Posted by Rob Walker on August 23, 2006
Posted Under: Virtual Whatever-ness

I admit it: I haven’t been spending very much time in Second Life. I’ve visited a little, and I actually made my first consumer purchase with Linden currency the other day, but more about that later. The point is I clearly haven’t been paying enough attention, because the virtual store that got me interested in Second Life in the first place — the American Apparel “in world” location — was “attacked” earlier this month.

The attackers were members of The Second Life Liberation Army. Here’s what they say about their action on or about August 11:

Following the lack of any progress towards introducting citizens voting rights to Second Life the SLLA began in-world military operations.

The SLLA selected as its first target the American Apparel Store in SL. Volunteers from the SLLA have been posted to the store and are preventing SL residents from buying any goods from this vendor.

The SLLA has no complaint with American Apparel but is seeking to introduce voting rights to Second Life.

Hunh. Okay. Well, I don’t know anything about the underlying issue here, but of course I was interested. So, just now, sent my avatard, Murk Story, over to the store and, once again, he found himself all alone on the island. So I had to resort to looking for other people’s accounts of what went down. –>

One account is at Second Life Insider. Aimee Webber made the scene and confronted “Dave,” a furry (as they say) with “automatic weapon in hand,” and asked: Why pick on American Apparel?

The answer: “It’s because of its representative value. I have stopped about 50 people using this place today without affecting the wider operation of SL.” Dave and the Army’s larger point seems to be that Second Life itself is “more than a company” and “more than a business,” and residents deserve more say in matters of governance.

Another report, published on Second Life Herald, speculates as to whether the whole thing was a PR stunt, since the store is “generally completely deserted.” (Consistent with my experience!) That post also discusses another visit to the store, post-military-action, that found it inhabited by three lounging avatars, one of whom is a Second Life nudist — only to be interrupted by what appeared to be an official tour being given to (the avatar of) some real-world “businessman” by an official Second Life rep!

Interesting. But the most tantalizing tidbit–

Oh, wait, there’s someone else here! Lightly edited of Murk Story’s latest in-world encounter here:

You: Howdy…
Asia Cardway: hello
You: I just read about a “second life liberation army” action here, did you hear about that?
Asia Cardway: no sir i didnt
You: yeah. I thought maybe it was the Boston Tea Party of Second Life, but I guess it was no big deal…
Asia Cardway: lol
Asia Cardway: ok

At that point, she teleported away. Story of Murk’s life! At least he made her lol.

Anyway I was going to say, the most tantalizing tidbit was this from Second Life Herald correspondent Pixeleen Mistral: ” I understand that the SLLA is considering selling T-shirts to raise money for weapons.” That’s dope! I bet they can get their blanks from American Apparel…

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

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