Newt Gingrich Speaks in Second Life, Gets Heckled, Greeted by Naked Female Avatar

Last week GamePolitics reported that conservative politician (and potential 2008 presidential candidate) Newt Gingrich would be making a Second Life appearance, and so it has come to pass.

The Click Hear Round the World has a detailed report:

Gingrich spoke about a number of issues, including the environment, relations with China, social conservatism, and the upcoming elections.  He seemed quite interested in the idea of a “3D web” and seemed fairly well-informed and jazzed about Second Life…

He noted that he was most interested in Second Life being used to bring together Republic and Democratic candidates. “I’m concerned that we are going too far on partisanship,” explained Gingrich…

Newt talked about creating a “Second Legislation” sim where legislators from the national and state levels could come together to share views on important subjects and bills, without the need for expensive travel.  This was pretty far-fetched, but definitely interesting.

There were also protesters:

It was a packed sim at 50-some avatars, including five friends of mine protesting.  It seemed to me to be a good balance between conservative supporters… and protesters who were able to “shout” their message via text chat.  Newt got to have his say, and the opposition was able to be present and vocal as well.  A real life event would not be quite so inclusive.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in a profile on Gingrich, gave the SL appearance a mention:

Gingrich’s “American Solutions” project is a collection of workshops… designed to look at the nation’s problems through the lens of new technology.

The most radical example was a question-and-answer session that Gingrich hosted in “Second Life,” an on-line realm in which large numbers of people — using 3-D characters — interact with each other.

The “metaverse” is an important way to create new kinds of classrooms with participants from all over the world, Gingrich said. “This is the new technology of the 21st century,” he said.

There were some bugs. The comments of cyber-hecklers had to be removed. And upon arriving in a digital amphitheater, Gingrich’s figure was immediately approached by a lovely young digital lady, who arrived moments before her clothes did.

GP has tracked down a brief (55 seconds) YouTube clip which show Gingrich working and speaking at his laptop while his Second Life appearance is being projected live on a big screen located behind him.

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