Though the ability to fly around like Superman would probably play well with the American electorate, it's fairly commonplace in the constituency Warner was playing to--the populace of "Second Life," Linden Lab's groundbreaking online world.
Warner's event, put together by Forward Together, which focuses on using new technologies to reach out to voters, was recorded by the premier journalist of "Second Life," James Wagner Au, known in-game as Hamlet Au. Au was hired by Linden Labs to be an "embedded journalist" in the world of "Second Life" for three years. After his term was up, he continued writing at New World Notes, his blog. Au interviewed Warner about his positions on various national issues, from the war in Iraq to Roe v. Wade.
Warner, though he has not declared his candidacy, is considered a major Democratic contender for the presidency. His "Second Life" event marks the first time that a politician has ever used a massively multiplayer online game to reach out to his constituency. In a statement put out by the Forward Together PAC, he praised communities like "Second Life" for their potential to engage people. "Social technologies can be great tools for political change, and virtual worlds like 'Second Life' might be the next tool for engaging people in the real-world democratic process," he said. "We want to use 'Second Life' to continue the conversation about the direction of our country."
It's unlikely that the players of "Second Life" can provide a presidential hopeful with the votes that will put him in the Oval Office. But Warner's visit to "Second Life" is significant for other reasons. Online communities, even communities as unorthodox as "Second Life"--where users take on totally different, sometimes alien, personae to interact with one another--are being recognized as legitimate places to conduct a social life, business, or even politics, rather than just the hangouts for antisocial nerds.
Warner plans to return to "Second Life" in the fall for a more interactive, "town-hall"-style meeting, fielding questions from the audience. "My avatar is also pretty funny looking. That alone makes it worth checking out," he said in a statement.