Sweden opens diplomatic relations with Second Life

I read via vnunet that Sweden is opening an official embassy on SecondLife:

Sweden has established a virtual embassy in the Second Life online world.
The officially sanctioned embassy is designed to increase the country’s profile among younger users in the web community.
A digitally created building will be based on Sweden’s actual embassy in Washington and run by Swedish Institute staff.

“We are constantly trying to reach new groups of people with information about Sweden,” Olle Wästberg, director of the Swedish Institute, told Associated Press.
“This is a very simple and cheap way to reach a large group of younger, educated people who are flooded with information.”

Embassy staff will be on call to discuss tourist information, visa conditions, cultural issues and the country’s history.

Few days ago, NetVision (Israeli ISP) announced it will open virtual offices on SecondLife.
It seems like a lot of people are actually using this platform, but just yesterday I read on YNet (Hebrew) that there are only 533 Israeli users on SecondLife.

Now, I’ve always considered myself as an “early adopter” who likes this kind of new technologies but I’ve only heard of SecondLife for the first time about 2 months ago when I was at Palo Alto and I just don’t get the appeal of this kind of platforms (and games like The Sims).
In fact, 3D worlds are not new. I remember there were such projects on the internet when I was a child.
So what makes SecondLife different that it appeals to so many people (and now companies and even countries)?

I might just have to install this think and check it out :

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