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Sweden's Second Life Embassy ready for opening

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16:59 CEST+02:00
Sweden will open the first 'diplomatic representation' in the virtual reality of web-based Second Life, a fantasy world inhabited by computer-generated residents, on May 30, the Swedish Institute said Friday.

"The Second House of Sweden, the world's first virtual embassy in Second Life will be inaugurated on May 30," the institute said in a statement.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Director General of the Swedish Institute Olle Wästberg will be present at the "opening".

The embassy will not provide passports or visas but will instruct visitors how to obtain such documents in the real world and act as a link to web-based information about the Scandinavian country.

The Swedish Institute is an agency of the Swedish foreign ministry tasked with informing the world about Sweden.

Second Life, created by San Francisco technology company Linden Lab, has attracted several real-world companies, including car manufacturers and sports clothing makers, which created 3-D stores.

On Friday, according to the Second Life website (http://secondlife.com/), there were 6,491,898 residents in its alternative reality.

In January Swedish authorities said they would clamp down on Swedes earning money through Internet games such as Second Life.

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