Today's post is a guest piece by Sandy Demina. Sandy covers music and culture issues in Second Life on her blog, and follows issues related to public organization in the virtual world.
Second Life residents are increasingly involved both in
promoting art and music in the broadest sense and in launching social and
Public awareness is essential in disaster situations: From Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans to the Abruzzo
earthquake, so many catastrophes
afflicted the populations around the world over the past years. Now Second Life is getting involved.
Preparing for Real Disasters With Virtual Worlds
The Catastrophic Planning and Management Institute in cooperation with Linden Lab recently launched a new Second Life sim, an innovative disaster awareness project called the "The Disaster Zone." The project includes 14 collaborative islands (you can visit them here) and one overarching goal: limiting deaths related to natural disasters.
The Citizens' Emergency Preparedness
Project makes use of cutting-edge technology and streaming media to drive home its message.
CPMI offers the opportunity to learn through streaming media and community interaction. Second Life is already a mix of community center and media hall, so it seems natural to build a facility to teach the importance of working together to help prepare
for and mitigate disasters.
Bringing in the Virtual Feds
has been closely involved in the evaluation and development of
Catastrophic Plans for multiple Federal agencies and the Department of Defense. The organization is now flexing its virtual chops, bringing its work in catastrophic planning to civilian groups.
Other CP-MI Federal projects include review of IT Security,
Interoperable Communications for Disaster Response, Health IT
Security and Medical Record security and assistance in reconciliation
middleware; Internal Review Processes and software development; review
of Emergency Alert Systems, evaluation of Exercise Hot-Wash procedures
and After Action Reports.
How will a strong, active government presence change Second Life? Will users accept the use of Second Life as a tool for public awareness, or will these government islands suffer the same fate of other corporate and private projects?