I posted earlier about how scientists are begginning to use second life for social experiments. It seems that Endemol, the dutch company behind big brother are going one step further and launching a second life big brother. International users will be selected who volunteer to spend at least 8 hours a day in the second life with the promise of an island for the last to be voted out.

It seems to me that second life has an almost unique quality in that it circumvents things like ethics committees and standards boards. The kind of experimentation that could go on is much more extreme than could ever be allowed on real humans but the same human decision making process would be involved.

Research by proxy if you will…