Estonian Second Life Embassy - FAQ

06.12.2008

Virtual Second Life Embassy press release

Pictures of our embassy in Second Life

Press release brochure (4 MB pdf file opens in new window)

Second Life Embassy News

Already a Second Life member? Use the orange button to Teleport to Estonia's Embassy (NB - this link will only work if you have Second Life installed)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opening an embassy in a virtual world?
  2. What will the embassy do?
  3. What is the cost of the embassy project?
  4. Can you get a visa from a virtual embassy?
  5. How will the Estonian Embassy differ from the Swedish Embassy?
  6. Will the Embassy of Estonia be just another empty building where no one goes?
  7. Why did you choose Second Life for building an embassy?
  8. How do I visit Second Life?

Why is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opening an embassy in a virtual world?

The short answer is

  1. to promote Estonia
  2. to learn and experiment
  3. to have an additional environment for knowledge exchange between professionals.

What will the embassy do?

There will be information about Estonia, lectures and exhibitions. The activities will focus on futurism, e-technologies and modern diplomacy.

What is the cost of the embassy project?

The final cost of the embassy is not clear yet. The building exteriors cost approximately 6400 euros, but this does not include other separate projects such as exhibitions, some interior design and consultancy. The overall cost will be still about 7-15 times lower than reported costs of similar projects in Second Life, due to the voluntary work done by the participants of the project.

Can you get a visa from a virtual embassy?

Not yet, but it is possible that in the future some simpler consular services can be offered in virtual worlds.

How will the Estonian Embassy differ from the Swedish Embassy?

  1. The Estonian Embassy will be more focused on certain issues (such as communication technology and diplomacy)
  2. the Estonian Embassy is not a copy of a real life building, but a piece of original virtual architecture
  3. differently from the Swedish Embassy, the Estonian Embassy will be directly hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the Swedish Embassy is hosted by the Swedish Institute)

Will the Embassy of Estonia be just another empty building where no one goes?

We will do everything to avoid this. The embassy will have original content in order to attract visitors, additionally it will host regular events and lectures to spark discussion about the future of communication and diplomacy.

Why did you choose Second Life for building an embassy?

We believe that Second Life is still one of the richest online worlds in a cultural sense. It is also a world where you can meet many visionary and creative users. Second Life offers its inhabitants a lot of freedom to create fantastic content.

At the same time we are well aware that virtual worlds are still in an early experimental stage of development. You do not know which one "wins", if any. But we do not think that anyone else can predict that either. So, for now, we are into learning, experimenting and developing our knowledge on communication and diplomacy in places that seem to have the best potential.

How do I visit Second Life?

To visit Second Life, you need to do two things.

  1. Download the free Second Life software from http://secondlife.com/support/downloads.php. (make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements)
  2. Sign-up at secondlife.com and create your avatar. (avatar = your Second Life character)

If you are not sure you want to bother with step 2, we have created a couple of avatars for you to use.

  • "Guest Landar", password = guestX1!
  • "Guest2 Landar", password = guestX2!

Keep in mind, your computer still needs the Second Life software from step 1 to get started with these ready-made avatars.