Looking at the Real World Value of Virtual World Protests

August 31, 2009 -

Protests held in virtual spaces such as Second Life have real-world political value, according to international projects lobbysist Max Burns, who pens an op-ed for Foreign Policy in Focus.

Paying particular attention to SL demonstrations against the Iranian government's post-election crackdown against opponents of the Ahmadinejad regime, Burns writes:

The active Iranian protest community in Second Life is more than a curiosity, and downplaying the importance of virtual societies in our political and social lives... understates the power of synthetic worlds in creating viable social movements...

Authoritarian governments that repress real-world demonstrations have difficulty doing the same in the synthetic world. Virtual rallies are so hard to shut off because the mechanics of virtual protest are fluid...

Indeed, the efforts of real-world governments to restrict the Internet usage of virtual protesters appears to strengthen the rallies as the online community responds to what it views as an offense against expression. So, for instance, Second Life's virtual protests continued — and even increased in scale — after real-world Iranians started to mysteriously disappear from the synthetic world...


Comments

Re: Looking at the Real World Value of Virtual World ...

Great idea. Think about voicing your opinion, standing up for what you believe in, without the threat of violence.

Unfortunately, with every rally, regardless of the cause, there's always a threat of riots. A person can be peaceful and non-violent, but people are dumb, violent, dangerous creatures. You get a bunch of people together, and you get a mob. And a mob is only as smart as it's dumbest person.

But in Second Life, that threat is removed. Yes, you're still going to have those loud and foul mouthed idiots, but they're influence will be greatly reduced, and program doesn't allow for physical violent behavior.

I think this is a trend that can only prove benefitial as it grows.

 
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IanCAnitia Skeeter won't allow comments because she doesn't like debate.04/01/2015 - 4:46pm
Sora-ChanTestTube did a video on the Trans-Pascific Partnership https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W4Zc55pCtY04/01/2015 - 4:06pm
ZippyDSMleepicking up The Feminist Wire , Mary Sue and Feminist frequency , a shame FF had to close down comments, I tend to drop anyhting that dose not allow comments these days but as seeing how much spam and trolling they get I will it slide.04/01/2015 - 4:03pm
ZippyDSMleeOkay now that I can understand, I was focusing on total outcome not just reinforcement.So its about reinforcement of poor feelings/behavior than anything else..now I get it....uhg forest for the trees.....04/01/2015 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenBut again, to be clear, that does not mean consuming violent media will make you violent.04/01/2015 - 3:46pm
Andrew EisenZippy - Not totally sure what you're getting at but it's the same idea that when our fiction is full of stories where violence is the solution to everything, it helps reinforce the idea that violence is the answer in real life.04/01/2015 - 3:46pm
Andrew EisenAlso, just in case anyone wasn't clear on this, Sarkeesian's argument in her latest video is that we "need more women-centric stories of all kinds." That's it.04/01/2015 - 3:44pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen Okay so would that be like violence something that has a loose tie to the real world, or would that be an oversimplification?04/01/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenThe Mary Sue reports on all kinds of fun, geeky stuff from news to movies, video games, comics, science and more.04/01/2015 - 3:42pm
ZippyDSMleeAnyone know of any fun/comedic feminist blogs that keep up with news?04/01/2015 - 3:42pm
Andrew EisenYes, kind of. Repeatedly hammering home that men are the default and women are the exception can help reinforce that idea in real life. Does that mean playing fantasy games staring male leads is going to make an individual a raging misogynist? No.04/01/2015 - 3:41pm
ZippyDSMleeThe trouble wiht twitter and FB is they give inconstant updates to those you follow and RSS feeds never worked well for me, guess I will put in my news stuff and skim it like the rest when I have time..04/01/2015 - 3:38pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:So a wide use of generic tropes about male leads makes it easier for males to dominate females, and females feel lesser beings in real life?04/01/2015 - 3:36pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, they have an RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. All links are in the side bar of their site: http://www.feministfrequency.com/04/01/2015 - 3:35pm
Andrew EisenZippy - It has an RSS and a presence on Twitter and Facebook.04/01/2015 - 3:33pm
Matthew WilsonGoogle's April fools in play pacman on google maps http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2015/04/01/the-best-places-to-play-pac-man-on-google-maps/04/01/2015 - 3:32pm
ZippyDSMleeanyone know if feministfrequency has a newsletter or update notification via the blog system they use?04/01/2015 - 3:31pm
Andrew EisenIf you're referring to the ending of Sarkeesian's latest video, no. What she said was the idea that men's experiences are universal is reinforced when the overwhelming majority of archetypal fantasy heroes are male.04/01/2015 - 3:30pm
ZippyDSMleeas it requires a lot of effort to go beyond ones experience. Hell I have like 10 crutches or so LOL, failures aside the more I am learning the more I am confused =0_o=04/01/2015 - 3:27pm
ZippyDSMleeto female….an asshole is still an asshole no matter the tropes used… On the other hand I have noticed most of my stories revolving around male leads or male main character’s. It’s what I know so it’s what I go with, is it a crutch I would guess so 04/01/2015 - 3:27pm
 

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