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  U2 Unwittingly Gives ‘Second Life’ Concert  
 
 
Posted 2006-02-26 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
U2 Unwittingly Gives ‘Second Life’ Concert
Image via U2inSL.com.
Ilya Vedrashko's In-Game Advertising and Advergames blog reports on a fan-created U2 concert staged in the virtual world of Second Life. This elaborate presentation involved avatar (virtual people) look-alikes of the band, streaming the band's music, making virtual U2 merchandise freely available, and even including concession stands featuring real-world brands.

I asked one of the concert organizers, known in Second Life as DarkDharma Daguerre, about the potential legal issues posed by imitating a real-life band and real-world brands in the virtual world. Daguerre is a founding member of "U2 in SL," the group that has produced recent U2-themed events in tribute to the band and its causes. Daguerre told me via email that the group's efforts are no different from those of real-world tribute bands, describing the likenesses of the band as caricatures.

I pressed Daguerre for a rationale regarding the choices of real-world brands, particularly the ones used in the food and drink concession stand, including such names as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Evian. Daguerre told me that Ilya Vedrashko of the In-Game Advertising and Advergames blog mislabeled a picture of the concession stand as a picture of the concert's sponsors (Vedrashko has since corrected this). Daguerre explained that the goods were free, and said that the use of trademarks was intended to make the concert seem more real, but wouldn't rationalize the brand choices. The brands apparently won't be showing up at any future concerts.

Daguerre believes that the real U2 would endorse the efforts of its unofficial counterpart in Second Life, and is keen on being recognized. The group has written, faxed, emailed, and phoned the band's management, but hasn't yet gotten a response. The group's aim, Daguerre wrote, is to stage quality events in Second Life while raising awareness of U2's charitable efforts including The One Campaign, Make Poverty History, African Well Fund and Music Rising. Daguerre explained the group makes no money on its project, and doesn't ask for donations.

The group's web site is a compelling homage to U2, and includes Second Life-based photos and machinima videos. Like Daguerre, I'm very much interested in what the real U2 might think about U2 in SL's non-profit, awareness-raising tribute. Although we may never find out, it seems clear that U2's star power is as compelling in the virtual world as it is the real one.
 
     
 
   
 
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  10 Comments  
 
   
 
Comment posted by Burke Prefect
February 27, 2006 @ 11:16 am
     
 
Having been to two of these concerts, they do a pretty good job, it's pretty entertaining, and the security apparently doesn't like people sneaking in STLKR suits.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
February 27, 2006 @ 11:20 am
     
 
I'm quite impressed by the efforts the U2 in SL group goes to. It's a lot of work--obviously a labour of love.

It seems odd to have tickets and security at a free event, but I suppose that's all part of the "reality" of a concert.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by csven
February 27, 2006 @ 11:29 am
     
 
This is something I've found odd from day one. A tribute band doesn't "lip synch" to the real band's music. And I've not seen any metric gauging the effectiveness of their efforts in support of Bono's charitable programs.

They could be tracking the distribution of, for example, "One" shirts. Tracking how many people say they've signed up on the official "One" website as a result of "U2 in SL". Or doing other things which allow them to gauge their effort which might not just legitimize it, but help them improve it. If they've published that sort of information, I'd like to see it. Right now, as cynical as it may sound, this could just as easily be an effort to capitalize on U2's popularity. And the inclusion of real-life brands just enforces this in my mind.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by qDot
February 27, 2006 @ 1:33 pm
     
   
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Demian
February 27, 2006 @ 1:42 pm
     
 
You know, csven, I'm really trying to understand your point of view, but I can't stick my head that far up my ass!

You are questioning U2 in SL's passion and good intents about U2 and their causes? You're questioning their intent because they don't provide "metric gauging the effectiveness of their efforts in support of Bono's charitable programs"?

We have more important things to do than that to support the causes. If only ONE person signed up because U2 in SL gave them a heads up, then we accomplished what we wanted to. Every SINGLE person who signs the declarations and spreads the word is IMPORTANT!

You want metrics? Here you go: A child dies EVERY 3 seconds of poverty in this world. 5000 people die EVERY day on this planet due to lack of clean water! Those are the metrics U2 in SL is interested in, and not those that your narrow mind regards as being important.

From U2's song "One"
...
One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
Sisters
Brothers
One life
But we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other
One
One
...

EveryONE....EveryONE....EveryONE.....
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by csven
February 27, 2006 @ 2:42 pm
     
 
You know, csven, I'm really trying to understand your point of view, but I can't stick my head that far up my ass!

When someone claiming to represent a cause like ONE responds in this crude fashion, I only want more verification that their intentions are more honorable than what we've seen so many leeches do in the past in the name of just causes. This response only makes me (and quite likely others as well) believe that this entire thing is motivated by selfish interests.

A shame.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
February 27, 2006 @ 3:19 pm
     
 
Demian, please keep it civil, thanks.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Demian
February 27, 2006 @ 3:36 pm
     
 
No problem, Tony! I've said all I wanted to say. :0
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by csven
February 27, 2006 @ 3:55 pm
     
 
I think Demian missed this part of the song:

"You say
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl"

Thank you for making everyone crawl, Demian.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by csven
February 27, 2006 @ 4:52 pm
     
 
You might find this interesting, Tony:

http://forums.secondlife.com/showthread.php?t=90582
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
     
 
     
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