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Second Life Overrun

4:45 PM -- Virtual terrorists have struck in Second Life. But based on what's in this L.A. Times report today (free registration required), it's hard not to sympathize with them.

The protest, aimed at retail stores like Reebok's, stems from the frustration some SL old-timers have with their world's new direction. SL has become the venue of choice for corporations to try out virtual-world marketing, and some say the influx of retail outlets and office parks is getting to be an eyesore and a nuisance.

To me, SL's strength has always been as an artistic venture, and not in the economy that's gotten so much press. But once any Internet community gets popular, the creative types get pushed aside by the hordes trying to make a quick buck.

You can see this on MySpace , where some people's message boards are cluttered with ads. And long before that, the Usenet newsgroups became unusable after being drowned in spam. Someday, someone's going to figure out the SL equivalent of spam, and then it'll be all over.

The L.A. Times story says some Second Lifers feel their only choice is to move on. I won't say where -- why spoil it for them?

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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