My second book, Big Bang, was published as a real book but launched in the virtual world Second Life amid an animated conversation by avatars. Since those early days Second Life has developed an innovative culture of creating three dimensional virtual books including poems which is taking literature in a new direction, albeit for a minority audience.
We’ll know the rules have really changed when a professor gets tenure based on a book published in Second Life, or some future equivalent thereof. Tenure in this world, I mean, not in Second Life.
Digital cultures is a burgeoning field in the humanities. Given that fairly successful job talks these days come from dissertations on Wikipedia and the like, I wouldn't be surprised if a Second Life book gets someone tenure in about seven years. All very well and good, but not the best news for medievalists and classicists.
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