The judges for the contest expressed some dismay that so many of the entries seemed to focus on the familiar, the known — in short, the creators didn’t seem to be taking advantage of the digital nature of their medium and instead resorted to reproducing the buildings and landscapes of the real world.
Implicit in these comments seems to be a judgment that somehow reproducing the familiar is bad, and lacking in vision.
As Betsy Book points out, perhaps this judgment is rooted in the same conflicting values that dictate the often negative reactions to public art. Visionary is exciting, but do I really want to live there?
Behind each building or creation in Second Life is a person with real life goals and values who is following their imagination into uncharted territory. Some people will experiment with pushing the limits of the digital tools and others will create the home they dream of in the real world. Perhaps the thing to remember is that what really counts is that digital worlds give you the freedom to follow your own path.