So, a RL relationship in Britain goes kaput due to SL. Okaaay...So of course (naturally, because after all SL's a cesspool of sex and deviant behavior, right?) this leads to a Daily Mail article about the usual lurid crap we're used to hearing. And in a game of "I see your 3-breasted woman picture, and I'll raise you some antlers", the BBCNews cranked out their own report. We've been there and done that. We get it. SL has got some pervy qualities to it, but when you and your editors are bored of sensationalist drivel, why don't you try these topics on for size?
1. The current OS debacle and how it compares to the RL real estate crisis
2. Are people turning to virtual worlds for entertainment as their RL budgets tighten?
3. The use of SL to present models of RL architectural and other projects ("Original Sim" by Sam Lubell, New York Times Magazine, Holiday 2008)
4. The creative use of SL for artists--both visual and performing ("Portrait of an Artist as Avatar" by Sara Corbett, New York Times Magazine, 3/5/09)
5. Ways educators are using SL for long-distance learning and other opportunities ("Towson U. study breaks on Second Life" by Stephen Kiehl, Baltimore Sun, 4/7/09); ("A Whole New World of Studying" by Lucy Tobin, The Guardian, 4/21/09)
6. Does SL help with socialization or are personalities even more heightened?
7. SL as a way to cross cultural boundaries and learn from one another
8. Themed communities and how they help to bring history to life
9. How RL museums can learn from the interactive exhibits inworld
and #10? If you are going to discuss relationships and sex in SL, why not talk about why virtual relationships and friendships are formed in the first place? And why not talk about them in the positive? [UPDATE: Finally. A positive one: "A Geek Love Story" by Jessica Bennett, Newsweek, 4/14/09] There are plenty of RL relationships who aren't screwed up by SL and find it as a alternate way to have fun as a couple. Oh that's right, sorry...no antlers and "Total Recall" women involved. At least the Guardian more or less tried to write a more straightforward account.
If anything, you read these and watch TV reports and it's usually a reporter who creates a new account and comes in to check it out and wow...they're not keying in "Arts & Culture" for their search. They immediately end up in some scuzzy club or the free orgy room! Hey M and LL, something to think about for all of those new residents you seem to be so interested in: You can lead a horse to content, but you can't make it drink.