Ok, picture this scene. One of our senior statesmen, Newt Gingrich, is speaking at the capital. That’s fair. Beautiful female bodyguards dressed in snappy skirts and jackets surround him. There is a cat in a nice suit sitting in the front row. When Newt is ready to speak, he flies, yes literally flies, and lands like a graceful gray haired bird next to the podium. In the back there is a Fairy flitting anxiously back and forth. Newt himself looks like an old guy who escaped from “King of the Hill”.
As the talk progresses, the fairy suddenly calls Newt a ‘Facist” and vanishes.
Newt is undaunted as he speaks with the clarity and confidence that is befitting of a man who wants to be the next president of the United States. His speech is awe-inspiring. He is speaking to the audience about the future of technology and how he thinks that congress should be held in such a venue as Second Life.
That’s right. Second Life. Seems that Newt has an avatar in a virtual world. Back in 2007, Newt Gingrich was invited to spend the evening with Second Life residents talking about politics and the future of virtual technology. You can see the speech in its entirety at You Tube. It is an intelligent and well presented talk.
Newt’s a gamer? Nope. He took the time to come into Second Life and present to its citizens his ideas. Now, I have to say that as much as I don’t buy the GOP platform, Newt has suddenly become very cool to me. Maybe there is an idea waiting to happen that he embraces. It’s very exciting when you think about it.
In 2011, like the real world, Second Life is struggling as well. It, like many other virtual grids, is a micro economy and directly reflects the goings on in the real world. Second Life, Inworldz and Avination, just to name a few have their own currencies and these currencies can be converted into US Dollars on an open market. Look at the virtual land baron Anse Chung, whose studio is based in China; she parlayed her virtual real estate operation into a million dollar venture. That’s millions of dollars in USD.
Real life people buy, sell and trade in these virtual worlds with an intensity that you would see in Wall Street and because real people as avatars shop and do business in these worlds, when their real life economy is down so goes down the virtual economy. It's a fact.
Economists have followed virtual worlds for years and they do present an uncanny parallel to what goes on in real life. Most people who don’t understand the nature of this technology and call it a game or dismiss it as a waste of time. Newt took the time to study the technology and I think that the fact that he did speaks volumes for his character. If he was able to spend his precious time speaking to people in a role playing venue, then maybe it is a signal to the American people that he might care to spend time talking to the more common among us.
This particular entry in my blog will definitely qualify as a peculiar trip into the Twilight Zone but I thought that this little moment in 2007 should serve as a reminder to us that our politicians are human beings and that, every once in a blue moon, we should stop and enjoy the lighter side of these national leaders and just sit back and have a feel good smile.
I’m just sayin…