Warner gets a Second Life

Governor Mark Warner has found a new opportunity to promote his political action committee: virtually. The former Virginia Governor and rumored 2008 presidential candidate has created an avatar of himself in the 3-D sandbox game cum social networking application Second Life.

'Social technologies can be great tools for political change, and virtual worlds like Second Life might be the next tool for engaging people in the real world democratic process,' said Warner. 'It will allow us to reach people through a whole new medium.'

Warner also counted his virtual looks as another incentive to meet with him in the world.

'My avatar is... pretty funny looking,' he said.

Warner entered Second Life in support of his political action committee, Forward Together, which has launched a dedicated outreach group in the world. The organization says that Warner is the first political leader to represent himself in Second Life.

Second Life was developed by former RealNetworks chief technology officer Philip Rosedale. In it, users can create and customize their own avatars and interact with each other in a landscape of all user-created content. A little over a week ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration opened an island of their own which includes hurricane and tsunami demonstrations and a real-time weather gage.

'Governor Mark Warner and Forward Together PAC are exploring the limitless potential of Second Life as a platform for communication,' said David Fleck, vice president of marketing for Linden Lab, the company that created the virtual world. 'Second Life represents the new "town hall" that allows intimate interaction directly with the voters.

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