Saturday, December 3, 2011

Flashback: Newt Gingrich in Second Life

For those whom haven't been keeping an eye on American political news, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has been rising in the polls in the race for the Republican Party's nomine for the Presidency. Longtime residents may recall in September 2007 when he made an appearance in Second Life, as this reminder by New World Notes shows.

The event was hosted by the Capitol Hill sim, and the orginization Clear Ink which ran it. Talking to one of the staff later on, he told me Gingrich had made several inworld appearances beforehand, saying hello to residents while getting the hang of going about Second Life, though closely monitored by a "handler." Residents tended to be skeptical it was really him, wondering if some ordinary resident had somehow gotten the name.

My friend Hervy (the red squirrelgirl) was among those attending. I never did hear about the event until after it happened.

In 2007, Second Life was much more popular in the real life media than it is now, and Gingrich saw the posibilities of important political discussions held inworld. Since then, the Capitol Hill sim has faded away, and politicians tend to pass Second Life and appear on Facebook. But political discussions still happen at the GOP Cafe and Cafe Wellstone.

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