Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Second Life - Utopia or distopia?

Through reading "Exit Utopia - Architectural Provocations" i have begun to identify the many parallels that exist between second life and Utopian theories behind projects such as 'New Babylon' and the 'Plug-in City.'

Homo ludens - Man at Play (is the basis of the theory behind 'New Babylon')

"New Babylon cannot be hijacked, because it belongs to everybody. It isn't a personal expression of mine now, is it? ... I do believe that when people are liberated, en masse, from their duties and obligations, a type of society will be born in which man will play with his life, rather then partition it according to demands of the struggle of existence."

The Second Life experience states "Your World. Your Imagination." Second Life is a land of play, the world and its experiences are created mainly through the creativity of its Residents. The Residents of the world may teleport and travel through people's creativity and are not tied down to jobs or property. It is truly the 'New New Babylon" envisioned.

Whereas the "Plug-in City" considers Utopia to be an "interchangeable 'kit-of-parts'" and "plug-in, plug-out joints."

is made up of building blocks known as 'This theory also holds true for Second Life. For in Second Life every element of the environmentprims' these 'prims' can be arranged, re-arranged and deleted as the avatar sees fit. They can also be used in an inexhaustible amount of different structures for different purposes.

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