Field Fisher Waterhouse have opened an office in Second Life.
This is just wrong in so many ways.
The media hype about ‘real world’ businesses and politicians setting up in Second Life has faded after the first rush about 6 months ago, so the publicity value is low – I didn’t see mention of it before yesterday in the mainstream media and that a minor one – so it becomes a classic too-late jump on the bandwagon by a law firm.
And then, in a virtual world where architectural feats of imagination far beyond the dreams of those bound by gravity and engineering are possible, Field Fisher Waterhouse appear to have built (or had built for them) a generic late modern corporate office building (with roof garden for entertaining clients, naturally). Thusly, the message is ‘Lawyers – they’re not too far behind the times but wherever they go they spread corporate greyness’.
Thirdly, as SQMLaw points out, Second Life as a virtual realm, rather than as a company property, is not subject to the laws of any jurisdiction – that is more or less the point – except for the rules set down and policed by Linden, who own and run it (despite vociferous objections from the inhabitants at times). However, given that the currency of Second Life – Lindens – is convertible into dollars, it is probably only a matter of time before questions of jurisdiction emerge.
Lastly – to the suggestion that this could be a virtual meeting place for the firm – do they want their trainees turning up as Daleks, purple baboons and winged dominatrixes? Or to have a crucial meeting gatecrashed by a group of furries? (As I understand it, privacy is a only matter of consent or obscurity in Second Life, but I could be wrong).
I mean what the hell is the point of a virtual world that is exactly like the physical world, complete with Gap, Nike, accountants and lawyers, only with less gravity?
Although less gravity would be nice.