Thursday, February 15, 2007

John Edwards campaign is in SecondLife, sort of

techPresident has a nice short article about John Edwards' campaign headquarters in SL. Like most SL places without an event happening, the headquarters is largely deserted. I liked this observation:

You can also put on an Edwards t-shirt and "Ed-head" shoes, send John a "letter," and there's a podium presumably waiting to be used by the Senator himself.

Except that in SL, it's impossible to tell if the candidate him/herself is the one animating that avatar. Wouldn't you want someone who's experienced in SL navigating your avatar, and a fast typist delivering the speech your speechwriters wrote based on the campaign themes identified by your demographers and focus groups? And, really, if they're doing all that, why not get a little sleep? After all, you've been driving hard on the campaign trail, and in this event you're not really needed!

What a great metaphor for the modern presidential campaign, in which the "candidate" is a sort of simulation animated by a smart but limited human being and her or his campaign team.

No, we'll be able to tell how involved the candidate actually is -- for this election, anyway -- because campaign speeches in SL are rare enough that someone will send a camera crew to Edwards' physical spot to record him operating the computer.

techPresident – How the candidates are using the web, and how the web is using them.

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