The US Congress wades into virtual worlds

The US congress is particularly interested in virtual worlds.© Rik Panganiban / Rik Riel

Last Tuesday, the US congress experienced its first  Congressional hearing session held simultaneously in real and in a virtual world. Congressmen represented by avatars, were interested in what can be done within virtual worlds, the importance of the impact on the economy and the possible risks including those on security.

The hearing was conducted by the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet (a subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce).

This was not a typical Capitol Hill hearing. TV monitors carried the session, but one screen showed the virtual session streaming in real time, complete with avatars providing some text-chat play by play, such as: “There’s another softball question.”

Congressmen noticed a range of actions informed by vision and clarity of purpose. One of the most needed actions from the Congress is programs that will spur the technical development of the 3D Internet.

Watch the full video here.

Read the Washington Post article here.

Picture Copyright © Rik Panganiban / Rik Riel
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