The Rise of Virtual Fascism

I’ve stumbled onto something rather interesting: some documentation (posted by the offender himself who even provided a link to his blog where the conversation is documented!) showing virtual world fascism in attempted action. Here are some excerpts between that individual and a Second Life representative:

Random Unsung: the lowest form of life, people who buy land, and put up billboards
Random Unsung: you want to defend that, go ahead, then I tier down another sim today

{Note: “tier down another sim” equates to taking money directly out of the developer’s pocket by not paying the fee for running the computer on which the “sim” – or virtual simulation – is hosted.}

Kenny Linden: I hate the friggin signs as much as you
Random Unsung: well get rid of them
Random Unsung: not me
Kenny Linden: but clamping down on people’s freedom with land they own. . .that’s a whole other issue
Random Unsung: because I’m the one who will leave, not him

Random Unsung: well you’re a chump Kenny
Random Unsung: I’m not
Random Unsung: I fight back
Random Unsung: I take it to the media as well

{Note: the individual behind this avatar has recently been interviewed by Fortune magazine and apparently feels that this provides additional leverage in gaining concessions and exceptions to the virtual world’s Terms of Service.}

Kenny Linden: alright, if you won’t comply, I’ll Kick you
Random Unsung: I fight back to the max when I lose money on these people

Random Unsung: I’ve lost hundreds of REAL dollars over these people
Random Unsung: I won’t take it any more

Kenny Linden: this is not the situation we want. However, we try to give you guys ultimate freedom
Random Unsung: This is the result, eat it, and lose my tier.
Kenny Linden: your threats of tier removal are saddening, as I feel you’d be cutting yourself off from SL based on this guy, so he wins
Random Unsung: no, you lose, not me
Random Unsung: it’s your paycheck, notmine, it’s on my expenditures list

{Note: here the individual who often claims to “live in Second Life” is resorting to implied threats directed toward the real life income of the developer’s representative. Fascinating.}

Random Unsung: SHAME ON YOU
Kenny Linden: I don’t feel shame in trying to help as much as I can, offering suggestions, and responding to a punishment called for situation with tyring to help the person I should be kicking

Kenny Linden: I’d much rather support you, but I have to uphold the TOS first and foremost
Random Unsung: That’s where you are limited in your vision.

{Note: the use of “vision” here brings to mind the so-called visions of past totalitarian regimes in real life.}

Random Unsung: Keep your game.
Random Unsung: You don’t want adults in this game, you only want kids.
Random Unsung: So have fun in your sandbox.
Random Unsung: I will tier down every sim I can and get out.

I should mention that the issue at hand isn’t actually “billboards” (as in advertising products), but the posting of “Impeach Bush” signs across the Second Life landscape. The problem for some people is that these signs are on virtual land owned by the people placing them there. And of course, those who take offense the most are screaming bloody murder since many of their virtual customers – those who “rent” space on their land – don’t like seeing these signs and consequently move to other locations in the virtual world. This of course causes real life difficulties for those who pay the “tier” in real money using the rent paid in virtual currency (and converted to US dollars) from a dwindling customer base.

What a wonderful world in a bottle in which to observe human behavior!

{Update 2: removed response to a blog post linking here. As there is no longer any traffic, my response is no longer needed and has been archived.}