Question by ZoeLouise: Have you heard of ‘Second Life’…?
The Government is spending more than £12,000 a year on a hub in the virtual world Second Life that it does not even promote online.

A 3D “innovation centre” was created by the Department for Work and Pensions but it is not advertised on the DWP website.

Junior minister Jonathan Shaw told Parliament it cost £20,000 to build and a further £12,000 a year to maintain.

Conservative MP Nick Hurd, who has raised questions in the Commons regarding the amount of taxpayer’s money spent on Second Life, said the move was insensitive amid rising unemployment.

“This follows on from the £160,000 “Twittercrat” civil servant being employed by the Cabinet Office,” Mr Hurd told Sky News Online.

He added: “At a time when a million people face losing their jobs this year, it’s proof that the Government is literally living in its own fantasy world.”

A spokesperson from the department said the innovation was a virtual area for government and private companies to showcase technological innovations.

“We believe it could help make sharing technology more efficient and save taxpayers money as meetings, events and shows can be held online at a fraction of the cost and resources,” they said.

They hope money from the private sector will help cover some of the cost. The project will be reviewed in 2011.

Searching for Second Life on the DWP website brings no results.

Around 15 million people have signed up to the virtual world but the number of active users is believed to be in the hundreds of thousands.

People create “avatars” and the site even has its own currency, Linden dollars.

Waste of money, or a good idea?

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Politics/Second-Life-Governments-Department-Of-Work-And-Pensions-Spends-Thousands-On-The-Virtual-World/Article/200903315242999?lpos=Politics_Second_Home_Page_Article_Teaser_Region_3&lid=ARTICLE_15242999_Second_Life%3A_Governments_Department_Of_Work_And_Pensions_Spends_Thousands_On_The_Virtual_World

Best answer:

Answer by LB and Orina.
excellant idea, off to have a look now, let me know when all the bs on here has stopped and I’ll come back an answer some more decent questions, instead of the playground squabbling that’s going on.

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