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11:32am on Saturday, 15th November, 2008:



A married couple who met in Second Life has divorced after the husband enganged in philandry with another character in Second Life. This merited a half-page article in The Guardian yesterday, plus a similarly-sized one today about how in-SL reporters managed to get the scoop over the real reporters standing outside the (ex-)wife's real-world house. There was also a column by Mark Lawson, linking this incident to the suicide of an American Idol wannabe. It begins like this (I've greyed out the American Idol parts, because it's the SL parts I want to talk about):

10 years ago? Yeah, right...

Read the anecdote "Closely Knit" at the end of this list of anecdotes on my web site. It fairly accurately describes a relationship chain in British Legends (ie. the version of MUD1 that ran on CompuServe). I spoke to some of the people involved when I went to a BL meet in the late 1980s that took place on a yacht going fom San Diego to the Catalina islands, so I know it's true.

It wasn't just MUD1, either. If you canget hold of a copy of Indra Sinha's The Cybergypsies: A Frank Account of Love, Life and Travels on the Electronic Frontier, you'll find reports of similar goings-on in Shades.

10 years ago — ha! Adultery in virtual worlds was alive and well 20 years ago.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).