The Federal Government, Virtual Worlds and Emvee

I was in Washington DC last week, for the Federal Consortium on Virtual Worlds. The gathering was small, with representatives from all aspects of Government. Taking place at the National Defense University, Contractors, State level and Federal organizations within government gathered to better understand Virtual Spaces, what they can offer, and how inter-government agencies can work with the three dimensional web as it develops further. I have to say that I was remarkably impressed with the knowledge and understanding of our appointed and elected officials and their comprehension of what these spaces can be used for. Organizations stretching from the National Security Agency, The National Guard, The Army, The US Department of Justice, The Department of Homeland Security all attended, and the list goes on and on.
I had the pleasure of being part of a discussion group that discussed Governance, policy and enforcement, which enabled us to put both Government and Commercial needs on the table, discuss the future of virtual spaces and how we can all help make these needs known. It was kind of amazing, I feel like I watched the birth of a group of people who were discussing lobbying for web 3.0, or whatever you want to call it, as a matter of both invention, principle and need. I was surprised that we were discussing the potential and issues with platforms like Second Life, and by the end of a single meeting, had come up with a date to put together a lobbying group. I was shocked that the Federal government was so efficient in organizing quickly and efficiently, and am looking forward to taking part of this group to which I’ve been invited.

I was however surprised at the lack of Federal Law enforcement agencies that were there, considering the amount of laws that are being violated or challenged within Virtual Worlds. Oddly enough I ran into an FBI agent at the airport at the bar on the way home to San Francisco, whose job it was to find people online for whatever he was looking for. He had never heard of Second Life. Are they not aware of the happenings online? Is Government not involved in governance and should they be? How can we help them prevent violation of law if they don’t even know about what happens there? A paper I’m writing and doing research for has led me to be able to find all sorts of illegal things on the internet but those are monitored on the web right? Why aren’t virtual spaces? They seriously need our help.

As always when it comes to Metaversatility’s specialty, there were no signs of other virtual world builders or content development companies there, including what some would consider the big two, (who will remain nameless) and while they draw up business, remain non-cutting edge. What does this mean for Metaversatility? Well, considering my experience in Governance that was developed while working at Linden Lab, Emvee has been poised to have some serious say in the way that these lobbying groups and organizations learn to utilize virtual spaces, and we are ramping up to do so. Wish us luck and if you’d like to help, please feel free to contact us.

A few pictures from the conference, including Pleiedes’ infamous Patrick Sapinski, the most notorious banned resident of Second Life, and myself with Metaversatility CEO Peter Haik. Best!
Patrick Sapinski and Chadrick Baker
Peter Haik and Chadrick Baker, Emvee

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~ by Chadrick on May 1, 2008.

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