Politics and SL

I hate politics… with a passion.

Politics, in my opinion, can be the route of all evil. Of course money is usually the cause, but money is usually a tool that is used by people for specific intentions, so I don’t consider money to be a route. But a specific means to an end can be a greater good or evil. Usually, politics fall into that category.

Personally, I’ve had issues in the past dealing with people in political matters, mainly because people in general have specific personal agendas in the “good” they are trying to do. Not to get into any specifics myself, but I’ve always tried to do the best for others before myself. I’ve been told my biggest weakness in life is my huge heart, trying to take care of everyone before myself. But when I know people who also want to do good for others, but find ways to benefit themselves, I end up being the bad guy for trying to expose them. Plus, people rarely ever agree in politics about anything, so discussions are avoided as much as possible by me.

With that being said, someone out there thought it would be a great idea to have political figures come into SL and talk politics. According to websites online (such as Datamation’s article and the IPDI blog), the turnout was very fair. I honestly expected to hear about riots in SL and protests when political figures logged into the game. But, everyone supposedly was mature about their presence and virtual Congress was held in SL.

I believe that the advertising of political parties and events in SL is not any different from that of normal product advertising. Again, I’m not a particular fan of politics, especially when I’m trying to just relax and play a game. So, being bombarded with news and ads about political events can be as annoying as products trying to get into one’s home via SL.

I can understand the reasons for wanting to appear in SL for politics. The benefits of reaching out to another audience for attention can help with getting communication exchanged between a political figure and the public. However, if there is to be a new trend of people going online to attract people, political figured should try other programs to attract attention through.

Why not World of Warcraft?

Think about it! Political figures could go after an entire genre of people who would probably never pay attention to politics in real life, and would then be fighting an online battle and discussing politics with their public audience. That would be fun and wicked cool to talk about.

But in all seriousness, is the really that different to meet in WoW than it is in SL? Really, just because there’s no killing in SL and no virtual Capitol in WoW, does that mean that the topics, exchange of questions, and the overall experience of being able to communicate directly with someone of political power really differ between the formats? Yes, there’s probably going to be a more recreational experience meeting a political figure in WoW, and probably some criticism with a political figure playing an MMORPG, but the ability to communicate with these figures in ways unimagined before can be tapped into for its fullest extent.

I find the idea of being in a virtual Congress in SL, listening to a political figure speak for a while, then a quick Q&A to be a little dry and boring. Come on!! We are in SL here!! There must be other ways to spice up the experience for everyone online to enjoy while being educated and informed as well. I’m not saying the idea is completely flawed, I just think there are better ways to approach how to do this.

It would be the same as having a class in SL, but only sit around and chat by voice instead of going to other places and creating things in world.


~ by Cliff Huizenga on November 6, 2007.

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