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Kiwini Oe

Hi, Beth. The figure in Adam's article was $60,000, not $600,000, and was roughly calculated based on the number of hours Clear Ink spent developing the Capitol Hill sim. After a contribution from Sun to help things along, most of the project was done by Clear Ink, and not for pay.

The Capitol Hill sim is now open to the public to visit, enjoy, and as a venue for public education and discussion of the issues facing Congress. We are happy to dispense notecards reflecting the point of view of all parties, not just the Democrats who kicked things off today!


It sounds as though the same people who are representatives in real life will also be reps in Second Life. Is this the case, or would an avatar in Second Life have the opportunity to run for the Second-Life senate? Will the same laws be passed in Second Life as in real life?

Also, would the same restrictions apply to the average citizen in Second Life than in Washington? For example, if you tried to enter the Second Life Senate, would you be admitted without permission?

In other words, is Second Life truly another reality, or just a mirror of this one?


I think that this is a brilliant recruiting ploy of the Dems. The younger a voter is when they first vote, the more likely that they will become loyal to that party. If they don't blow it, this will resonate very well with the 20-somethings.

Prokofy Neva

I've written about this here:
and here:

We're told this caper was contributed "in-kind" so to speak by Sun, but they did pay for costs of the island and builders at Clear Ink. $60,000 is still a tremendous amount of money for what this was. Remember Harvard did something like this for something like $18,000 when they launched.

It's a very good build, but given that one or two builders spent 10 days making it and buying up some flowers from other content makers, and given that the island was bought under the wire at the old price of $1250 with $195 tier, that's a lot of "social change" there hehe.

$60,000 could keep a real-life staff person in a non-profit paid, benefitted and resourced for a year.

Telelvision advertising is like this, too -- when people see the numbers involved in advertising, their eyes bug out -- but that old dinosaur media is dying. NGOs argue about the value of buying the Mobil spot or the full page in the Times for $40,000 and $80,000 -- only wealthy organizations can allow themselves that kind of largesse.

Sun Microsystems understands the value of technology, certainly, and new technology specifically, and they intuitively get where the bread will be buttered and how.

Clear Ink seems to have done a very good job at what they do, in terms of a great and easy-to-use build and good events management, unlike the ESC, CNET, and MOU and Infinite Mind events we've seen which have various disasters around them -- people not getting on the sim or not getting the URL etc. and not getting hard.

I find the invasive new role of marketing companies now downright creepy and disconcerting to say the least. I realize now that while they felt intrusive, they used to stay at their desks and flipcharts behind ads we could chose to look at or ignore. There were fire walls between them and the interior life and the private life.

Now they aggressively immerse themselves into our social software and get all woven into the warp of the virtual world -- downright creepy.

Prokofy Neva

I'm going to wait to see how the Republicans and other parties and people in completely different political systems represented in SL respond to these facile solutions:

"We are happy to dispense notecards reflecting the point of view of all parties, not just the Democrats who kicked things off today!"

Beth, do you actually believe that if they wave the word "non-partisan" around it will solve the bias problem here?

If the Republicans were pwning a powerful institutional symbol like this and were only lamely "reaching out to Democrats" everybody would call them on their hogging of the public discourse space.

Prokofy Neva

BTW, getting fastidious about SL screenshots is not a good thing. Anshe is now sending around takedown notices claiming this is copyrighted material. Baloney.

It's fine to credit photographers. But to feel any sense of anxiety and mandatory link backs and asking of permission of these images posted on public news sites seems really to go over the top.

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