Hovering near Sen. Barack Obama's virtual campaign office in Second Life, two stories of offices are visible though the tinted glass. Avatars are free to walk around the HQ and take notecards on Obama's policy stances, watch Obama TV, contribute to message boards and pick up a free Obama (digital) shirt or hat.
The reporter's green-haired avatar hovers in the foreground.
John Edwards' small plot on Second Life is a place to access information -- if you can find it. The area is dwarfed by nearby skyscrapers and floating fortresses in the Onuri area of the Second Life mainland.
Adjacent to the plot run by supporters of John Edwards (below) is one promoting John Edward, a self-proclaimed "psychic medium, author and lecturer."
Who knew he was running?
Sen. Hillary Clinton's Second Life headquarters -- set up independently of the campaign, like those of the other candidates -- stands out. It contains an outdoor stage surrounded by patches of roses, a rocky gazebo with pillow seating and a pool of water, and a large, carpeted meeting hall.
Perched in the executive desk in the Clinton headquarters, in front of an iMac and a vase of roses, an avatar beholds a scenic view of an outdoor rally area, garden and many Hillary '08 yard signs.
Inside the Barack Obama headquarters created by Odin Wright (a.k.a. Liam Kanno in Second Life), visitors can explore various aspects of the campaign on computer monitors inside their computer monitors.
The second floor of Obama's Second Life headquarters was designed with what Wright says were Obama's best interests in mind.
"If you look at some of the statistics of brand presence in Second Life, it can have a very detrimental effect on the brand presence in real life if it isn't done properly," he said. So he stuck to clean lines and official logos in the design.
The first rule of Silicon Island: no griefing. In and around Obama's virtual headquarters, the island's security squad is on the ready to boot sabotage attempts -- when they get there first. The area has already been hit with profane graphics and code-saturated "bullets" that crashed the island's server.
An avatar designed to depict Barack Obama spoke on SoHo Island on March 31, 2007.
Meanwhile, the real Obama met with supporters in an Iowa library; volunteers streamed the audio from his talk there into this mock living room in Second Life.
Credit: Second Life Herald
A crowd of a couple dozen U.S. Obama fans and curious spectators from Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada, came to SoHo Island on March 31, 2007, for Obama's first virtual appearance.
Although not set up by the Obama campaign, the event was conducted with help from official campaign staff.
Credit: Second Life Herald
Obama's avatar's mouth didn't move, but it gestured along with the real-life candidate's speech streamed in from Iowa. Sometimes this created odd effects, such as the joined knees, shown here.
Other avatars chatted about Obama's virtual appearance, critiquing his tie and abnormal chest width.