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Original Essays | September 30, 2014 0 comments
Brandon Bartlett, the fictional mayor of Portland in my novel Sherwood Nation, is addicted to playing video games. In a city he's all but lost... Continue »
Wagner James AuDescribe your latest project.
The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World is my book about the creation of the 3D, user-created virtual world called Second Life. For three years, I was a contract writer with Linden Lab, the software company that built it they hired me as their "embedded journalist" to chronicle its development as users (called Residents) began entering, and forming a society within it. I left to write the book, and continue following the world's evolution on my own blog, New World Notes. I cover the wars the Residents fought, the societies they built, and the businesses, art, and other innovations they made, to turn it into a real place with real wealth and sense of community. In the process, hopefully I explain why Second Life gets so much media coverage, and why many people believe it's a glimpse of the Internet's next generation.
The Residents (i.e. subscribers) of Second Life, who constantly surprise me with their inventions, creativity, and dynamic culture. I love writing about what they do for a larger readership, and pointing out how these subjects relate to important issues in the broader Internet and the real world because they often do.
Chess or video games?
Douglas Adams or Scott Adams?
What new technology do you think may actually have the potential for making people's lives better?
If you could be reincarnated for one day to live the life of any scientist or writer, who would you choose and why?
What are some of the things you'd like your computer to do that it cannot now do?
Which country do you believe currently leads the world in science and technology? In ten years?
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Wagner James Au has written about high-tech culture for more than ten years, and has been, at various times, a freelance reporter, a metaverse consultant, a game developer, a screenwriter, and most pertinent, a white-suited avatar named "Hamlet Au," the first embedded journalist in a virtual world, beginning in 2003. His work in Second Life has been cited or profiled in the New York Times, the BBC, CNN International, NPR, Wired, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post, among many other publications and television programs. Originally from Kailua, Hawaii, he now lives in San Francisco, California.