Sunday, November 12, 2006

Second Life

With the mid-term election over and a flurry of changes and posturing in its aftermath - I want to take a moment to look back at one of the most interesting new media moves by a politician during the entire election season. Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner participated in a simulated interview at Second Life -- a Web site that offers participants the chance to wander around in a simulated world and interact with one another.

Warner created an avatar -- a "virtual" representation of himself -- to appear in the interview.

He went as a tall white man dressed in a suit, not a far stretch from his typical off-line wear. A remarkable difference was that the virtual Warner flew onto the stage to make his remarks -- a feat the real world Warner has yet to pull off (as far as we know).

Asked why he chose to be the first virtual politician, Warner said, "How people communicate and what type of communities they form is changing in real time."

Warner had a career as a technology entreprenuer before he became Governor of Virginia.

Second Life is a 3D online world with a rapidly growing population of over a million residents from 100 countries around the globe. The residents themselves create and build the world. Second Life is created by Linden Lab, a San Francisco-based company founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale to "create a revolutionary new form of shared 3D experience." The former CTO of RealNetworks, Rosedale pioneered the development of many of today's streaming media technologies, including RealVideo.

Second Life has been on the cover of Business Week, on the front page of the New York Times Escapes section and in the coverage of Reuters, which has now assigned a reporter to operate full-time inside Second Life.

Basic memberships for Second Life are free. Reporters can create a free account online at To enter into the world, download the necessary software at

I just joined Second Life where I can own land, start my own business and trade in commerce with currency known as Linden dollars. My name there? Madeline Lightfoot -as of now my avatar is an urban black male. (All of the women pre-fab Avatars look like low-life Barbies).

I will keep you updated on my new, Second Life.

CNN talks about more than 60 universities setting up a presence on Second Life

Business Week talks about CEO's hanging out on Second Life

News from Second Life


Hunter said...

welcome to second life! I agree that Warner's appearance was really interesting - he did an excellent NPR interview where Warner joked that if elected president his avatar might have different policies than he did.

PauletteFilmsBlog said...

Thanks Hunter! You are currently residing on Second Life? I can see it's going to be a time vampire - really amazing. Any tips you can offer are most welcome. Best, PM