Even in the Mature-rated, almost-anything-goes simulators of Second Life, you're not allowed to engage in behavior that would be illegal in real life. (A handy catch-all clause, in the Linden Lab Terms of Service agreement.) Oneironaut Escher kept this caveat in mind, when he built an educational installation in Stanford, dedicated to promoting awareness of sinsemilla, if or when it's decriminalized.
Escher has some strong opinions about what he sees as contradictory laws in this country, and he’s put his personal position in that political discourse into 3D form. "It's something I'm passionate about," says Escher, "and SL gives me a little more anonymity than real life, so I feel a bit safer about being voiceful for the movement. It's ridiculous that something safer than aspirin and with great potential benefits is illegal in so much of the world."
A giant sign in the center of Escher's fairgrounds explicitly disavows any endorsement of illegally ingesting the weed with roots to hell, and warns residents to check their local laws, before applying anything they learn in here, out there.
I ask Oneironaut if he's a real-world activist.
"Not really active in real life," he says, smiling, "the Man keeps me down." But he's hopeful that changes will soon be coming to his neighborhood. "I'm on the East Coast. Canada is about to legalize -- that will cause intense pressure on the US to change its laws."
"SL is quite appropriate," he says, "for... 'creative' states of mind. It's both beneficial and helpful [to me]. Adds to creativity, but being easily distracted can make scripting difficult.”