Sunday, 8 July 2007

SL & traditional media

Second life is a hype in the traditional media, here in Belgium anyway. Wouldn't it be lovely if they also knew what they were talking about?! A while ago I read a column in a respected computer magazine in which an editor of the games section got all upset because someone had the audacity to compare Second Life to World of Warcraft. He ranted that there are no red light districts in WoW and SL is a non-game and the two shouldn't be compared. Fair, that's his opinion, after all it is a column. Unfortunately it was also very clear from the article that he had never even been in SL.

Now, whether SL is a game or not and whether or not it can be compared to WoW, I don't really care. What I do care about is the general tone used when traditional media report on SL. It seems that whereas a year ago SL was sniffed at as something novel and potentially interesting, these days it seems to be fashionable to reduce SL to a playground for perverts, nitwits without a social life and gold diggers. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but they should be based on something. More often than not I read articles written by journalists who actually claim they created an account and had a look around. Based on that they decide SL is only about getting laid or making Linden dollars. What about events like SL4B, beautifully crafted sims like Svarga, communities built around SL like secondlifeprofiles.com, the vibrant blogsphere related to SL, the creativity of people posting in world pictures at Flickr, the friendships forged in world?!? That's the Second Life I've experienced and got to enjoy in the past 19 months.

Anyway, such sloppy journalism is not what I would expect from generally well respected magazines and newspapers. Honestly, I still have to read the first piece written by someone who has actually been in world for a decent amount of time. But maybe there is a glimmer of hope. Dutch writer and poet Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer has published a book about his adventures in SL. Born there in October last year as Lilith Lunardi (yes ladies and gentleman, sorry to burst your bubble but the big-boobed bombshell is a guy with a moustache) he has written a number of short pieces about SL that are now bundled into a book. I'm really curious to read it and to see if his take on things shows a bit more nuance. From the pictures of Lilith Lunardi on Flickr I'm afraid it might be more of the same but until I get my hands on the book he has the benefit of the doubt.

6 comments:

vint said...

Hmmm. Indeed. On the other hand, I don't think I'll pay to get a copy to read. (May I borrow yours? :d)

Loki Popinjay said...

Once I'm done with it ... sure, come and get it ...

Phoenix Ellsberg said...

OMG!!!! Who'd have thought it?! I must admit to not often looking at Lilith's pictures as they just don't appeal, and that won't change. I shall be very interested to hear more of his/her views on SL though. Let us know more when you've read it, will you?

Tinsel Silvera said...

Hello Loki. Nice to meet you. I stumbled upon your site via Vint's blog. I agree 100% with your post here. I too am tired of the media either portraying us negatively or inaccurately. Alas that is the way of the media. What can we do except speak out such as you are doing right here. So keep it up! {:o)

Zoe Connolly said...

If the mainstream media could/would actually dig a little for their stories they might discover some interesting and thoughtful items from our little blogging community.

What we need to do is make a team from our group avaialble to media outlets to help explain SL to them.

Loki Popinjay said...

couldn't agree more Zoe !!