Conservative First

May 31, 2009

Real Politics in a Virtual World

Filed under: Politics,Technology — Sofie @ 12:56 pm
Tags: , , ,

Second Life (SL) is not a game. It “is a 3-D virtual world created by its Residents” (“What is Second Life?“), tens of thousands of whom log in every day. In 2008, they spent almost 400 million hours “in world” (“Second Life Residents“).

Residents can do just about anything in SL that they can do in RL (“real life”)–and a lot more. They can fly, teleport instantaneously from one island to another, and appear as any size, age, gender, or species they want–all while sitting at their computers.

Hundreds of educational, business, government, and non-profit organizations have taught classes, offered training, conducted conferences, and provided services in SL.

Newt Gingrich has spoken in SL (“Newt Gingrich“) at Capitol Hill, which is modeled after the one in Washington D.C. (“Congressional Hearing“), and a speech by Madeline Albright was streamed into the virtual world (“Former US Secretary of State“).

In addition, to “spur economic growth in their community the city leaders in Decatur, Georgia [are] creating an online virtual version of their city on Second Life” (“Decatur Georgia’s“), and officials in Arlington County, Virginia, have created offices in SL where “executives can swing by to gather market research aimed at luring grocery chains to Arlington. County officials can conduct presentations on an interactive white board as they promote the region to corporate prospects. And later this month, anyone interested will be able to join a confab on how to launch a business in Arlington” (“O Brave New World“).

Not surprisingly, leftists have protested Israel’s recent retaliation against Hamas in Gaza (“MBC Breaking News“) and held an inauguration ball “in world” (“Avatars in Tuxes“).

There are already quite a few Republican and conservative groups in SL (“Conservatives and Republicans“). One of the most active of these is the GOP Cafe founded by Wyatt Forster on Sagamore Island. The group currently has 263 members.

In addition to political discussions and a beach party every week, the steering committee organizes parties on special occasions. Tuesday night, members got together to honor President Bush at the Welcome Back to Texas Celebration, with music, dancing, bull riding, good conversation, and a tribute to the outgoing president.

Sagamore Island is also home to NRA-SL and Pro-Life Conservatives of Sagamore.

To keep up with activities at the GOP Cafe, read their blog and visit their Ning social network.

Gartner, Inc., has predicted, “By the end of 2011, 80 percent of active Internet users (and Fortune 500 enterprises) will have a ‘second life'” in a virtual world like SL (“Gartner Says“). Republicans and conservatives need to start learning how to use it now to advance our causes and our candidates.

Second Life is the next best thing to being there–in some cases. In other cases, it’s even better.

NOTE:  This article was original published on the Social Media Platoon site on January 21, but it is no longer there.

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