Get a First Life

You’ve heard of Second Life, right? That game that’s kinda like a cross between The Sims and Ebay? You create your own person, and then go galavanting around a virtual world with other homegrown persons, and then buy stuff (with real money) to augment your travels. It’s a HUGE company now with tons and tons of cash flow because people actually do funnel money in there for a better virtual experience. I’ve tried the game (without spending a dime, mind you), and it’s disturbingly impressive. Fortunately, I was on when there was a lot of server lag time, so I got frustrated and never went back. I shudder to think what might have happened to me if it had been working smoothly…Second Life is great satire material. If you think about it, it’s absolutely absurd that a whole bunch of people are sitting around at their computers having conversations with each other, travelling the world, loving every minute of it, and never moving a muscle for hours and days on end. Enter Get a First Life — a one-page satire on the game. Go check it out. It’s wonderful and a quick read. (“Find out where you actually live! Fornicate using your actual genitals!”) It’s worth noting that they’re making fun of an empire with expensive lawyers here. Now here’s the great part: Get a First Life was expecting to receive a nasty Cease and Desist letter from Second Life for hacking their logo and using their image. Instead, Second Life decided to play Good Politics and send them the opposite of a Cease and Desist letter. An excerpt:

“We do not believe that reasonable people would argue as to whether the website located at http://www.getafirstlife.com/ constitutes parody – it clearly is. Linden Lab is well known among its customers and in the general business community as a company with enlightened and well-informed views regarding intellectual property rights, including the fair use doctrine, open source licensing, and other principles that support creativity and self-expression. We know parody when we see it.”Moreover, Linden Lab objects to any implication that it would employ lawyers incapable of distinguishing such obvious parody. Indeed, any competent attorney is well aware that the outcome of sending a cease-and-desist letter regarding a parody is only to draw more attention to such parody, and to invite public scorn and ridicule of the humor-impaired legal counsel. Linden Lab is well-known for having strict hiring standards, including a requirement for having a sense of humor, from which our lawyers receive no exception.”In conclusion, your invitation to submit a cease-and-desist letter is hereby rejected.”

May we all learn to not take ourselves too seriously. Moreover, may we learn that contradictory views, when presented with a sense of humor, tend to drive publicity for both sides in a mutually beneficial manner (note how this post includes links to both sites). I find this whole thing beautiful.

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