:: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 ::

lol at ukip noobs

The media seems to have gone crazy about Second Life recently. SL is a 'virtual world' with 1,211,392 users. It's like the MMO (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) World of Warcraft but without the orcs, goblins or fighting. Although actually you can fight there if you want to, according to the Observer anyway. The fact that news-agency Reuters has set up an office there seems to have stirred them up. Actually millions of people already use these spaces. In countries such as South Korea it is a thoroughly mainstream activity. You can buy cards with the currency of virtual worlds in corner shops.

Today the Guardian Games Blog announced that right-wing xenophobes UKIP were setting up an office in SL. They describe UKIP as 'libertarian' which they are not, in fact they are the polar opposite of libertarians who believe in free movements of people. Well a nice little publicity coup if nothing else. But in cyberspace there are no national boundaries and the defence of 'Britishness' 'imperial measurements' and the 'pound sterling' are a bit meaningless. Perhaps they will campaign to put the queen's head on Linden dollars?

Apparently Dutch parliamentarians also plan to take to the streets of a virtual Amsterdam, which judging from the screen-shots is a bit cleaner than the real one I was in last week. The participants include Arda Gerkens from the Socialist Party.

"With the elections to be held on November 22, they are visiting locations in SL that are frequented regularly by Dutch people, from where they will hand out election flyers. The Members of Parliament will also tour projects in SL dealing in the field of health care and education. All of the participants recognize the importance of virtual worlds like SL: 'Such worlds are becoming more and more realistic and, consequently, the impact they have on people and society increases, too. Politicians should be aware of this development.'

It is probably inevitable that mainstream parties will move into these spaces. You might not see David Cameron doing a molten core run or Tony Blair taking down frostfire, but we may have to face that even in lands residing on servers there is no escape from politics.

All that is solid melts into air, indeed.

:: Alister | 11:26 am | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


I take issue with your comments on UKIP being xenophobic. As someone who is half-German, I am fully at ease in being Chairman of UKIP Lewisham. We are not anti-Europe, we are anti-EU. We want 100% democracy returned to Britain. What is wrong with that?

By Blogger Jens Winton, at 3:24 pm  

Well what is xenophobia... "fear of that which is foreign or strange". Seems to me that this is the basis of UKIP's appeal.

By Blogger Alister, at 4:53 pm  

UKIP is not anti-foreign. But you can see how people associate anything with Europe as being EU and vice versa. This is wrong. That is why we are attacked for opposing the EU, and indeed wrongly labelled EURO-sceptic, when we are EU-sceptic. Subtle differences like this are not addressed properly by the media but then whoever said the media were there to inform us correctly either?

By Blogger Jens Winton, at 3:21 pm  

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