In December, 2006, flying phalli disrupted a Second Life press conference at a CNET event reflectively dedicated to making money in SL.
Two months later, US Presidential candidate John Edwards had his SL headquarters vandalized in a roughly similar way.
It took just over a year for the world to take the next step, when Russian chess champion cum opposition politician Garry Kasporov had a real world open meeting disrupted by a remote controlled dildo helicopter.
I find it interesting that it didn’t happen here in the US. Of course, five years earlier, cybersage William Gibson had published Pattern Recognition(1), in which Russia is depicted as a tech-hip wild west.
I don’t think the New Wild West is Russia or grassroots politics or astro-turf. It’s cyberspace. For better or worse, what happens there isn’t staying there. And, anyway, how real was the Buffalo West?
1. The netspeak prose didn’t really work for me, and I didn’t think Gibson’s rendering of a female protagonist felt authentic. But it’s easy to forgive these because they don’t really interfere with the spot-on, absolutely compelling ideas. Terrific, thought-provoking read.