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How is that title for click bait?

Recently a journalist who wanted to write about Second Life did the right thing, he asked for help.

As soon as reporter Eric Grundhauser realised how massive our virtual world was and how impossible it would be to write a proper article about it without exploring it for many days, he reached out to Linden Lab and asked for a guide.
Linden Lab pointed him in the direction of one of the best guides  imaginable, Ziki Questi.

She showed him some of SL’s most impressive sims (but forgetting the best one, mine ;)) and the result is a rather nice, positive article about Second Life.
One to counter all those negative stories with.
But he didn’t forget to mention the more adult side, luckily, unlike with most media, it was not the main focus of his story.

The story was published on a website called ‘Atlas Obscura‘, “the definitive guide to the world’s wondrous and curious places.”, as they describe themselves.
So not a tech website, not a blog about games or virtual reality, but more like a travel guide for those interested in the unusual.
It is very interesting that they choose to publish a story about a virtual destination, I like that a lot.

Make sure you read it, you can find it by clicking here.

But a few days later Wagner James Au on his website ‘New World Notes’, wrote an article about the Atlas Obscura article that was rather surprising to many.
He felt that the adult side of Second Life, ugly outdated sims and things such as lag, old graphics, etc. did not get enough attention and that the article thus “presents a distorted picture of Second Life that ultimately does a disservice to SL and its best creators, while doing nothing to help grow its userbase.”

You can read his entire article by clicking here, make sure you also read the comments below it.

Unsurprisingly many Second Life users were confused, annoyed and angry about his story.
Finally the media writes something positive about our virtual world and now this.

Honour McMillan wrote an interesting reply to Wagner’s story here on her blog and of course there was lots of talking about the subject on Twitter and plurk.

So Drax and I decided to invite Hamlet to our little attic studio in Berlin (AKA Skype) and interviewed him.
I think the result is rather interesting, an edited (for time) version will be part of the Drax Files Radio Hour to go online this Friday and we will also put the complete unedited interview online.

I personally think that just because sims are catagorised as adult, they don’t necessarily are ‘rated Adult for extreme sexual and violent content’.
Interestingly enough yesterday Linden Lab organised a ‘Inworld Linden meet up’ in the adult themed (stunningly wonderful) sim Basilique Town… where public nudity or even (wearing or walking around in?) underwear is not allowed!
And although the place has a few corners here and there where the rules are more relaxed and hanky panky probably goes on somewhere, these areas are for members only.
So their rating as adult may be legitimate, I definitely wouldn’t call it a sex sim, if it was, I wouldn’t even dare visit it, Lindens or no Lindens.

Then again, my rating system would be even worse, I’m such an old fashioned prude, I’d probably rate 99% of SL as perverted.
I mean some women walk around with skirts that don’t cover their knees!

I also think that a lot has to do with the words you use.
For instance Hamlet says Second Life is dying, I’d prefer to say it is declining or even better; evolving into the Next Generation virtual world that Linden Lab is working on now.

Anyway, I’ll leave the rest of my opinions to the interview we did with Wagner, a link to our podcast will be shared here on this blog, and on of course on the Draxfiles website as soon as the show is online.

atlas obscura