“I would like to thank, Mr. Chairman, your avatar for holding this hearing.”

Do you think avatars and Second Life virtual worlds are only for geeky teen boys playing World of War Craft?   Well, think again!  The U.S. House of Representatives got in on the action in 2008 when the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet of the Committee on Energy and Commerce met in Second Life to discuss virtual applications in government.  We have the full document of the hearing in our Government Documents collection.  Each representative had his/her own avatar as they “met” to discuss topics ranging from global commerce to virtual terrorism.

Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:

“I would like to thank, Mr. Chairman, your avatar for holding this hearing. I actually suspect that the real reason we are here is so that you can get some pointers on how to get past the seventh level of the World of Warcraft, but I do think you need to know that chairing this hearing is only worth two experience points.”

Find the full text of the hearing in print and online by clicking on this link:

Online virtual worlds : applications and avatars in a user-generated medium

The Committee on Energy and Commerce is a committee of the United States House of Representatives.  Established in 1795 it is one of the oldest house committees in the United States.  So, what do they do? The short explanation is that the committee deals with issues related to commerce and public health.  Recent examples of issues include the egg recall and the BP oil spill disaster.

One thought on ““I would like to thank, Mr. Chairman, your avatar for holding this hearing.””

  1. SecondLife is a fantastic place for meetings. For the past 3 years, I’ve been attending an Information Literacy discussion group that meets on an island owned by Sheffield University in England. There I sit in a virtual room with academic librarians from England, Ireland, Spain, Brazil, Australia, Germany, France and all over the United States, listening to them describe how InfoLit is taught at their universities.

    When I attend a video conference, I feel as though I’m alone, listening to people who are far away. On SecondLife, I feel as though I am actually sitting in the same room with all these people and holding a conversation with them. And this is all free – no travel costs, no conference registration fees. I get up, grab a cup of coffee, sit down at the computer, and I am there.

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