Thursday, January 18, 2007

Virtual-Reality Anti-Fascism

This is wonderful. Apparently, le Front National set up a virtual headquarters in Second Life, one of the best developed and highly trafficked online societies. Other residents did not appreciate their new neighbors:
It's unclear when the shooting started, or who fired the first shot (several witnesses claim FN security forces assaulted them with "push guns", weapons capable of flinging a Resident across the island like a ragdoll), but in the final days of last week, at least, the assault raged from both sides. It's also unclear if the anti-FN protest groups were involved in the escalating violence-- Officers with both antiFn and SLLU haven't replied to my Instant Message-- though by personal observation, at least a few members seemed to be. Since Porcupine is not a damage-enabled area, weapons there have about as much stopping power as pointing one's finger at the computer screen and saying Bang Bang. But get enough projectiles flying, and server lag is bound to ground anyone's use of the area to a halt. (Or in my case, cause the Second Life viewer to crash.)
My favorite part is the pig grenade. Well, I also liked seeing the graphics from the Second Life battlefront, which are very worth seeing indeed. (It really does look the way I imagined the Metaverse in Stephenson's Snow Crash.)

In comments to Au's post, a number of SL residents rehash the battle, wring their hands, and debate free speech, as is standard protocol for all online communities. Plus ça change...


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