Friday, April 08, 2005


New blogs, Atlantis, infected beauty standards, and thoughts on SL sweatshops...

Welcome three new SL bloggers to the roster: Trinity Serpentine with her wittily-named blog, Wholly Trinity, Tya Fallingbridge and her Wacky World, and certainly not to forget master SL machinima maker Jack Digeridoo and his POV.

Meanwhile, in recent entries, Tyranqui Karuna visits Atlantis, while Torrid Midnight worries that traditional offline beauty standards are beginning to infect Second Life:

One thing I've always loved about Second Life is the diversity of its residents and that real life's idea of beauty didn't spill over very much. Now I'm hearing things about our virtual world that sadden me. I heard the other day that a particular modeling group in SL requires their models to have a certain skin tone and a very thin shape with no curves and large breasts. This literally made me ill for a few minutes, to know that our media-infected society's idea of what makes a beautiful woman was alive and thriving in SL.

Lordfly Digeridoo has some striking thoughts on another recent controversy to hit the world: have MMORPG "sweatshops" discovered Second Life? Lordfly runs with the assumption that they have, and comes up with some very interesting hypotheticals in which the sweatshop workers end up getting the better deal:

The only other way to [make money in Second Life] would be to mass-produce goods and/or services. But that is a risky proposition for the sweatshop operator. Why? Let's go through a few examples:

* Sweatshop owner decides to mass-produce buildings. He trains 50-100 people in the archaic building tools given to us in SL for about 3 weeks, and then opens up virtual shop. First of all, the market is already quite flooded. Secondly, whoops, now the workers have a personal skill they can use for better pay/better conditions: that is, they have rudimentary CAD skills.

* Sweatshop owner decides to mass-produce scripts. He trains 50-100 people in the LSL programming language. Whoops, now the workers have another skill; rudimentary programming logic skills.

* Sweatshop owner decides to go old-school and mass-produce clothing. He trains 50 people in Photoshop. Whoops, now the sweatshop workers have an extremely valuable skill in a professional-grade photo editing program. Sony called, they want to hire them for 10 bucks an hour doing texture work for Gran Turismo Bandicoot 5 Dance Dance Alpha. Whoops indeed.

Second Life as job re-training program for virtual gold harvesters? The mind boggles twice over...

Posted at 02:04 AM | Permalink


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