Second Life (SL) is an interactive three-dimensional virtual world with about sixteen million users around the world. Using digital tools, one can create an online persona called an avatar and communicate with others using voice, text chat or even break dancing if that strikes your fancy. To be sure there is a strong element of living out a fantasy life through an alter ego, but there is also a more serious side.
Bernhard Drax, better known as Draxtor Despres in SL, has carved out a niche as a virtual reporter specializing in international issues and human rights. Looking like a caricature of a curious NPR reporter, Draxtor showed up at a recent protest in SL's Virtual Israel where Palestinians and Israelis debated who was at fault for the bloodshed in Gaza. Draxtor talked with iWitness about his work and in particular a report he did on the "Gone Gitmo" SL site that has drawn international attention.