Presidential Elections in a Virtual Environment (RJP Magne)

Are presidential elections possible in a virtual world? In the future will we be looking at moving elections and/or the getting elected process to a virtualized setting as more techno savvy generations move into public discourse and policy?


1 Comment

  1. Rebecca

    November 26, 2007 @ 5:42 pm


    Hi RJP,

    Nice work on this. You present the question of how a virtual presence will be part of presidential campaigns and elections in the future. I think this can make a good paper topic for this class but I’d like to try to focus your attention a bit on virtual worlds in particular. Not much of your podcast addressed the issues particular to virtual world technologies. Here are a few things to consider as you go forward with your research:

    Currently many candidates have a presence in Second Life. What are they doing at these locations? Is it effective? Does it require their personal presence? How many people are they reaching?

    What can a candidate do with a virtual world environment that can’t be done on the web?

    What are voters looking for from candidates that can be best provided in a virtual world environment?

    There is an obstacle to access to virtual worlds for the electorate that is not present for television. What effect does this have?

    Is voting actually possible in virtual worlds considering the current status quo of anonymity?

    Is there a problem having avatars represent candidates when the people controlling the avatars are not the candidates themselves?

    You need not answer any or all of these questions, but they are just ideas of the more specific types of issues that you might want to consider in the context of virtual worlds and presidential elections. If you’d like to discuss the topic more, please do sign up for a time for a meeting later this week.

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