Title: Cultural institutions take on a [Second] Life of their own

Authors: Susan Hazan

Addresses: Director, Digital Heritage, Rehov Hama'agal 22 Beit Hakerem, Jerusalem, 96342, Israel

Abstract: This paper will look at the ways in which museums and cultural institutions are moving into Second Life. It will explore how the new, and surprisingly not so new social and cultural experiences are evolving in the immersive, 3D world, and describe the implications of walking or flying around the impressively modelled buildings and environments located in the Linden Lab|s grid of thousands of islands. Through a series of case studies; the Swedish Embassy, the Ruttan Galleries, the Second Louvre on Tompson Island, the NOAA interactive displays, and a 3D world of Van Gogh|s Starry Night, we will explore such issues as: community building, immersive experience, copyright protection and social interaction in a world that simply does not go away when you log out. This paper considers what it means for a cultural institution to realise their activities, services, exhibitions and vision as they take on a [second] life of their own.

Keywords: Second Life; avatars; persistent worlds; 3D environments; online communities; Web 2.0; Web 3.0; museums; social networks; video streaming; immersive; remote learning; web-based communities; virtual communities; community building; immersive experience; copyright protection; social interaction; digital culture; cultural heritage.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDCET.2008.021405

International Journal of Digital Culture and Electronic Tourism, 2008 Vol.1 No.2/3, pp.157 - 176

Published online: 24 Nov 2008 *

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