John Edwards’ (unofficial) Second Life campaign HQ vandalized

John Edwards was, as far as I know, the first candidate in the U.S. presidential elections with a campaign presence in Second Life (if only an unofficial one). As of yesterday, he’s got another first: His Second Life headquarters became vandalized. spoke it over with Jordan Bigel (aka Dire Lobo in Second Life) from InWorld Studios:

Raven Canning: As a professional how would you defend against vandalism like this on a property you were asked to build? Dire Lobo: The solution is a multi-part answer. Dire Lobo: For one, you can just turn on auto-return. Dire Lobo: This would simply return objects that were not created by the owner, but would be a problem for group ventures. Dire Lobo: If you have people contributing content, make them DEED it to you or to the group (if the group owns the land). Then you can use auto-return. Dire Lobo: But you introduce some overhead by doing that and it is fun to allow people to create things as they wish. Dire Lobo: Now for a sensitive project like a campaign, I wouldn’t take that attitude. Dire Lobo: As I mentioned yesterday you can also use the SL programming tools to create a system which monitors not only everyone who comes and goes but can take a catalog of what objects exist – or at least who owns them – and compare that to a list of authorized owners. Dire Lobo: This whole process can thus be automated and allow multiple builders, etc. Dire Lobo: With the tools LL [Linden Labs] provides you can do an awful lot if you know how. This is one potential danger of amateur or hobby 3D sites for candidates. Dire Lobo: In the early days of the WWW the same thing occurred and even now unauthorized web sites for candidates appeared all the time. Dire Lobo: The key is that candidates have to provide an “Official” presence like they provide an “official” web site and this has the be a manned effort and properly managed to present the right message.

Link to the interview (via AmberMac) covers all internet-related campaign activities of the U.S. elections 2008, and what can I say, it’s a great resource.

Update: Here’s what John Edwards’ official campaign blog has to say about the event. It reads funny:

[On Monday] a group of republican Second Life users, some sporting “Bush ’08” tags, vandalized the John Edwards Second Life HQ. They plastered the area with Marxist/Lenninist posters and slogans, a feces spewing obsenity, and a photoshopped picture of John in blackface, all the while harrassing visitors with right-wing nonsense and obsenity-laden abuse of Democrats in general and John in particular.

Update: There’s a screenshot here as well, also directly from John Edwards’ blog (click image for full size screenshot).

John Edwards' Second Life campaign HQ vandalized

Not that I’d propose vandalizing any campaign headquarters, but I wouldn’t exactly call this abusive as much as political satire. As much as I like Second Life, let’s not forget that it’s just a game. Sort of. You know what I mean.


Kein Wunder. Als ich das letzte Mal mir sein Headquarter anschaute, war niemand weit und breit zu sehen. Aber ich konnte überall sein Freund werden…

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