Uma competição para povoar as cidades do Sencod Life foi lançado e realizado pela shrinkingcities : Competition 2.0: Second Life Shrinks – Reinventing the virtual City. Assim como algumas cidades “reais” estão sendo esvaziadas por motivos os mais diversos, “cidades” no Second Life foram, pouco a pouco, também abandonadas. A competição visa criar novos atrativos para “repovoar” as “cidades virtuais”.

Vejam trechos:

“Second Life: empty and abandoned

The press reported in summer 2007 about shinkage in Second Life: ‘Hula-hula no longer helps: The virtual world of Second Life is depopulating.’ (FAZ of August 9, 2007). And its virtual companies are closing shop. ‘Abandoned company islands and empty program plaques and displays characterized the view, as the ‘Los Angeles Time’ reports. Computer manufacturer Dell gave up its island, as did the hotel chain Starwood.” (Berliner Morgenpost July 30, 2007).

One of the largest banks in this supposed Internet paradise, Ginko Financial, turned insolvent: closed counters and ‘avatars that until recently waited in vain in front of the virtual ATMs.’ (Berliner Zeitung Aug. 21, 2007) The horror scenario has become reality in the virtual play world, of all places.”

On this occasion and supplementing the competition “Reinventing the City – Die Stadt neu denken” 2004/2005, the Shrinking Cities project in collaboration with the architecture magazine archplus has launched in fall 2007 the competition ‘Reinventing the Virtual City – Die virtuelle Stadt neu denken’. The competition brief was stating:

‘The goal of the competition is to find new approaches to positively shape and qualify the shrinking of Second Life: Can data garbage be recycled? Can abandoned plots of land in Second Life be erased? Or can they experience a third life with digital agriculture? Should the virtual world be reformatted? Or the remaining avatars be cloned? What happens when Linden Lab files for bankruptcy? Where will the former users of Second Life migrate?’

43 enties from 7 countries have been submitted. By end of November the jury (Friedrich von Borries, architect (raumtaktik); Hendrik Gackstatter, communications designer (e27); Sven Stillich, author; Anh-Linh Ngo (editorial board archplus); Philipp Oswalt (curator Shrinking Cities) selected 6 winners, which are currently presented in the exhibition “Shrinking Cities – Nine Urban Ideas” at the German Architecture Museum in Frankfurt/Main. The selected proposals will also be published in the newspaper section of the next issue of the magazine archplus. (…)

by Florian Schmidt (Germany)

Building on a precise analysis of the weaknesses of Second Life, a radical conceptual sketch for a flexible re-organization (and re-programming) of Second Life’s island structure in accordance with contents and themes was presented. It recalls the “page ranking” of Google, combined with key words provided by the inhabitants. The concept is based on a deep understanding, unique among the submissions to the competition, of how the virtual world functions. The suggested re-organization in accordance with thematic areas reduces the “empty and dead” space of Second Life, but the jury found it questionable that this proposal could potentially lead to monocultures and monotony.(…)”