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    Main | Pixels and Policy Article on Iran Featured in 'Foreign Policy in Focus' »

    08/25/2009

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    Great post! Looking forward to seeing more of your posts in the future. Blogged about you here: http://eurekadejavu.blogspot.com/2009/08/new-blog-on-virtual-worlds-and-foreign.html

    Absolutely fantastic, it's good to see that even with such a tight security Iranians are able to voice themselves in times of need. I wish they were allowed a better way to express themselves but who knows when that will happen. Great writing and sources, you seemed really into the topic which helped bring it further into the light.

    A thoughtful and detailed first post! Congrats on the new blog!

    I do have to ask how you respond to the critique that the Iranian government could care less if there are little digital characters waving little signs in a virtual space they will never visit. Are these actions promoting real change or simply diverting energy that could be spent in other more visible ways?

    @rikomatic:

    I think the same argument could be made about the usefulness (or lack thereof) of real-world protest. Who cares if a bunch of people show up in a marketplace waving signs and shouting in unison? Does it make a concrete difference? And yet it matters enough to totalitarian governments that they'll go to great lengths to stop it from happening, because it reflects badly on them.

    The same principle applies to SL protests, particularly in areas where the only reason they're happening in SL is because real-world governments won't allow them to happen anywhere else. The point of a protest isn't what concrete effect it has; the point is that it happens at all. Max brings up a good point in that as the cycle of mainstream news coverage and virtual participation deepens, people will be forced to take virtual protests just as seriously as real-life ones. After all, the people behind those protesting avatars are every bit as real in the physical world as they are in cyberspace.

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