My Photo


One-Line Bio

Welcome to the New World Notes, the ongoing footnotes for my book, The Making of Second Life: Notes From The New World (HarperCollins)


My book agent is David Fugate of Launch books.

My speaker's agent is Jamie Brickhouse at the HarperCollins Speaker's Bureau.

For info on advertising on this blog, see my Federated Media page.


From April 2003 to February 2006, I was a contract writer for Linden Lab, creators of Second Life, primarily hired by the company to cover SL as an embedded journalist in an emerging society-- its controversies, its personalities, its innovations and ambitions, along with larger themes of identity, social norms and organization, and cultural expression important to online worlds in general.  That contractual relationship has ended, but the story of Second Life and the wider metaverse continues here. For the longer version, read my book.

I’ve been interviewed about my work as the embedded journalist for Second Life by CNN International, NPR’s All Things Considered, the BBC, G4 TV, The Los Angeles Times, Harvard Business Review,, the San Jose Mercury, the Associated Press, Wired Online, among other publications.  I have spoken on the subject for Oreilly's Web 2.0 and Etech conferences, South by Southwest in Austin, and State of Play (sponsored by Yale and New York Law School), among others 

Apart from New World Notes, I also cover games and online worlds for GigaOM.

I'm a contract consultant and copywriter for SL projects and advertising, and a seasoned game designer, screenwriter, and freelance journalist. Contact me at wjamesau at well dot com.

Full disclosure:  as listed on the homepage, I'm an "SL partner" with the metaverse development company Rezzable, and the virtual world social network Koinup, i.e., also co-sponsors of the blog.  As a developer and writer, I'll be an occasional consultant on various Rezzable/Koinup projects in SL.  During the times I mention such projects in NWN editorial, I'll disclose that relation.

I’ve also been a regular freelance writer for Salon and Wired for the past eight-ten years, along with writing for the Los Angeles Times, Reason, Lingua Franca, the New York Post, Kotaku, Game Developer, Gamespot, Gameslice, and other publications, primarily on game culture and the game industry, along with politics, film, and pop culture.  I am also a screenwriter (my script Future Tense was optioned by Canal Plus in 2001), and as a game developer, wrote for Electronics Arts’ groundbreaking conspiracy thriller Majestic.