Virtual Journalism Heavyweights Gather in Virtual Journalism Summit

by Alphaville Herald on 06/04/09 at 8:21 pm

Helen Thomas, Virtual World Reporter

by Field Marshal McLuhan, at the new media desk

As I type this, a group of virtual journalism heavyweights gather at a Virtual Journalism Summit, presumably atop Mount Journalism, in Washington State. Among the heavyweights attending the summit are 89 year old White House Correspondent Hellen Thomas, virtual world sleuth Bob Shieffer, and Club Penguin founder Lane Merrifield.

What do these people have to do with virtual journalism you ask? Well, who can forget Helen Thomas’ insightful expose of Gorean roleplay or the hyjinks that ensued when she met the vore crowd, and how she broke the copybot story wide open. Likewise, who can forget how Bob Shiefer reported the battles between GoonSwarm and Band of Brothers from the battlefields of EVE Online. Then too there is ace reporter Philip Linden, whose reporting is so penetrating we can’t even see it.You may not know about the crack reporting that takes place in Club Penguin, but Lane Merrifield isn’t just the Club founder, he also oversees the rough and tumble give and take of the Club Penguin social mediascape. I’ll let him describe it.

We answer 5000 to 7000 emails a day, A typical email is like

Dear Club Penguin, yesterday I couldn’t log into the Blizzard server, and I have a blue poffle named Stinky and he says Hello.

they get back

Dear CoolKid 402, sorry you couldn’t log in, it should be back now, by the way Stinky sounds really cool, I have a green one named Sparky.

Wow.Last but not least there is the crack journalism of uber-reporter Hamlet Au (nee Hamlet Linden) who was paid by Linden Lab to hype report on Second Life and retains an unspecified relationship with the Lab. This relationship has been criticized by some, but without it we would have never had access to Hamlet’s discovery that the sex industry in Second Life is tiny tiny tiny (5% he estimates). Guess the adult continent will be pretty lonely.

14 Responses to “Virtual Journalism Heavyweights Gather in Virtual Journalism Summit”

  1. mootykips

    Apr 6th, 2009

    wow this is like 50 miles from me, I’d love to ask Philip Rosedale why his game sucks in person

    what a farce, someone hook up a electromagnet to Edward Murrow’s grave so we can have unlimited renewable energy

  2. Two Worlds

    Apr 6th, 2009

    Not sure how good of a reception this thought will have, but do you think maybe we need to ask ourselves…why does Second Life HAVE a “sex industry”? Why is it that people see the need to f*ck in a virtual world on the Internet with people who are probably fat, ugly and/or male in real life as a thing that’s worth saving and defending? YOU’RE HAVING SEX ON THE INTERNET. WITH STRANGERS. AND PAYING SPACEBUX FOR IT. This isn’t some lame-a$$ “FREEEEEEEDOM!!” thing. You’re having sex. On the Internet. With strangers. WHY THE F*CK IS THIS EVEN AN ISSUE??

    I dunno. I don’t know whether or not it’s the position of SLH that LL is f*cking up yet again by segregating the sex stuff, so this is pretty much my own thing, but seriously…why are we even having this discussion? We need to step back and think about how f*cked up it is that the right to have pixelated titties in your face from some stripper that in all likelyhood is probably just some fat dude in real life is even being discussed here.

  3. Sigmund Leominster

    Apr 7th, 2009

    Tragically, I signed up to go to this one but missed out because of another real life commitment. This would have been a fun event to attend, especially to see how the “real” virtual journalists see things. Of the folks on the list, I can’t say I see any of them actually setting foot in Second Life. And as far as I can find out, Bernard Drax did ONE piece months ago and that seems to be the qualification for “virtual world journalist.” James Au is about the only one on the list who I would credit with any significant history and knowledge of Second Life events and culture – and I appreciate some readers (and contributors) will disagree, but he does a lot more than the others on the conference list.

    I talked with the organizers about having a virtual component – which would seem to me to be a good idea considering it is about journalism in the virtual world. Due to time constraints, they couldn’t do that this year, but they did say they would look at adding it to the next one. So, fingers crossed, next year there will be a conference on virtual journalism that actually takes place in a virtual world with real virtual world journalists attending.

    Oh, and does anyone know if Drax has done ANYTHING other than that ONE piece? He got some kind of unknown award for this yet appears to have done nothing since. He gives lectures on… well, that one piece! His web site has him as an ex-radio guy who writes music and has them on iTunes (for “on iTunes” read “self published”) but I find no evidence of “virtual journalism.” Answers on a postcard to “The Alphaville Herald.”"

