Where are the Second Life Republicans?

Over at The Click Heard Round the World, Second Life devotee Rik Panganiban wonders why Democrats seem to far outnumber Republicans in SL’s online world.

Panganiban, who goes by Rik Riel in-game, is a self-identified Obama supporter and notes that the Democratic presidential candidate topped a recent SL poll by a 2:1 margin over Republican John McCain.

Panganiban also notes that McCain’s SL presence, "Straight Talk Cafe" is usually deserted and seems to be malfunctioning. He writes:

Looking at the Second Life resident-organized groups, there does appear to be a larger support base for Obama, with 1,300 residents in the "Obama for President" group, compared to only 300-some residents in the largest McCain for President group…


Given the fact that Obama and McCain have been in a virtual deadheat in the real world polls, what is the deal with Second Life?  Are there more progressive, liberal folks flocking to the virtual world?  Is it the age group that tends to dominate SL, the late-20s / mid-30s demographic? 


I found this all kind of sad.  Although I’m an Obama supporter, I would love to talk with McCain boosters about his policies, particularly his positions on foreign policy and the United Nations. Does McCain support closing Gitmo?  Would he fully fund efforts to stop the scourge of AIDS in Africa?  I really want to know, and I would want to know if his supporters care about these things.

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  1. Austin_Lewis says:

    you know, that whole ‘republicans are less technologically inclined’ thing is bullshit.  YOUNG PEOPLE are more likely to be so inclined, it ahs nothing to do with political leaning.

    As for second life, I know many people don’t play it because the game is garbage, and boring as hell.  I’ve never even picked it up and I can tell its not something I’d want to waste my time on.

    And for all these people making political statements in virtual worlds, why don’t you do it in the real world?  Because you’re not American, because you’re a candyass, a slacktivist, or its just too inconvenient for you?

    Also, I had my tires slashed because I had a sticker on my car, but it was a military sticker, not a McCain Palin sticker.

  2. Orelup says:

    Ok it’s slightly been said here, but i have to ask.


    Is there anyone reading this that actually PLAYS second life, or knows someone who does?  I consider myself a pretty diverse gamer in the type of multiplayer games i play.  Also, I am one of the 10 million with the WoW affliction (…don’t look at me 🙁   ).  I’ve played, eve online, planetside, AoC and probably a couple dozen different types of online games that aren’t MMO’s this year alone.  Yet outside of the 5-10 people i bumped into when i tried the trial for second life, I NEVER met one person in any other game that played second life.

    Every time i see an article about how a politician or some other big name person makes an appearance on there i think "do they seriously not understand games enough to know that no one plays that?"  Heck i’d be more impressed if someone made an appearance in the Matrix Online (which is a little sad actually).

    The only thing this article says to me "The republicans are not going to pretend to be gamers, or understand them, when they really aren’t/don’t"


    (going to go ask my WoW guild if anyone in there plays it, it’s the official penny arcade guild so i hope the demographic is diverse enough to find one out of the 2000)

  3. dukrous says:

     I absolutely agree with your viewpoints, but like I said…it’s what I’ve experienced.  I know one person who was a member of the KKK, and he’s far left, into communist territory.  I had a relationship bust up because her parents didn’t like that I was cuban…Gore supporters, though.  It’s been like that.  I cannot say it doesn’t come from the Right, but the experiences I’ve had in my life all come from the Left.

    Malkin and Coulter…well, Malkin’s an idiot, plain and simple.  While she stumbles from (infrequent) time to time on good ideas, she has no idea how to present them.  Coulter…it helps to understand that Coulter sees herself more as an entertainer than a public speaker, much like Limbaugh does.  They like point out the absurd by being absurd.  It doesn’t help, but it’s the same thing Colbert does, only without their tongues in their cheeks.  Granted, I’ve never been a fan of Colbert either.

    On the immigration debate, I love how Republicans have to go back and explain Reagan’s policies when his immigration policies were actually quite fair and tolerable.  The current GOP has disappointed me in that sense, and I’ve sided with many Democrats against the reforms put in place.  This was one reason why I could not support Paul’s campaign…his immigration ideals are completely out of whack with common human decency that had his policies been in place in 1976, I would not be a citizen.  I couldn’t justify that.

