Second Life Ruin Porn: Empty Spaces
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Lately, a new category of urban architectural photography has been gaining popularity: 'ruin porn', photographs depicting the rapidly increasing decaying process of major urban centers like Detroit, Baltimore and Cincinnati.

For me, thinking of abandoned spaces always brings to mind MMOs and virtual worlds that have peaked and then declined.

When an MMO loses its subscriber base, the servers get turned off pretty quickly. But not in Second Life - even as the user base for this open landscape, open format virtual world dwindles, things just keep going - sans people.

There's no 'going to seed' in the world of Second Life. No grass grows up through concrete, no plastic bags flutter against to fences, walls don't crumble. There are no signs of the 'tipple' of the post-human world of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.

The buildings, islands and structures, so carefully designed and constructed by users of Second Life, stand empty, waiting for the number of players to match up to the dreams and hopes for the spaces implied in their grand scales and complicated coding.

More on ruin porn:
How to Tell if Your City is Dying
The Atlantic Cities, The Psychology of Ruin Porn

[I spoke to American Public Media's Marketplace Tech Report on June 18, 2012 about my pictures. Listen here: www.marketplace.org/topics/tech/breaking-hard-do

I've also written about the project with more details behind my thinking and methods on my personal site.

This is an ongoing project and I'll be adding new images periodically, so please feel free to bookmark or subscribe to the RSS feed of this photo set.]
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