Rep. Ed Markey Gets a (Second) Life

1197390139If you’d told us a notable Massachusetts resident was conducting business in Second Life, we’d conclude you were talking about Red Sox pitcher and noted gamer Curt Schilling. While he may not be able to strike out opponents in the addictive virtual reality game, we imagine his avatar would stroll around talking endlessly about John McCain. But it’s Representative Ed Markey who’s using the platform to be in two places at once.

Markey wants to give a speech at an international conference on global warming in Bali, but is stuck in Washington negotiating an energy bill. Instead of canceling his appearance, he had some computer whizzes create an avatar for him and will deliver his address through the game.

“We’ve long ago left the world of rotary phones as the exclusive means of communication,” Markey told the Globe yesterday. “This makes it possible to create through the virtual world what would be impossible to accomplish in the real world because Bali is one of the remotest locations in the world, and Congress is in session still working on an historic energy bill.”


It sounds like an interesting use of the technology. Those in attendance will be slightly more engaged by Markey’s speech if they have something to look at instead of only hearing it through a long-distance speakerphone. But can other Second Life avatars attend the conference? Because if some scantily-clad females start approaching Markey’s avatar, that could get awkward. Just avoid the virtual skanks, and Schilling, and you’ll do just fine, Rep. Markey.