    As for my being Cuban, understand that we’re the exception to most spanish-speaking groups.  For one thing, we didn’t want to come to this country.  We came here because we believed the US would assist us as they had done in the past, and then Khrushchev got involved and Kennedy sold us out. We just wanted help getting our homeland back after the US helped put Castro in power, and we got screwed…so that didn’t sit well.  The first president to come and acknowledge our issues was Nixon…after that, it was Reagan, and then the Bushes.  Clinton instituted the Wet Foot-Dry Foot policy which angered much of the Cuban community because the people coming over may be seeking economy prosperity, but they are fleeing a dictatorship and thus qualify as political refugees.  Fox’s rebranding of Cuban rafters as migrants eventually made me swear off all news sources, but Murdoch was a Hillary supporter and generally Left-leaning even if his companies aren’t.  And the Elian Gonzalez debacle, despite whatever you think, essentially comes down to the US taking an innocent 4 year old boy and sending him back to a communist dictatorship that barely qualifies as Third World.  Ignoring the motives of all involved, I still believe that the US turned its back on the promise of the Statue of Liberty for political gain, and that saddens me greatly.

    As for my sense of superiority…yeah, it’s there, and I can’t shake it.  I try to keep my ego out of things, but I’m sure you can understand that we are who we are and need to live by the faults we have.

    Thank you for the great reply, and I’d love to continue this with you if you have the time.

  4. Austin_Lewis says:

    I’m part of the videogame generation and I’m a McCain supporter.  There are plenty of people who support McCain from the younger generations.

    Honestly, pull your head out of your ass and stop trying to make baseless arguments, because for the most part, age and technology don’t play a part in this election.

  5. shady8x says:

    Well Republicans just went up a notch in my book… They don’t spend god know how much time on a boring game…


    Seriously though, it is obvious that most MCcain supporters are older and not part of the video game generetaion…

  6. Pominator says:

    Search around the net and you’ll see that the technologists fall mostly into two camps: Left-wing liberals and Libertarians

    Ya ever been to that thar townhall.com old boy? that place is hilarious, the most right wing conservatives pretending to have an ounce of brain matter… and then using it to attack Obama.

    The issue I take with McCain, is the lack of any real clarity in his wishes for your country, as GP has reported before, the majority of he and his followers replies/counters to any question posed by someone in the Obama Camp is just a reminder that he was a PoW, if I were to know more about his actual policies rather than when reading the site that supports him (once again townhall.com) where I am faced with a good point about McCain, and then 10 points about Obama being a liberal islamic extremist who wants to destroy America, and then the obligatory "his middle name is Hussein!" Sort of stuff, I would like to see some actual information and understanding of what he wants to do.


    Obama is frequently criticised for having a lack of experience, but I think this is exactly what your country needs, to break the cycle of old white men, and add something else to the pot, I think that something fresh and new to politics could work at running the country far better than the last coupla presidents, and when you consider McCain is looking at being pretty much Bush MkII – Invade harder, I would rather place my vote with a president who knows less about how to screw your country up (which btw will affect the whole world, cos America has managed to insert itself completely into pretty much everywhere in the civilised world, and a fair bit of the uncivilised world too), Obama appears to be aiming for a more isolationist America, which at this stage should be looking more inward, trying at least to try and fix itself up before going out to screw up the rest of the world again.

    Oh yeah, one more thing, Obama actually wants OUT of Iraq! Anyone who can help get my sister out of that hellhole (we are just following you yanks in this war for some crazy reason) has my support. if I could vote in the American elections, which to my knowledge, I can’t do from here in England, Obama would have my vote. 

    Your soul is a tasty refreshing treat to ones such as I

  7. Austin_Lewis says:

    SPOILER: What that means is that their opinion doesn’t matter.

    Sorry, but if you’re not voting, your voice doesn’t matter on the Obama/McCain thing.  I don’t understand all the support for Obama the hypocrite anyway, but that’s just me.

  8. Eville1 says:

    I did use someone other than myself as an example. You’re absolutely right. I also said I knew those people (my parents.) I am basing all of my opinions off of things I see and people I know. Growing up in the south for a large portion of my life I have been surrounded ABSOLUTELY SURROUNDED by republicans and conservatives.  And by and large, all of the people I refer to are technologically ignorant. Conversely my home state is largely liberal democratic and is the home of Microsoft. all of my friends are democrats and they all work at microsoft.


