Possible Future President Campaigns In Online Game

Dennis Faas's picture

In 1993, Bill Clinton made the radical move of taking his campaign to the airwaves of MTV -- and he ended up becoming the President of the United States. Thirteen years later, Mark Warner is breaking new ground of his own.

On Thursday, August 31st, the former Virginia governor and possible future President campaigned in the virtual world of an online video game called Second Life. (Source: 1up.com)

"In Second Life, distances and time differences vanish. It will allow us to reach people through a whole new medium," Warner said, explaining his reasons for making an appearance in the game.

"Social technologies can be great tools for political change, and virtual worlds like Second Life might be the next tool for engaging people in the real world democratic process. We want to use Second Life to continue the conversation about the direction of our country. My avatar is also pretty funny looking. That alone makes it worth checking out." (Source: livejournal.com)

Inside the virtual sphere of Second Life, Warner discussed himself and several pertinent world issues.

On his time as the governor of Virginia: "As a former high-tech entrepreneur and Governor of Virginia, I'm proud of the results we achieved in Virginia. We got named the best managed state in American by Governing Magazine. We were named the best place to do business in America by Forbes. And saw dramatic increases in our test scores, including the largest Math SAT score increase in the nation, and we finally started to crack the code on how to bring knowledge-based jobs to rural communities."

On living in a post 9-11 world: "I also think the fifth anniversary of 9-11 serves as an opportunity to challenge Americans to remember that sense of civic engagement we all felt in the aftermath of that tragic day. As I've said elsewhere, the fact that the President didn't call upon that spirit to take on some of the major issues, from our energy crisis to restoring America's stature in the world, was a missed opportunity."

On the war in Iraq: "The real question is, is our ongoing presence in Iraq making us safer? Of course, getting out of Iraq without a plan is as bad as going in without a plan. Our goals must be to ensure that as we redeploy from Iraq, we ensure that it doesn't become an even greater haven [for] Al Qaeda, or Iranian expansionism. And this has been made more difficult by some of the Administration's policies."

On abortion: "I've always been supportive of a woman's right to choose, and even vetoed a ban on late-term abortions."

On scientific and medical research: "I think the challenge from this administration goes beyond an attack on Roe v Wade to an attack on science, from the stall tactics at the FDA on Plan B, to failure to acknowledge global warming, or failure to unleash the potential of stem cell research." (Source: blogs.com)

You can read the entire transcript here. More information on Second Life can be found on the game's official website.

Could the next President of the United State be a gamer, or at least tech-savvy? As video game designer Warren Spector (Deus Ex, Thief) said recently, "It's only a matter of time before the President's a PlayStation owner." (Source: Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine, September 2006 issue)

That time could come sooner than we ever imagined.

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