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 Today, the President's once shiny promises have long been replaced by gritty realities, challenged by a candidate whom while competent seems more than a little bland.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.

Bixyl Shuftan


  1. I respectfully submit that intelligent political discourse, our treasured heritage, is not possible in an atmosphere of bullying. Political bullying includes name calling, ridicule, and any other behavior that brings an end to a discussion.

    I love politics; whether we like it or not, policies of our elected officials affect every one of us every day. It's too bad that the concept of, "my side is always right" has replaced the American ideal of, "Do the Right Thing".

  2. I come to SL to get AWAY from politics and advertising and all the shrieking monkeys in so many cages demanding that everyone has to be in THEIR cage or they'll be covered in poo. I pay money to have a utopia where I can escape, with no need for rules or politics because nothing can do any physical harm and scarcity is impossible.

    I would sooner cut off my arm and slap myself with it than be a part of any political party, in RL or in VR. I'm too busy to listen to small-minded gibbons who think that only their poo lacks odor when everyone walking through the zoo knows that they all collectively stink the same.

    1. What you describe, Shockwave, is typical bullying behavior: cowards who, lacking the skills required to have an intelligent discussion, engage in ridicule and threats in order to silence opposition.

    2. Oh, I recognize that it is bullying, Sabine. But that's all politics is anymore. It doesn't matter what your ideas are; what party you belong to is the first, last, and only thing so many care about on all sides.

      And I'm sick to death of the whole thing. I cannot affect either side, so I just ignore all the bullies collectively.

  3. I think it would be an interesting place to have open forum discussions about the issues. Set rules. If anyone bullies or rants, give a warning. 2nd warning and eject. Simple. I think I will check out the sites mentioned.