    You on the other hand know only what I’ve told you yet you label me something I am not. I have a larger conservative republican bias than a democratic one. Mostly due to my upbringing. And I disproved you by telling you that I am a centrist. Fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Even then not totally socially liberal. There are somethings I cannot stand that happen on both sides.

  9. Dark Sovereign says:

    You see that top part of your post? Where you say that conservative republicans can’t use tech, and then use somebody other than yourself? 

    Clearly, that gives the impression that you are a conservative republican too.

  10. Eville1 says:

    I’m so far left I don’t go around accusing people of being something without knowing anything about them. Yup, that’s me.


    For the record I’m a centrist.

  11. Papa Shango says:

     I’m an independent leaning conservative(not a republican though) and I’m technologically savvy. I can’t say I’d want to be caught dead in a virtual world full of furries and dingbat hippies. Just like there are more liberals in San Francisco than conservatives there will be more in SL as well. My parents who are republicans can operate their computer, their cellphones, dvd players, play computer games whatever else would constitute being tech savvy. Hell my grandmother has a Nintendo DS that she uses.


  12. Dark Sovereign says:

    Are they actually conservative, or are they just not as far left as you are? My area’s heavily conservative, and extremely tech savvy.

  13. Shih Tzu says:

    Democrats are lazy hippies and don’t contribute anything to the economy.  This is why the notoriously liberal San Francisco Bay Area is such an economic wasteland.  If it weren’t for Google, or Intel, or Apple, or SCEA, or Microsoft, or Sega, or Pixar, or Cisco, or EA, or Yahoo, or Wells Fargo, or Lucasfilm, or Nvidia, or AMD, or Ask.com, or Hewlett Packard, or Intuit, or Adobe, or Netflix, there’d be hardly any jobs to speak of.

  14. Eville1 says:

    The only thing that this article proves is that conservative repubicans aren’t technologically savvy. How do I know? My parents can’t use a computer to save their lives. Now do you have anything else to add that’s not considered bashing, mud slinging or name calling?



    ..Cuz I don’t seem to. Other than I’d be willing to help a poor old conservative with their ebay account if they need me too.

  15. Brokenscope says:

    May I be the first to say……. Furries.


    Anyways, he could always go find these people in real life. Its really not that hard and its less likely to turn into a flame fest.

  16. Ghede says:

     Ok, now, call me crazy, but it may have something to do with the fact that second life is free-range  not-so-dangly-bits country.

    Just a thought. I’m sure just as many republicans have tried it, but considering the conservative viewpoints of many republicans, fewer stayed. 

    Those of you making this personal, on both sides, are complete assholes. Don’t use everything with the words "Republican" or "Democrat" as an opportunity to snipe at people who disagree with you. It is a disgraceful habit. Now, if you see an article titled "Republicans are insane" or "Democrats hate america" then go right the fuck ahead. Propriety has already been thrown out the window, why should you be better than the person writing the article? At least those of us who don’t want to read a childish argument can avoid it easily.

  17. Eville1 says:

    Thank you for the well thought out comment. It does however (in my view) stem from a sense of superiority. By your own history lesson.  Odd that you’ve encountered only bigotry and hatred from the liberal side of the spectrum considering the standard view is that liberals are the more tolerant and accepting of everyone’s ideals, skin color and actions. In my mind the conservative movement has done nothing to refute this. Even going so far as to label liberals as "namby pamby pussies." The two loudest republican voices in the media are Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter. What does this tell you? I know even conservative republicans condemn them but the fact remains that until they are disassociated completely and their public media platform taken away they will always represent the worst of conservative values. Add to that the whole immigration debate. From what I’ve seen it’s more the conservative republicans that want to ship people out of this country and bar the gates with weapons than it is the liberal, left leaning democrates. Which confuses me seeing as you’re Cuban.


    No disrespect intended, just interested.

  18. dukrous says:

    As a Republican, I enjoy discussing politics especially with those on the other side.  The problem is you have to do it in the frame of mind that you are two people simply disagreeing about the methods to bring about the best this country can do.  If you do it from a ‘we’re right, you’re wrong’ standpoint, you’re going to suffer some vicious wounds.  Those kinds of places support the ‘we’re right, you’re wrong’ standpoint and it’s useless to argue.

