Earlier, VB briefly covered the opening of Japanese politician Kan Suzuki’s Second Life office. The BBC is now reporting that Suzuki has been forced to shut down the office. Why? Because as everyone (including Suzuki) knew when it was opened, the office runs afoul of pre-internet Japanese election laws that limit campaign materials to paper postcards and pamphlets. What’s interesting here is that unlike most “closed down” Second Life installations, Suzuki’s office (SLURL here) isn’t gone, it’s just virtually boarded up.
Nothing has changed on the inside — it stands there like a memorial to a brief shining moment of electronic campaigning in Japan. And from the outside, the office looks much like it did before, except there are virtual wooden boards nailed up over the virtual windows and doors.
I love it; if only all politicians were as subtle, subversive, creative, and technologically focused as Suzuki. Are your country’s luddite election laws stuck in 1950? Well then you clearly don’t have to delete a virtual build that violates them, you just have to get yourself some virtual lumber and board it up! I wish I could vote for the guy, whatever his politics.
I’m going to put a bigger-than-front-page-acceptable .jpg of a sign that is currently nailed to the boards on the front of Suzuki’s offices in the comments to this piece. Any of VB’s regular readers able to translate it? I’d really like to find out what it says.
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