9/11 Gets a Fitting Memorial in Second Life


There have been several examples of the twin towers being rebuilt in the virtual world of Second Life, but with the anniversary of that awful day with us once again, I would like to bring to your attention a site that I feel deserves a special mention: the World Trade Center sim. As I write this, it is still being finalised, ready for an official opening to coincide with the time the first plane hit. What singles this site out is that it does not attempt to undo what has happened. Rather, it commemorates those from many. many nations who died in that dreadful and tragic atrocity.

It is a solemn and moving experience. Around a square pond is a walkway. Facing towards the pool, and edging the walkway, is a wall of commemoration, simply listing the names of those killed. It would be tempting to say “the fallen”, but I don’t feel abstract euphemisms are appropriate. In appearance it is reminiscent of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington: sombre, simple, factual and frightening in its scale. The smooth surface of the wall itself is broken by rivulets of rainwater, trickling like tears down the lists of the dead. Thunder rumbles overhead, as the rain comes down, splashing into the pond. It is a mournful and respectful place. Behind the memorial wall, and near to the entrance, you will find hundreds upon hundreds of photographs, another poignant reminder of lives cut short.


The build has been carried out by Liam Kanno (in real life: Odin Liam Wright) of the V3 Group. But this is more than just another commission for Liam, one of the most talented builders in Second Life. He was at Ground Zero that fateful day, and so this is of special significance to him. I believe my New York friends will find this site deeply moving, but this was a tragedy of global impact: 82 nations lost people that day. I hope you will agree that this is a most fitting tribute.

If you are not a Second Life resident, or simply want to find out more, why not visit the Ground Zero Museum Workshop?

Aleister Kronos appears by kind permission of Ambling in Second Life.


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  7. Annie Ok

    /me politely points out that it is Aleister Kronos who so eloquently wrote this post and not the excellent Mark Wallace.

    That being said, I urge you all to please go visit this Memorial. It is not only a moving tribute by the talented Liam Kanno, but also an incredible work of contemporary art.

  8. CS Kappler

    Love Liam’s work. He was in the original 2004 WTC memorial competition.


    as was I.


    Both visions evolved, responded positively, to the oportunities available to design and express in materials that do not exist in Real Life — for example phantom textures, holographic solar systems, glow effects.

    Already, the value of Second Life as a laboratory for architectural design has been proven many times over; firms can assemble in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost, renditions of RL designs.

    In our own memorial project, we chose to step past what was possible in Real Life, and incorporate phantom textures and holographic effects into our design.

    The other advantage in SL is mutability; our architecture is expected to change, so there is little reason to create a structure, any structure, that is intended to be wholly static. To do so leaves a great deal of value on the table. Our project will change over time, which was the intent of my original design submission back in 2003.

    9/11 is many things, and many memorials.

    I’ve said this elsewhere in solemn words…


    …and in simulated stone


    All regards to all the builders of all the many memorials in Second Life, and to all the many, in all the worlds who have yet awakened from the fitful nightmare that shrounds their hearts, and seek some measure of comfort and hope.

    If any memorial, if all of them combined, help but one heart rest easier, and look up again to hope, then our collective works are well worthwhile.

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