20 hours ago
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Politics in Second Life
Four years ago in 2008, it wasn't too hard to find reflections of the US Presidential Election in Second Life. During the Presidential Primaries, a number of places on the Grid were set up for candidates by supporters. At Capitol Hill, showings of the debates, as well as election night's returns, were shown and moderated. And of course there were the Republican and Democrat hangouts, notably the Straight Talk Cafe and Cafe Wellstone.
Today in 2012, this year's election doesn't seem to have quite the same impact here. Part of it may have to do with the real-life media spotlight largely off of Second Life. Also the Capitol Hill sim is gone, and with it the most noted spot of neutral ground debates had. And then there's the theme to the election itself. Four years ago, we had a crusty old war hero against a promising up and coming young candidate. Today, the President's once shiny promises have long been replaced by gritty realities, challenged by a candidate whom while competent seems more than a little bland. And of course there's the deepening partisan divide. Drama-shy residents may be more than a little reluctant to get involved in discussions they fear may quickly become heated.
For those interested in participating in political discussion, there are still some places one can go to. For Democrats/liberals and progressives, there is Cafe Wellstone in the mainland Pini sim (56, 78, 45), next to the highway. For Republicans/conservatives, with the closing of the GOP Cafe (formerly the Straight Talk Cafe), their place with the most traffic seems to be The Republican Party of SL Headquarters in the Sunset River sim (180, 198, 23). Second Life Newser does not yet have weekly schedules of either location.
Do you the readers have any stories of political debate in Second Life, or know of another location where it takes place regularly? By all means let us know.