Saturday, May 19, 2007

Virtual embassy

Sweden is set to open the world's first virtual embassy in online virtual reality world Second Life.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Swedish Institute director-general Olle Wastberg will be present at the opening of the "Second House of Sweden" on May 30.

The embassy will not provide passports or visas but will instruct visitors how to obtain such documents in the real world and act as a link to web-based information about the Scandinavian country.

Second Life, created by San Francisco technology company Linden Lab, has attracted several real-world companies, including car manufacturers and sports clothing makers, which created 3D stores.

The ABC also has an island in the virtual world.

On Friday, there were 6,491,898 Second Life residents, according to the Second Life website. Many of those are understood to be inactive.

In January, Swedish authorities said they would clamp down on Swedes earning money through Internet games such as Second Life.

The Swedish Institute is an agency of the Swedish Foreign Ministry tasked with informing the world about Sweden.

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