I’d had minimal experience with Second Life (hey, I have a very full first life!), and although I had an account, somewhere, I wasn’t sure of my avatar name, let alone password. I’d first signed on when a student of mine in 2003 required me to log on in order to view a virtual book he’d built as an assignment for my class. But the exposure proved fruitful because here was an interesting application for a virtual space: Second Life offered the possibility of building a virtual but accessible version of the real but inaccessible (to all but the most dedicated attorneys, NGO workers and military) prison situated on an American base in Cuba.
We identify three key goals:
Raise Awareness Our government is denying the basic right of habeas corpus to
prisoners detained in Guantánamo Prison.
Expose the conditions and practices that occur in Guantánamo Prison to a new audience.
Engage Visitors in social policy dialogue and connect them with efforts to close Guantánamo.
We worked madly on the proposal and ultimately won a residency at the BAVC (Bay Area Video Coalition) Producers Institute for New Media Technologies, June 1-10. We begin preparations. Nonny became proficient at Second Life, I give up on my old account and avatar and make a new one – Ping Rau, and start exploring.
I realize we are going to need land and start searching. Joi Ito, (with thanks to Scott Fisher) kindly offers us use of his island, KULA. We’ve got land! 10384 Square Meters on Kula2 and Nonny has her first in-world meeting with Jeremy Hunsiger, steward of the Kula islands.
We are reading, drawing, sketching, collecting imagery, video and transcripts. We want to arrive ready to build.