I just got word that BBC Radio did an interview with SL NetRoots organizer Ruby Glitter about the in-world peace demonstration that occurred on Monday. Or at least, that’s what the interview SHOULD have been about. Instead the interviewer kept shifting the focus to the in-world griefing of the Front National headquarters.
Ruby handled herself well, making the important distinction between peaceful civil protest and griefing / violence. What’s clear is that the traditional media thrives on conflict and controversy, and exploding pigs are always going to be sexier than a horse furry holding a sign. But I think he raises a valid point about our in-world activities leveraging the strength of the technology and not just mimicking the real world.
It’s true that the possibilities for creative and civil virtual protest are many, and largely unexplored. Imagine…
- a coordinated flying squadron of protestors, leaving a trail of colorful smoke
- dance sequencers that avatars can join for an impromptu dance routine — Hey, Macarena!
- instruments that avatars can grab and play with
- a protest float (that floats!) that avatars can jump onto
As Ruby says, this was intended as a modest, last-minute SL response to the real world demonstrations that took place on Saturday in DC. So they surpassed all expectations and learned a lot from the process, I’m sure.