3D: New Environment for Internet Activism

The new environment is evolved from 2D internet to 3D internet, as a result of development in computer games, computer hardware and increased broadband connection, is called as “virtual world ” which can be defined as a “synchronous, persistent, network of people, represented by avatars, facilitated by computers.” (Bell, 2008). As understood from the definition, “This environment frequently exists 24/7 and persists even when users are not within it. These worlds can have realistic representations of buildings and rooms and earth-like terrain with natural vegetation, animals, or animated objects” (Robbins & Butler, 2009)

The virtual world platform creates an opportunity to import real world activism to virtual world platforms. The first example was the action by the Second Life Liberation Army. The Second Life Liberation Army is a virtual group protesting the lack of democratic decision making in the running of Second Life because the users where creating all the content but have no rights regarding the direction the space takes (second life is managed by corporate entity Linden Labs – lindenlab.com).

The Second Life Liberation Army’s first second life “inworld” action was at virtual store of American Apparel store chain. The US clothing chain had previously opened the virtual store to sell virtual clothes that can be worn my Second avatars. During protests, several number of Second Life Liberation Army volunteers entered the American Apparel store and prevented avatars from making purchases. This led American Apparel and other corporate entities that were the target of SLLA attacks are closing their operations and moving out of Second Life.[1]

Here we can say that SLLA is asking for social change as a result, it could match with the description of Crosley (2002)  as a social movement

[1] http://slla.blogspot.se/ I could find this infro here but forbes link was not accessible at this blog post, yet it depicts an example of virtual world protests


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