By the start of 2013 the Second House of Sweden project has officially been closed down.
The project was by all standards a success. We managed to make a definite mark in the virtual world of Second Life as well as creating a lot of publicity in the first [life]. This blog shows some of the events that took place, and perhaps more importantly tells the story of why a government agency such as the Swedish Institute decided to embark on the journey of creating the world’s first virtual embassy.
What you can’t read about in this blog, but could only experience, was all the interesting meetings that took place between different individuals (virtual or not) from all over the world. From the opening ceremony hosted by Sweden’s foreign minister Carl Bildt, and the Virtu-Real project which enabled meetings between visitors of the real world House of Sweden and it’s virtual “twin” Second House of Sweden – to everyone that just stopped by to see what the fuzz was about.
Although it is always a bit sad to leave a dear friend, at the Swedish Institute we constantly look for new ways of communicating our belief in openness and innovation, and no project (should) last forever. You could say that Curators of Sweden was in 2012 what Second House of Sweden was in 2007. What 2013 holds in store remains to be seen.
So long, and thanks for all the fish!
In the words of the organizers:
In modern Sweden, Midsummer’s Eve is celebrated on the second to last Friday and in June. It is arguably the most important holiday of the year, and one of the most uniquely Swedish in the way it is celebrated. The main celebrations take place on the Friday, and the traditional events include raising and dancing around a huge maypole. One typical dance is the so called “frog dance”. Before the maypole is raised, greens and flowers are collected and used to cover the entire pole.
Sounds a bit odd huh? Well it is very odd indeed and now you got the chance to celebrate this in Second Life. Right now, in front of the SecondHouse of Sweden you will find a traditional Swedish outdoor dance floor, a maypole, market booths and much more.
Tina (PetGirl) Bergman, Ewa Aska and Jesper Printz are organizing this event for everyone in Second Life.
The celebration starts at 01.00 PM SLT and continues through the whole magical Swedish Midsummer Eve night, a night when the sun doesn’t set.
Ikaros String (DJ ) starts the party incl ring dances at 1 PM (22.00 CET) – 2 PM (23.00 CET)
Bara Johnson – a fantastic Swedish live artist recongnised from both RL and SL will play at 2 PM (23.00 CET) – 2.30 PM (23.30 CET
Noma Falta is a musician playing blues and soulful rock in virtual worlds and In-person around the globe. 2.30 PM (23.30 CET) – 3 PM (24.00 CET)
Jesper will live dj right after Noma 3 PM (24.00 CET) ’til late.
Hearty Welcome to Midsummer’s Eve in Second Life!
Tina, Ewa & Jesper
I thought it appropriate to comment on the fact that the blog hasn’t been updated in a while. Stefan Geens, a.k.a. Belmeloro DiPrima, who used to run this blog has moved on to work on a Chinese version of www.sweden.se. He is still present in Second Life and at the SHoS though, just not responsible for organizing events and other activities.
Coinciding with Stefan’s focus on other tasks, we also had to decrease our presence in the form of SHoS guides. And as you all know, people brings more people (in RL as well as SL), and consequently, less people brings less people.
As the Second Life hype has subsided, we have worked harder to find Swedish partners interested in doing SL events, and also to achieve the level of public (and media) attention that we require in most of our activities on and off the web. Looking back the past year, we feel that the Virtu-Real installations, the US election event, the RL/SL E-learning seminar, the Pride festival and the Swedish national day celebrations – to mention a few – where all good examples of such collaborations.
Stay tuned for news about an event that will take place soon at the Second House of Sweden.
Ms. Tina Dahl has made sure that Valentine’s day on Saturday doesn’t pass unnoticed in Second Life. Even the Second House of Sweden is now covered in hearts of different sizes. Romantic, beautiful, or even a little creepy. :) You be the judge.
Except for some lag and crash problems the Lucia celebrations of 2008 turned out to be a great success.
Or let me rephrase that: Because the Lucia celebrations turned out to be a great success, we had to deal with lag and crashes. Having events in SL can sometimes be a dual-natured experience, since the popularity of the event (read “too many people”) will cause instability problems for the sim and its visitors. This time, not even the blue dragon Linden who showed up could do something about the lag issues (he was jokingly begged for help by some of the visitors). However, it was nice to see that the event was so popular that we could barely fit everyone.
This year’s Lucia, PetgirlBergman, fainting before the big performance. She was back on her feet in time for her grand entrance though.
We would like to thank Petgirl Bergman (who also wore the Lucia crown for the evening) and the Swedish People in Second Life for all their work and congratulate them on such a successful execution. Myself (Nex Canning) and my colleague Ylva Yedmore were able to focus on enjoying the performances and the celebrations, with no griefers or other mischief to take care of. Thank you also to all of you who showed up to enjoy the celebrations into the early morning of the 13th. (Also, thank you Tina for the pics as my computer didn’t properly render the Lucia outfits, or much else for that matter.)