So, I needed some downtime today from one of my more complicated projects, so I logged on to Second Life and decided to take a tour when it came to Presidential candidates. I was curious to see what was happening so I searched on the big three. My first stop was what I consider the classic SL retail establishment - a place where a smart entrepreneur recognized an opportunity and started selling candidate yard signs and t-shirts. The top three on the list as you can see from the screen shot, were Clinton, Obama, and Ron Paul (?). Of course, I didn't buy a sign or a t-shirt because I have my own, so then it was off to a Hillary Clinton SL destination under construction.
The location which is being built by Second Life resident King Zuhal a UK resident in his first life is a definite upgrade from all other SL unofficial/official HQs. It includes a large conference room including a video screen, electoral map of the US, a platform for SL town halls, plenty of pictures, and a really clean, professional look. I asked King a few questions about the project.
PMF: Are you officially connected with the campaign? King: Not yet, we are contacting the RL HQ
PMF: I like the design, it is much better than other executions. King: Obama's is impressive, but hey this is a long campaign, we just want to have some fun and some good debate in SL
The chat was very informative and here's my take on it as a SL resident and somebody, if you've read my history of posts, has a completely different opinion on SL; one that is very upbeat. A) These are again the classic SL entrepreneur building something and hoping to cash in with a very professional design B) SL residents are not aware of how the RL political world is viewing SL locations and when a location is attacked, while it might be fun for residents, it is not something that a campaign wants to be associated with C) Campaigns are going to be dragged into SL whether they want to be or not, because just like a website or blog, anyone can build something.
While this design is closer to what a professional might develop, I still don't think it is a destination that will keep residents coming back. As a potential official HQ it has all the amenities you could ask for, whether a campaign uses it or not, that's a different story. At least residents are stepping up to the plate now and starting to build locations that showcase what a 3D environment can deliver.