The Alphaville Herald

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The Alphaville Herald
Web address
Slogan "Always fairly unbalanced"
Type of site
Available in English
Owner Peter Ludlow (Urizenus Sklar)
Editor Mark P. McCahill (Pixeleen Mistral)
Launched October 23, 2003
Current status Online

The Alphaville Herald is an online newspaper covering virtual worlds, founded by Northwestern University philosophy professor Peter Ludlow (known by his pseudonym Urizenus Sklar) on October 23, 2003.[1] According to scholars Constantinescu and Decu, the newspaper was the first "virtual free press," pioneering mass communication in virtual worlds.[2]

It was originally a newspaper for the Alphaville virtual city of The Sims Online, where Ludlow used the avatar Urizenus Sklar. Its stories uncovered in-game scams and cyber-prostitution,[3] and highlighted Electronic Arts' indifference to the negative consequences of their game and the problems of virtual democracy.[4] EA terminated Ludlow's account, which made international headlines,[5][6] and the newspaper migrated to another virtual world, Second Life, in June 2004. Sklar (Ludlow) is currently a Contributing Editor, while the avatar Pixeleen Mistral, revealed by Ludlow in 2010 to be Internet pioneer Mark P. McCahill, is the newspaper's Managing Editor.[7] Various people have written for the publication, including Catherine A. Fitzpatrick.

For some time, the newspaper was known as The Second Life Herald.



  1. ^ Brennen, Bonnie; Erika (2010). "Journalism in Second Life". Journalism Studies. 11 (4): 546–554. doi:10.1080/14616701003638418. 
  2. ^ Constantinescu, Diana and Decu, Andrei, "Social Cooperation within Virtual Worlds: Old Social Phenomena Emerging in New Environments" (October 1, 2008). doi:10.2139/ssrn.2000872
  3. ^ Joshua A.T. Fairfield, "Virtual Parentalism", 66 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1215 (2009)
  4. ^ Henry Jenkins (December 22, 2003). "Playing Politics in Alphaville". Technology Review. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  5. ^ Amy Harmon (January 15, 2004). "A Real-Life Debate On Free Expression In a Cyberspace City". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  6. ^ Mark Ward (December 22, 2003). "The dark side of digital utopia". BBC. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  7. ^ "Pixeleen Mistral Files Legal Response to Venkman's DMCA Abuses | The Alphaville Herald". 2010-02-04. Retrieved 2013-12-14. 

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