Sunday, January 10, 2010

Where Is Everybody?

On the listserv for the Institute for Distributed Creativity there has been a lot of chatter between digital artists, new media scholars, and online activists about a recent article titled "Whatever Happened to Second Life," which makes the Second-Life-is-empty argument yet again. What I find interesting about the article and the attention being paid to it is the question "Why now?" or "What is contributing to skepticism about virtual worlds?" Certainly virtual worlds seem to be appearing in fewer news stories in the past year. For example, even though the term "virtual worlds" would have been more familiar in 2009 than in 2008, it appeared in thirty-one fewer stories in The New York Times. I am also interested in how the article uses what could be called "a rhetoric of return" as a way to describe what the author considers to be a failed technology.



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