Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

December 18, 2008 -

Uh, I'd like to pay my property tax, sign up for trash collection and could the police department do something about that Orc who lives around the corner?

Well, it's not quite like that, but the City of Decatur, Georgia is evaluating the use of a virtual world interface to "encourage community networking, improve civic engagement, and promote economic development."

The project even has a name: Virtual Decatur.

A website devoted to Virtual Decatur references Second Life and World of Warcraft, although not necessarily as models. From the site:

Virtual Decatur will provide an environment in which residents, businesses, institutions and visitors can interact and connect...  it is it is imperative that the project go beyond the features of traditional virtual environments.  The overarching purpose of this project is to allow users to interact with the City in new and innovative ways that are not possible in the real world.

Possible features of the proposed Virtual Decatur might include:

    • Opportunities to gather citizen input on policies, topics of interest, city services, and happenings
    • A Virtual City Hall Tour with multimedia capabilities.
    • Opportunities to earn coupons for use in real stores/retail establishments.
    • Streaming video of public meetings, ideally with a chat room feature that allows viewers to comment.
    • Access to visitors information (store hours, directions, weather, etc.)

A Request for Information (RFI) is available for download, with proposals due by February 13th. Among other requirements, the city expects Virtual Decatur to be "avatar-based" as well as "fun and intuitive."


Comments

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

If they want to do a virtual city, I think they would save time piggybacking on Google's street view feature. At least for the city exploration part. And then add on the interactive landmarks in their own discretion. Google provides development tools to integrate these features into another site, so why reinvent the wheel?

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

The Virtual Decatur Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line January 4th, 2009. Human decisions are removed from municipal planning. Virtual Decatur begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, January 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

And Virtual Decatur fights back.

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

I work for an IT company that provides services to cities in GA and I have to say that Decatur is one the more innovative cities around. They are very liberal and its reflected in their policy. Beyond Virtual Decatur, they're also about to implement a municipal wireless program. Not everyhting like this will work, but its nice to see them experimenting when its difficult to get many cities to even see the value in backing up thier data.

And to be clear, Decatur is anything but a rural redneck city. it's essentially a part of Atlanta and its one of the hipper, more laid back, artsy neighborhoods. I used to take tango lessons there a while back and they have one of the best bars in the country in terms of beer slection - The Brick.

 

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

I think it's a great idea.  You could explore your neighbourhood and see your neighbours as they want to portray themselves, and without the natural reticence that comes from the need for privacy in the real world.

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

The idea of it sounds great, but you know that people are going to abuse it to death.  Not only people within the town, but the internet itself.

I think if they focus more on a forum concept, if you will.  In that way, they can contribute polls and the basics and see where it goes from there.

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

Because going outside and traveling around your own neighborhood is too much work.

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

Decatur? Why Decatur? Decatur's only a suburb of Atlanta, and it's not a very exciting place. Anyways, they already made a game similar to this. Ever hear of Redneck Rampage?

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

Um, decatur is within the perimeter. Rural or redneck are not the words that come to mind.

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

6:00 - Virtual Decatur goes online.

6:05 - Virtual Decatur overrun with millions of self-replicating penises.

---
The Mammon Industry

---
Fangamer

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

This will be great... until they institute the PvP system (you just know that everyone will roll Horde)

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"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin
 
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MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
quiknkoldbut I am also certain nobody in their right mind is committing these shootings singing the Machoman song. these are sick individuals who have given up on life10/24/2014 - 9:51pm
Technogeekevopsych lol10/24/2014 - 9:49pm
quiknkoldWhen you suffer from mental illness, youre more likely to go by instinct. yes. I came off as sexist.10/24/2014 - 9:46pm
quiknkoldmore on somthing they are fixated on. Post Partum Depression is an example. This is why a woman is less likely to go off on a rampage.10/24/2014 - 9:44pm
quiknkoldA Mother will fight to protect her children or her mate. This does not mean they are any different then males when it comes to destruction and mental illness. A Woman has just enough opportunity to be sick like a man. The difference is they will focus10/24/2014 - 9:43pm
quiknkoldsociologist. I've spent years observing and I've come to the conclusion that a big reason men and women are different is because Women are Protectors. Women wont wantonly kill because they are all about protecting what they care about. They are wired this10/24/2014 - 9:43pm
james_fudgeYeah having a penis probably doesn't have a lot to do with it10/24/2014 - 9:32pm
quiknkoldIts Mental Illness. Nobody who is actually sane would willingly walk into a school and commit that. its Mental Illness topped with Teenage Angst. and I'm going to say something that may be construed as sexist, but I dont mean it as such. I mean it as a...10/24/2014 - 9:29pm
Matthew WilsonIt is a worth while discussion, but I dont agree with here premise. I dont belive it has anything to do with masculinity.10/24/2014 - 9:13pm
 

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