charlatan saying it.
One of my favourite bits:
I would say it is a case of a bunch of desperate clueless fucktards trying to show how bleeding-edgy they are, and, given that SL is the bleeding-edgy flavor of the month, they are wraping themselves in the Linden cape of bleeding-edginess.
Interestingly the crux of the issue is not about advertising or the corporatisation of Second Life as such, but seems to be about big ad agencies claiming the space as theirs, or at least making out that they are the innovators. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like shops and businesses and offices are actually OK, as long as they’re done right. But the message is, loud and clear, don’t claim that you invented this stuff.
I’ve got a thought. Why aren’t advertisers, or people who are trying to ‘import’ brands from their First Life forced to wear some kind of huge advertising helmet? It’d protect them from rocks thrown by irate Second Lifers as well as marking them out as advertisers.
If only my 3d modeling skills were as hot as my illustrating skills ;-)
[EDIT] – I just spotted this follow up post: http://www.secondlifeherald.com/slh/2006/10/uri_does_strump.html it’s much more reasoned and well argued, and the author has calmed down a lot. He makes some great points about the de-fantasisation of Second Life which I think is key.
Why would you want your Second Life to be just like your first? With the same brands using the same retail techniques, or spend time in the ‘bored rooms’ of big corporations. Why not meet on the deck of a pirate ship? Or in a treehouse full of penguins? Or watching underwater firework displays orchestrated by a gerbil that’s 3 stories high?
Uri concludes his piece:
In the end, I wonder if I should even care. Even as I write, Second Life residents are avoiding the new corporate builds like the plague (and who can blame them given the inferior content; do I want to drive a flying saucer or a Scion? Hmmm, thatâ€™s a tough one), and if large corporations want to pay Crayon good money for nothing, thatâ€™s fine by me. If the meat-space corporations successfully borg Second Life and suck the life out of it, we will just move on to another place, and the corporations and the PR firms will just have to breathlessly keep running after us, claiming their hollow â€œfirsts,â€ while their arrogance fuels their ignorance, and they fall further and further behind.