Thursday, June 25, 2009

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Second Life's Iran Vigil Adds Presence and Shared Space and Embodiment to Uprising's Internet Support Community

First Iran Gathering

Here's a few glimpses of yesterday's Second Life vigil for Iranians killed in the democratic uprising, taken from my brief visit. Lasting longer than 90 minutes, reports attendee Laraa Short, about forty people ultimately showed up for the vigil. No one there was reportedly from Iran, but some have family members who are. It wasn't only a time for mourning, but coordinating and growing the nascent "Support Iran" group which organized the event. What we're seeing here, then, is an immersive offshoot of the informal Internet community that has sprung up in the last couple weeks in random, often unexpected places -- on Twitter, in YouTube comment threads, on blogs like the the Huffington Post, and more. While those asynchronous communities mainly express their support through text, or simple gestures like changing one's Twitter avatar to green, this new Second Life adjunct brings 3D and real time to the experience, adding a sense of shared space and embodiment to this community's shared values.

As that suggests, more vigils are planned today, at 2:00pm and 7:00pm SLT -- direct SLurl teleport at this link.

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