Peace Day - September 21, 2008 - 70
by saphir lewis W hile gathering information for this magazine, I was invited to take a tour through a virtual world, called VZones, something I naively had never seen before. After signing in and taking just a minute to download the free software, I saw my virtual self for the first time. My “avatar”, as she is called, looks a lot like Joan Jett, and she’s pretty cool! Later, I can change the way she looks to anything I can dream up. My host Justine and her friend Twilight greeted me in an animated scene, both of their Avatars appearing on my screen. Justine was dressed in a Pocahontas like outfit and Twilight was wearing purple today. We talked to each other through text bubbles, like I-Messaging, but the added feature of interaction was a lot more fun. Justine and Twilight took me, or my avatar, on a tour through a beautiful park with a lake and a waterfall; we visited the ranger station and the zoo, and then headed off to the city. There were lots of other avatars in the city and Justine told me that they all were real people who were online at that time. She introduced me to a few and I could see how people become friends and get together regularly here. They do everything we do – they have clubs and coffee shops, stores and parks and hikes. They play games or just sit and chat. They get involved in projects and many of the activities include added tidbits of information that are educational and interesting. When I saw that people were coming to VZones from all over the world, from dozens of different cultures, and beliefs; yet they are making friends and enjoying each other’s company; I realized what a powerful agent for peace it is. The virtual world models the world we are working to build, but real people are living it every day, having a good time together, without concern 70 Peace Day 2008
If you would like to try to load the digital publication without using Flash Player detection, please click here.