Gandhi Avatar Preparing for Second Life Freedom

An academic artist, who previously used America’s Army to make a political statement about the Iraqi war and recreated Gandhi’s Salt March in Second Life, has another online installation underway which features the Indian peace advocate.

Joseph DeLappe has imprisoned his MGandhi avatar in Second Life as a recreation of Gandhi’s post-Salt March prison term.

In real life, Gandhi was imprisoned by the British from May 5, 1930 through January 26, 1931. In the Second Life reenactment, MGandhi has been in a cell on Odyssey Contemporary Art and Performance Island (link for Second Life denizens) and will be “released” on January 26.

While imprisoned, MGandhi has not been idle; DeLappe’s avatar has been interacting with visitors and performing daily readings from the Bush-era Torture Memos. The readings are being fed to DeLappe’s Facebook account and his Twitter handle.

To celebrate MGandhi’s freedom, DeLappe is organizing a release party, entitled the gg hootenanny, which will feature the ability to sing-along, via voice chat, to protest songs from avatars such as The Beatles, Amy Winehouse, Pope Benedict XVI, Hello Kitty, Jim Morrison, Prince Charles and Spongebob Squarepants. The event will take place at 10AM, 6PM and 11PM SLT (Second Life Time) on January 26.

For gamers not into virtual worlds, fret not. DeLappe is also encouraging non-Second Lifers to pick up a guitar and sing inside their online game of choice on January 26, as he demonstrates in the embedded YouTube video, where he sings Bob Dylan’s Masters of War inside an FPS (America’s Army?)—a performance in and of itself.

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