Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sweden to open first virtual embassy in Second Life

Sweden to open first virtual embassy in Second Life Tue Jan 30, 8:16 AM ET STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - "Sweden plans to be the first country to open an embassy in popular virtual world Second Life. The embassy will be called House of Sweden and modeled on the country's new embassy in Washington. It will open in a couple of weeks."

Ok, I admit it. I had never heard of Second Life until a week or so ago. I know, I know... I'm supposed to be some kind of tech expert or something. In my defense, my expertise is in running the servers and writing the programs that help run the servers. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I really am the worst "user" of the 'Net you'll ever see. But I digress.

The significance of this story is that the virtual world hinted at by Gibson and Stephenson is starting to coalesce. It has been slowly coming for years now. There are monetary transactions that happen in the real world and the virtual world simultaneously. There's been funerals held online for people who died in real life. This is but the next step. Having an official governmental representation in a virtual world brings the demarcation line closer and closer to our feet. When the technology to physically interact in the virtual world, technology loosely known as "Virtual Reality", we very well might find Count Zero waiting for us.

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