[-empyre-] Virtual sweatshops, SL:s dark side?

I take here the liberty of "reusing" an old post in Trebor Scholtz
list IDC, regaerding SL. I think it's a real dilemma why people "use"
SL as a research environment or an experimental milieu without
critiizing the grounds which support the mere existens of SL. The
lacking democracy, the control of citizens opinions, the use of
virtual sweatshops to generate added value to the manufactured goods
sold in SL. And I find the argument "fI Residents recreate suburban
sprawl in SL, that is probably for the same
reasons as in real life. People like space and privacy and dont like too many
rules (i.e. zoning), these factors will inevitably give rise to sprawl if there
is no planning." a bit shallow.

The suburb is not what a resident want but what the resident get from
social planners who think in heteronormative and monogamous ways,
where the "nuclear family" is still the model to reproduce.

It's maybe time to resurrect Engels pamphlet "The Holy Family", still
high readable material.

As I wrote before, gated communities, safe worlds without criminality
are a dream of social planners wanting to create utopies. It reminds
me about Buckminster Full designs, or Le Corbusier hives or Bauhaus
social architecture.

I still wish to read critical approaches to SL "beyond the hype"





That's really interesting and I really wish more researchers could be
engaged in the studio of Second Life's conditions and behaviours.
A world without democracy, where the individual is constricted to
"mature contempt" islands, where the discussion made in official
forums is controlled by the omnipotent and omniscent Linden Lab.
I read the headlines from last week's turbulence in SL. "terrorist
attack in Second Life", "cyberterrorism". What is virtual terrorism?
It reminds me about Julian Dibbell's excellent book "My tiny life",
where a virtual rape was discussed and put on trial.
And about precariety and workers rights we should discuss Anshe Chung,
the real estate broker avatar for Ailin Graef, is known to use workers
from her nativev China to make virtual wares in places similar to
Virtual sweatshops are also used for games as Everquest or Ultima
Online, where macros can be used to generate or reproduce objects who
can be sold or traded in the games or outside the games.
The virtual sweatshops (or more clear, the real sweatshops) are in the
real life and populates av real workers, they make virtual wares but
they are treated as all other precarious workers: they work day and
night in dangerous conditions, exposed to datasmog and radiation of
the screens.
Many of them are in the maquila zone between Mexico and the US, Graafs
are in China.


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