Thursday, May 22, 2008

Into the (virtual) future

There's no doubt that our ways of communicating is ever changing. The internet has made it possible to chat across nations thanks to chat programs. With the growing popularity of the virtual world called Second Life (which reached nearly 60,000 users since I last checked), communication is opening up a whole new world of exploration. A few months ago, a friend of mine introduced me to this world and I found myself immersed in a world where you can visit various exotic beaches, walk the runway as a model, shop at Paris & UK inspired boutiques, fly a Nasa funded trip to the moon while learning about JPL, dance at jazz clubs and meet new upcoming muscians, even immerse myself in a world like Battlestar Galactica where I got to join the colonial navy and learn to fly Vipers and Raptors (it was awesome!). Among these really cool experiences, I got to meet a nice network of friends and book lovers.

Second Life (or SL) even has it's own library located on Info Island which sponsors book related events from author talks to monthly book club discussions. Many professionals have used SL to reach their readers & audiences in 3D virtual auditoriums. It's amazing world for so much creativity which is literally built on the backs of its residents.

This February, the SL library spotlighted it's ongoing display for the Black Authors of Speculative Fiction (see main image of this post) which included clickable books for residents to read reviews of works by Nalo Hopkinson, Octavia Butler, Samuel Delany and Walter Mosley. According to the Metropolitan Library System, the SL Library Genealogy Group is currently featuring resources to aid in researching African American genealogy.

If you're a resident, the exhibit is currently at the TALIS SciFi & Fantasy Portal on Info Island on the upstairs floor. Downstairs there's also an exhibit of Asian American Speculative authors.

Of note in the main SL Library, the first floor current events exhibit is gearing up to celebrate Towel Day on May 25th. All you ever wanted to know about Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (including film versions) is available at the click of a mouse.

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