Telus, plywood art and Second Life

One of the things I find fascinating about virtual worlds such as Second Life, The Sims Online and There is that in many ways they are very much like the real world — right up to the point where things start to get really weird. The fact that the laws of physics, morality and even life itself can effectively be re-written on the fly has a way of making things very interesting (and in many cases confusing) for non-players. I’ve written about this kind of thing before, and I recently came across another example — and one with a Canadian flavour, no less.

In a recent post on Second Life Herald, a writer named Pixeleen Mistral tells the story of what happened when she went to get a new cellphone for her avatar (yes, she felt her in-world character needed a hot new cellphone) at a new store set up by Telus, a Canadian wireless provider that has — like T-shirt maker American Apparel and several other retailers — opened a virtual version of one of its real-world stores. Unfortunately for Pixeleen, the store had been completely encased in plywood by a “griefer” artist trying for a Christof kind of look (griefers are like in-world hackers and troublemakers).

She came back a little while later to find the plywood removed, but then watched as another griefer (this one with a gun fetish, and an avatar whose clothes were covered in long spikes) first shot a customer (another journalist) and then waved around a sword to show off his script-writing skills. Sparkle Dale, who works at the Telus store, reportedly handed the whole affair with aplomb, and even managed to sell another customer a phone — all while the griefer was busy shooting another customer, a “trend consultant” from named Brighton Giugiaro, for standing between him and the door.

Juvenile? Perhaps. A waste of time? No doubt. But fascinating nonetheless.

5 thoughts on “Telus, plywood art and Second Life

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  3. Absolutely extraordinary. I’ve seen talk recently about MySpacers getting pissed off that ‘every second profile is fake’ because they’re created by buzz agents. Can that happen in SecondLife too?

  4. Thanks for the comment, Ian. I would imagine if that isn’t happening already in Second Life, it soon will be.

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