Peter Ludlow and Mark Wallace

Books Reviews Peter Ludlow and Mark Wallace
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Peter Ludlow and Mark Wallace

Porn, pranks, politics and pixels

Whether you spend your days tweaking the cup size of your favorite avatar or are a complete noob when it comes to Second Life (SL), you’ll agree after reading this book that the growth of Linden Lab’s virtual world makes for some damn good copy.

The authors, from their unique perch as creators of two in?uential virtual tabloid newspapers in SL and its predecessor, The Sims Online (TSO), chronicle all the griefers (including one butt-kicking Granny!), scammers, Mafiosos, madams, tycoons and artists that ?rst adopted these persistent online universes.

Most fascinating is when Ludlow’s own Alphaville Herald gets shut down by TSO creators Electronic Arts when his reporting focuses on the company’s inconsistent treatment of its online citizens. And while, at times, the demonizing of the corporate developers of both worlds feels heavy-handed, the book examines the issues these “metaverses” create—issues essential to understanding if our second lives will become more integrated into our first.