  4. Urizenus Sklar

    Apr 7th, 2009

    Drax has a ton of superb machinima reports on his youtube page: His best stuff is his reporting of in-world political events.

    The critically acclaimed piece you are talking about is his thing on virtual gitmo.

  5. Eyewash

    Apr 7th, 2009

    Good grief. I thought that face might have been shopped a bit for effect. Then I did a google image search for Helen Thomas.

  6. Pappy Enoch

    Apr 7th, 2009

    I dun tried to git intu that-thar meeting but they had a passel o’ Penguins beat me up an’ tossed me out. Worse’n Lustwood an’ them Furs.

    Two Wirlds dun said, “Why is it that people see the need to f*ck in a virtual world on the Internet with people who are probably fat, ugly and/or male in real life as a thing that’s worth saving and defending?”

    Well, shakin’ action am shakin’ action. I admit that I are rite fat, been called ugly, and am male (last time I dun checked). Hell, I cain’t git no action in my fake life neither!

    Maybe I’ll git a third life an’ grab me sum booty. Say, maybe Helen Thomas will take pity on a po’ boy like mee an’ put out. I is desperit.

  7. LOL

    Apr 7th, 2009


  8. JimBean

    Apr 7th, 2009

    Making fun of Helen Thomas and Bob Shieffer?

    You guys sure are some class act. Not much different than Limbaugh, spewing shit because it gets you attention.

    Really guys, you’ll get more readers if you ACTUALLY spew shit, take videos of yourselves shitting and then post them to you-tube. Your readership will go through the roof. And then you’ll be POPULAR AT LAST!!!

  9. Sigmund Leominster

    Apr 7th, 2009

    Thanks for the update on Drax’s stuff. Never let it be said that I don’t listen! And Drax also responded to me – in-world – so hopefully I can see more of his stuff. Always good to learn about folks are doing in the world of SL journalism.

  10. Pappy Enoch

    Apr 7th, 2009

    JimBeam dun said “Really guys, you’ll get more readers if you ACTUALLY spew shit, take videos of yourselves shitting and then post them to you-tube.”

    Hellfire n’ hailstones, boy. We is a class act. Cain’t du nuffin’ like that!

    Besides, Uncle Diogenes Hogwallop alreaddy dun jist such a stunt. It were the hillbilly Sputneck…he ate a case o’ Ex-Lax, 30 burritos, an held on tite. The outhouse went intu orbit. Check YouToob.

  11. Marcab Confederate

    Apr 7th, 2009

    you are so pathetic and hypocrite, Two Worlds:

    So just STFU and get out of my intarwebs, we don’t forgive, we don’t forget.

  12. corona Anatine

    Apr 7th, 2009

    on the subject of – ‘insightful expose of Gorean roleplay’
    here is another thought to consider

    in Gor females are said to be trained by centuries of breeding to be happily subsrvient to males
    it follows that wre this a real society then such mental atitudes in women would exist from birth and moreover – givem the male atitude to girls in gorean society – reinforced by practical dominance
    given the general warrior society ethos of ‘might is right’prevelant in gor it follows that the idea of a minimal age of consentfor girls would be alien to such a soceity – instead they would be seen as available for sexual trianing from whatever age the rapist males would deem suitable – and the girls are mentally trained to accept thie role as sex x slaves from birth onwards
    this would make Gor a peadophile paradise.

  13. Two Worlds

    Apr 8th, 2009

    Marcab Confederate, funny, I thought “We do not forgive, we do not forget” is the motto of Anonymous, not SA…and certainly not Helldump. So which are you? Lest the two (or three) be confused.

  14. AnswerBot

    Apr 8th, 2009

    “Not sure how good of a reception this thought will have, but do you think maybe we need to ask ourselves…why does Second Life HAVE a “sex industry”?”

    Rather silly question. The obvious answer would be, that people like sex, in all shapes, forms and sizes.

    cause sexytiems is fun.

    Same reason as we got a sex movie industry, a sex toy industry, a sexy clothing industry, etc etc etc.

    Human nature n all.

    And on a sidenote, about the ‘risk’ of your virtual partner being “fat, ugly and/or male” etc, to some that matters nothing. Not to me anyways, I dont have to fuck them IRL, I only have to do a little fantasizing with their AV. I couldn’t care less who’s (or what’s) behind the other screen IRL, only their brainmatter matters with typefucking.

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