Second Sighting

Cats in a Brazilian slum in Second Life, with a Kobra mural reproduced on a wall (left)

When I first visited A Favela, a parcel in Second Life decorated by Lotus Mastroianni and Fred Hamilton in a way that represents a typical Brazilian slum (actually, a typical slum in Rio de Janeiro), I thought it looked accurate enough to go beyond a simple display of stereotypes. Indeed, it offered me an opportunity to reflect on a series of subjects concerning what one could call otherness: how to balance the temptation of treating different societies (or cultures) as exotic; how powerful can SL be as a tool to avoid that risk; and how it feels to be the other in a world of so many possibilities.

At the arrival point, a Kobra mural and some ads

A Favela is really well put together (apart from minor physics problems in…

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