The Revolutionary Struggle in Second Life

A month ago there was a riot in the virtual world of Second Life, specifically in front of the Second Life virtual offices of the proto-fascist Front National. The pictures tell the story.


Now there is a power struggle for control of the virtual world waged by the Second Life Liberation Army (SLLA). Its demands echo Rudolph Meidner’s plan for a wage earners’ fund that would buy out capital in Sweden and thereby socialize the economy. (Somewhere in a letter to Weidemeir, Marx jokes that in England perhaps the workers could buy out the owners of capital. I don’t know if the joke was an inspiration.) The SLLA’s demands?

The establishement of basic ‘rights’ for Second Life Players. Having consulted widely we now believe the best vehicle for this is for Linden Labs to offer public shares in the company. We propose that each player is able to buy one share for a set-price. This would serve both the development of the world and provide the beginnings of representation for avatars in Second Life.

The struggle for, er, a stock market people’s democracy includes virtual terrorist attacks. What it says about the way people view terrorist violent (like what 24 says about the way pop culture sees torture) is unsettling, though the 24 torture issue seems far more unsettling. In

Imagine a wildly popular virtual destination such as Second Life in the throes of a power struggle!

According to an AFP (Agence France Presse) report, the last six months or so have seen the rise and rise of a group which calls itself the Second Life Liberation Army (SLLA), and which aims to replace what it perceives as the rule of Linden Labs (creator of Second Life) with a government of, by, and for the four million-odd residents of Second Life.

With claims none less than being an ‘in-world military wing of a national liberation movement’, the SLLA has been busy setting-off virtual atomic bomb explosions in Second Life.

The bombs explode in hazy white balls, blotting out portions of the screen, and more often than not blasting nearby avatars, which are essentially animated virtual world proxies of residents of Second Life.

Of these blasts, Linden says they are brief, and not serious enough to cause lasting damage in Second Life. Linden even views the bombings as a sort of ‘mock terrorism’ intended to spur debate on the power structure within Second Life.