See that up above, America? That’s the FUTURE. More specifically, it’s John Edwards’ campaign headquarters in Second Life, the massively multiplayer online role-playing dorkfest/pyramid scheme.
The headquarters was designed and paid for in Second Life pretend money by Jerimee Richir, whose avatar is called Jose Rote; Richir/Rote says that he’s doing it on a volunteer basis, but that the Edwards campaign “is aware that we are organizing in Second Life, and cooperating as much as they can” (in between bouts of cruel, derisive laughter, he did not add). We hope that the “TOMORROW BEGINS TODAY” campaign slogan on display is a similarly freelance effort.
Like a real campaign headquarters, the virtual HQ features mailboxes, kids with dreadlocks wearing campaign t-shirts, what appear to be cardboard boxes full of pamphlets, and people in sailor suits standing around. Rote says that “Second Life is a place where people come to be social, so of course this is a fertile ground for social discourse … I bet that half of Second Life users regularly contribute to multiple blogs. So it is a smaller community, but I would argue it is a more influential community.” It’s just like the Dean campaign’s obsession with Meetup, except that instead of actually leaving your house to go to a fundraising party, you can pretend to be a huge-chested Japanese woman.