Rep. Markey Makes a Virtual Appearance at a Virtual Bali

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/17283021/17282970" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

NPR's Scott Simon takes a moment to note that courtesy of the online platform Second Life, an avatar of U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) appeared at the Bali climate change meeting.


Massachusetts Representative Ed Markey appeared this week at the Bali conference even though he was kept in Washington, D.C. because of congressional negotiations over the energy bill. The representative was represented in Indonesia by a computer-generated 3D, animated likeness called an avatar courtesy of the online platform Second Life. Mr. Markey delivered what's being built as the first international speech by a member of Congress in a virtual world.

And his wasn't the only avatar in attendance. There were computer copies from around the world in the audience. There were also flesh-and-blood people watching in real life. First Life, if you please. They were able to ask avatar Markey questions that were answered by human being Markey in a computer back in Washington. According to Climate Care, a British company that tracks traveled-related carbon dioxide, by not flying 20,000 miles of round trip from Washington to Bali, Representative Markey didn't generate 5.36 tons of CO2. I wonder if all the avatars went out afterwards for a virtual nightcap.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from