    Search around the net and you’ll see that the technologists fall mostly into two camps: Left-wing liberals and Libertarians.  Considering how strong an issue the economy has become, there’s not a lot of common ground for those two groups and it ends up in pedantic yelling matches.  The reason for this…the 60s generation.

    The Hippies of the late 60s learned how to deal with a different idealogy by loudly proclaiming they were right.  Instead of approaching it as a discussion, they saw it as a lecture.  These people raised more Left-wing Liberals, and they have continued to do as their parents instructed in.  Now, this is a small but loud and extremely devoted part of the Democratic party.  For contrast, Republicans from the same era come from the Barry Goldwater method of approaching every opportunity as a chance to enlighten instead of dictate.

    Now, this is not me passing judgment on an ideology because of their methods.  It’s easy to see that evil can be softly whispered as well as loudly screamed.  But this is where a lot of the divisiveness comes from in my own life experience.  It’s part of what led me to become a Republican; as a minority (Cuban) I have only encountered bigotry and hatred from those on the Left and thus it has shaped my world view.  And while I am willing to listen to a well-thought out and reasoned argument from the Left, most of those on the Left I’ve dealt with are never willing to reciprocate.

    Take this as the view of a single person, though…I cannot make general statements about everyone, just from my own experiences and where they have left me.

  19. Shih Tzu says:

    I have never said that property destruction against Republicans is good and just (it is not), and I have never said that Republicans vandalize more than Democrats (not to my knowledge).  The majority of Americans of all ideologies are decent folk and have enough mutual respect for each other not to engage in this petty behavior.  But there are a few people who can’t control their anger, and let’s not pretend that Republicans are the only victims.  Growing up in Minnesota, I knew plenty of people who had their Wellstone signs stolen or defaced.  Most crimes go unreported, but you can find articles related to both Obama and McCain supporters through a quick Google News search of "Obama vandalized" or "McCain vandalized", such as this one (http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080923/NEWS01/809230360).

  20. Dark Sovereign says:

    What have you seen that convinced you that Republicans not only engage in vandalism agianst Obama supporters, but that they do it with greater freqency than the Obama supporters do? 

  21. Dark Sovereign says:

    Did you notice that there weren’t any Republicans rushing the stage at the Democrat convention? Did you notice that there weren’t conservative protesters in Denver during the convention? Have you ever heard of Obama supporters having their cars keyed outside of far-left sites? Has there been any Republican or Conservative trolling of these Obama supporting organizations in Second Life? No. You pretend you have the moral high ground, but all you really have is the belief that Republicans are scum. I will state, right here, right now, that Republicans do not engage in this behavior. I live in a Republican neighborhood. I have yet to see any of the cars sporting Obama stickers with any kind of damage at all. On the other hand, I’ve seen plenty of pro-Obama vandalism.

    It must be nice living in a liberal fantasy land, where all property destruciton against Republicans is good and just and when your own people break your stuff you can call them "conservatives".

  22. Eville1 says:

    Great, here comes the divisive mud slinging. If you guys are going to do that at least do it in an inflatable tub in swimsuits.

  23. Shih Tzu says:

    In real life, Republicans displaying pro-McCain merchandise often have their tires slashed, their cars keyed, their houses vandalized, and their signs stolen by Obama supporters.

    Right, because Republicans never ever engage in this kind of behavior in turn.  It must be nice living in conservative fantasyland where you can pretend to have the moral high ground.

  24. BlackIce says:

    You bastards. I take great pride that over here, we don’t need an excuse.

    ~You Could Be Mine, But You’re Way Out Of Line..~

  25. Dark Sovereign says:

    1. Second Life is most likely populated by hardcore internet users, often known as the net roots, who skew heavily towards Obama.

    2. Tech communities are not known for their understanding of conservative values or principles, and Second Life is not likely to be different.

    3. Republicans or McCain supporters would likely be harassed. In real life, Republicans displaying pro-McCain merchandise often have their tires slashed, their cars keyed, their houses vandalized, and their signs stolen by Obama supporters. On the internet, they could add trolling to that list.

  26. TaoJeannes says:

    Republicans are too busy working jobs, adding to the national economy, volunteering, and promoting their candidate in reality to spend much time virtually supporting a candidate.

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