As some predicted, it wasn’t more than a publicity stunt, but Governor Mark Warner’s appearance in virtual form in Second Life still was a historic occasion. When a possible contendor for the US Presidency makes a pit stop in a virtual world, you have to think that something new is in the air. Others, particularly Hamlet Au, will be posting full transcripts and video soon. But I thought I would throw up some pics quickly for those who couldn’t attend.
The Governor’s avatar was quite dapper, and a pretty decent likeness, I have to say. When he zoomed in, there was as definite sense that a major personage was in the room.
Hamlet Au was the main interviewer, telling the audience to not shout out questions. Some still did, not surprisingly. The entire interview was conducted in chat, which disappointed a few in the audience. Indeed, having a quicktime stream of the governor speaking would have been much much "realer". That said, Mr. Warner is a quick typer.
It was a small crowd of about 30 residents, several of whom were clearly newbies from all the bumbling around and crashing into things that was going on.
The governor spoke on a range of topics, from the war in Iraq, the Democratic Party, abortion, to terrorism. I agreed with most of his positions, although he was obviously quite thin on the details.
All-in-all, an interesting experiment. Governor Warner has promised to return in the Fall for a virtual Town Hall meeting, which sounds really excellent. Clearly there is strong interest in engaging in discussions with him. I hope it happens.
I took some video which I will try and post later. We’ll see how interesting it is to watch Mr. Warner’s avatar typing away.