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CSI:NY - Down the Rabbit HoleLast 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.

CSI:NY in Second Life - Avatar CreationAt 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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2 Responses to “CSI:NY Second Life Episode Hits Expected Notes”

  1. on 26 Oct 2007 at 8:35 amJessica Holyoke

    Here’s a good law and technology issue that I saw. I don’t regularly watch the show, so I’ll have to substitute other names for the actors.

    Twice during the episode, Lt. Dan asked Second Life guy to track the IP address of another user on the grid. Including having a high speed jet pack (magic legs?) race to follow the griefing furry.

    Looking up at Eros v. ‘Catteneo’ (just in case Leatherwood is NOT ‘Catteneo’). Alterman needed to request the IP address of ‘Catteneo’ through a normal court process.

    So when did tracing an IP address become “hot pursuit”? I don’t feel like going through the wiretap acts just right now, and maybe the furry in showing knowledge about the real Venus’ death created enough probable cause to pursue the IP address without a warrant, but there was no crime being committed at the time, and the same procedure that the Detectives used in getting Venus’ IP still existed. (Although that’s an interesting suggestion, the IP was turned over by the Lindens pursuant to a police investigation without needing to get a warrant or court order. The police simply needed to ask.)

    I know CSI:NY is fictional. But I like to through up flags when soemthing procedural doesn’t feel right.

  2. on 21 Dec 2007 at 5:18 amlinks for 2007-12-21 « Social Sim

    [...] CSI:NY Second Life Episode Hits Expected Notes Virtually Blind | Virtual Law (tags: secondlife virtualworlds media tv) [...]

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