It was bound to happen sometime. A country has opened an embassy in Second Life, the fantasy world. Yesterday the Swedish Embassy opened for business there,claiming to be the first embassy in the virtual domain, although there are rumors that they were beaten to the punch by the tiny Maldives Islands. Known as The Second House of Sweden, it wasinaugurated by Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Director General of the Swedish Institute Olle Wästberg. The move comes justfour months after the Swedish government said it would clamp down on nationals earning money through games like Second Life. Quite what the embassy will do seems a little undefined, althoughit won’t be able to issue passports or visas. However, it will offer information on how people can obtain them in the real world and also act as a link to web-based information about Sweden. "Second Life allows us to inform people about Sweden and broaden the opportunity for contact with Sweden easily and cheaply," Wästberg said. There are already a number ofunofficial embassies in Second Life, but Sweden claims this will be the first officially sanctioned operation. It follows on from shops created there by a number of real world companies. Created by San Francisco company Linden Labs, Second Life has been hugely successful, with some 6,800,000 residents.
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