Last night’s Second Life-centered CSI:NY episode was exactly what it was supposed to be: an entertaining 42 minute cops and robbers network television show that touched on law and technology, without exploring either in depth. Regular readers will recall that I don’t like these shows generally, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I didn’t like this one much either. That said, I was no more disappointed in the legal wrangling (far faster than in reality) or the depiction of technology (predictably over the top) than I am when I watch any mainstream television show that riffs on subjects I’m familiar with.
As for the in-world tie-in experience, I walked through the whole thing as if I was a new user. While it has flaws, it is head and shoulders above any mainstream virtual world tie-ins we’ve seen so far. Moreover, Electric Sheep did something I thought wasn’t possible by making the virtual world experience relatively user friendly, from the initial splash “pick your avatar” screen right through to the large, attractive CSI:NY builds and an engaging puzzle game.
At least as of this morning, I was able to log in easily, and I found about a half-dozen avatars at the sim I was placed in (there are many identical ones) who seemed actively engaged in the puzzle game. Frankly, if you are one of VB’s attorney readers who does not already have a virtual world presence but is interested in exploring these spaces, the CSI:NY entry portal to Second Life isn’t a bad way to start.
There are, obviously, some big issues with the law and technology as depicted in the show. Rather than rehash them here, I’m going to take the lazy editor’s way out and direct you to Shava Nerad’s review, where she calls the show out on a lot of legal and information security details, and describes her (much less successful) in-world experience following the show last night.
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