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Virtual Conferences not YET but the Reality is coming – itsReal

‘Avatars’ offer virtual alternative at climate summit

A virtual image of Nusa Dua, Bali shows the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming linking up with OneWorld.net 'Virtual Bali' initiative on Second Life to participate in the UN's climate change negotiations currently underway in Indonesia.

More than 10,000 people are in Bali thrashing out action on global warming, but those who couldn’t make it in person are here virtually — some in the form of dragons and action heroes.

Hoping to widen the debate and cut down on carbon emissions from air travel, Oneworld.net, a left-leaning website, has taken the UN conference here on climate change to the online virtual world Second Life.

The website has brought together everyone from a US congressman, who travelled virtually as a 3-D animation, to anonymous participants hailing from Japan to Turkmenistan and Romania.

Second Life, which has drawn millions of users since it was created in 2003 by San Francisco-based Linden Labs, is a fantasy land in which users mingle under assumed identities as “avatars.”

While most delegates in Bali opt for formal attire, users of the site, http://www.oneclimate.net/, pick the virtual likeness of their choice — ranging from purple hair to outfits befitting action heroes.

more at MSN


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