Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Burning Life 2007

The Burning Life 2007 is a week long series of events in Second Life using the same themes that are the Burning Man Festival. The program of events can be reached from here (with URL for the sims).

In Second Life, where the place itself is art, a counterculture festival like Burning Life is expected to "exhibit the unexpected", leaving residents teetering on the edge of what is artistically possible in virtual space.

The past year has seen mega-marketers from Coca-Cola to Coldwell Banker dipping their corporate digits into Second Life's ubiquitous waterfalls, testing the waters of virtual places. Whether big corporations decide to take the plunge will eventually depend on the interests and desires of the hordes of new residents, whose arrival has coincided with the mainstream commercial invasion.

This whirlpool of corporate interests and wide-eyed 'newbie' avatars seems destined to create a rising wave of consumer mentality in Second Life: a boon to the Linden economy, virtual entrepreneurs and to all those avatars who are looking for "just the right thing" to enhance their virtual lives.

And yet, there is another side to the Second Life sims: cultures that counter corporate constraints, and embrace unrestrained creativity. So where is the much-touted expansion of experience we expected from this new digital space?

This weekend is going to be a feast of culture with lots of music and visuals. No dollars are allowed to change hands on the sims during the festival and anyone can come in, you just need an avatar.

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