In Congreſs with Second Life®

Ok, so it wasn’t really intentional, my wearing the bright fuschia t-shirt with the ® logo. And it certainly wasn’t intentional to fall through the roof at Rayburn 2123 and almost land in the lap of Rep. Edward Markey‘s avatar…

Rep. Markey’s Second Life avatarEdward Mareky

chairman and lone virtual member of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications & the Internet present in front of a small, non-lag-creating bunch of folks there to watch Philip Rosedale et al wax poetic about Second Life.

This was a hearing titled, “Online Virtual Worlds: Applications and Avatars in a User-Generated Medium.” While there was some predictable fishing for relevant legislative issues (protecting children, use of virtual worlds for terrorist recruiting), this was mostly a love-fest, with various committee members falling all over themselves to demonstrate their SL connections and/or knowledge. The impetus for the hearing was apparently Rep. Markey’s experience in December using SL in connection with the Bali UN Climate Change summit.

It was clear Philip (looking only slightly jet-lagged) was prepared to go on for a good deal linger than his allotted time. A nice bit of machinima (available at the moment as part of the hearing archive video) showed off SL sans most of the breathless enthusiasm of a marketing pitch.

Other panelists included Susan Tenby from TechSoup, Colin Parris from IBM, and Larry Johnson of the New Media Consortium, all of whom spoke convincingly about the various serious uses being made of SL, and the likelihood of virtual worlds being the future of the internet.

Only one representative (whose name I’ll happily skip) sounded like he needed a good immersive romp in SL to get a clue or three, and sounded aghast at the very notion of people trying out roles and/or personae that might be a bit different than their RL identities. I’d gently suggest a few hours as a furry for a little attitude adjustment …

I captured some video, which should find its way here in the next day or two.

All in all, not a bad way to start April Fool’s Day.

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