Extra, extra, read all about it!



The book starts off covering the interactions between Urizenus "Uri" Sklar (Ludlow) and the citizens of the virtual world community of TSO- The Sims Online. Uri, a muckraking journalist, founds the Alphaville Herald, a blog that reports on shady in-world activities and controversial stories. Much of the book takes place in TSO until Uri is banned in late 2003, terms of service violations, for what seemed to be retaliation for critical coverage of EA and its approach to specific in-world issues.

Ludlow then journeys to Second Life (SL), changes the name of the blog to the Second Life Herald and hires on Mark Wallace to help run the Herald. Despite the name, the last 1/3 of the book covers his dealings with SL and to this day the blog is still one of the most important sources of news for SL.
More than anything, the book reveals the philosophical foundation of virtual worlds, looking in depth at the ways in which the communities in TSO and Second Life developed and how they interacted with the publishers behind the two virtual worlds. It is clear in the book that Ludlow feels that the publishers fall far short of responsible governance and gives many an example to support this.

I have to say that Ludlow is a great storyteller and the read was very engaging with lots of great mini-stories and characters introduced. I am becoming a fan of the SLH due to the interesting stories, even though I dont frequent SL. I encourage anyone to get the book. Hats off to Peter and Mark for a job well done. Now like a true nerd, I just got to remember to get Mark to sign my copy next time I see him.

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