Sim Street Journal defines the virtual life culture and what it reveals about first life. Released online, this journal explores the relevance of the virtual to the real. Discover the experiences of those creating and achieving in Second Life® and why it relates to all culture.
No one denies the potential of the virtual world platform. It remains, at its first decade, as niche—not as mainstream—because of its learning curve, and misperceptions of its uses. Orientation is necessary, not because the interface is hard, but because it can do so much. The society has a face-paced momentum and many challenges. Residents are dropped into a sophisticated complete world-in-progress, with an internationally rich culture. Its greatest strength is as a meeting place for idea mix.
The immersive and interactive natures of virtual world experience mirrors the real world. Residents actually learn more about themselves by the choices made in an environment free of physical necessities, than in the parallel real world. In the virtual environment, such as Second Life® (the social leader), Opensim, InWorldZ, 3rd Rock, etc., an avatar is a self expression, even a calling card.
Sim Street Journal captures experiences that are both self-and culturally-defining. Illuminating these journeys, articles review realizations, conclusions, and seek what relates to the real world. Like a petri dish, the virtual platform provides a landscape to highlight human nature through learning, choices, styles, creativity, philosophies, and even lifestyles.
SL shows its greatest strength in the arts, business, and education. It uses an immersive experience, simulation, and re-creation to advance ideas. And it brings together an international community, even a subculture. SSJ portrays those who form the cultural landscape. Unlike other in-world magazines, SSJ is a bridge between the real and virtual.
Always with the goal of presenting what conclusions from the virtual world are most relevant to the real one, this bridge is also to the future—when the virtual world becomes more commonplace. This is the one technology that relies upon, and combines, all the others—YouTube, blogs, websites—all media, and the arts, into a cohesive whole. SSJ chronicles this development, seeking to recognize the virtual life as augmenting the real. If used as a business tool (such as customer service or market research), as an educational tool (such as training or collaborative classes), as an artistic platform (live music, gallery arts, and ambient environments), as an entertainment environment (clubs, communities, role-play), as a social system (friendships, families, and companionships), this world is complete except for weather (which can be simulated), smell (ignored), and taste (vicarious). It has most of what real life has but is unencumbered by germs, dirt, laundry, and taking out the garbage.
Avatars, as representatives, allow for an even playing field. A large percentage of those active in virtual worlds are disabled in real life, or isolated in rural areas. Some may be unattractive, fat, old, young, or otherwise off from an ideal beautiful persona, but achievable in an avatar. Everyone can be beautiful. So what really separates people is not how they look, but how they behave. The world is thus simplified from the real, allowing the focus to be more on choices than necessities. However, new complexities arise such as the ability to wear masks, have multiple identities, and even commit new kinds of crimes.
As of #10, Sim Street Journal has over 20,000 combined views (half in-world and half online) with 3,000 regular subscribers. It is read in 72 countries, with 50% from the U.S, 40% from Europe, 10% from Asia/Australia. This is a quickly growing audience from the cream of the crop of in-world entrepreneurs and creatives—those dedicated to learning and advancing the exchange of ideas.
Published in complimentary versions: in-world and online.
— The in-world magazine has topics that relate to those who understand the virtual context, including photographs, parallel articles. It has tabs for information landmarks, and web links.
— The online magazine expresses what the virtual world offers the real one. It is a mirror that reflects parallel articles, hot topics, and provides more links.
Contributions are encouraged if covering topics relevant to real world readers.
Comments and opinions are also encouraged: firstname.lastname@example.org
Receive copies of the magazine (see Eleanor Medier’s Picks in-world):
• in-world kiosks in selected areas around the grid
• The Sim Street Journal Publishing virtual office (Innu 40, 36, 1650)
Advertising Opportunities to reach subscribers and viewers both in-world and out
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Sim Street Journal explores the relevance of virtual to real commerce and culture.
Eleanor Medier (avatar of Liane Sebastian)
Liane Sebastian wears an editor’s hat, designer’s coat, and artist’s shoes.
Sim Street Journal explores the relevance of second to first life. © 2014 by Eleanor Medier, Sim Street Journal. Articles cannot be reprinted without permission.