Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Stevie Joe Checks Out Politics in Second Life

The resident population of Second Life has just exceeded 7 million, and the political world has noticed. Several of the presidential candidates are represented with virtual campaign headquarters, and some of the talking heads have also made appearances.

Just a few days ago, I was at a virtual interview with Arianna Huffington. Some technical difficulties made the audio a little hard to hear, and they couldn't get Arianna's avatar to appear in the open air amphitheater where the interview took place. Still, she took the time to make the appearance as she has done before and promises to do again.

Not all of the presidential campaigns are represented in Second Life, but the top Democrats are here as is Republican candidate Ron Paul. You can visit virtual headquarters for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Ron Paul, but the only campaign that has an official presence in Second Life is that of Democrat Mike Gravel. The rest are unofficial sites created and managed by volunteers.

In her interview, Huffington agreed with the assessment that candidates are treating Second Life much like candidates treated the world wide web during the 2000 campaign. That is, they know it has great potential, but they aren't yet sure how to most effectively use it. As the election approaches, I'm sure we'll see the campaigns get more involved. It will be interesting to see what they do.

Here are some pics of the campaign headquarters (in alphabetic order):

Clinton Campaign Headquarters

Edwards Campaign Headquarters

Gravel Campaign Headquarters

Paul Campaign Headquarters

Obama Campaign Headquarters

Reporting from Second Life,
Stevie Joe Parker

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