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    Posted January 18, 2009 by
    JaneyBracken
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Stories from Second Life

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    British Politician Mandleson Spoof Avatar

     
    An article had appeared in the Daily Mail newspaper on the 12 January, that the Labour Party in Britain had planned to do some canvassing in the Metaverse, picking Second Life as a platform. They were to create an avatar of the politician Peter Mandleson, (the MP who was once dropped from the Labour Party over rumours of a scandal regarding his finances, only to be reinstated recently by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to play a key role, once again, in the government.) I had searched for some sign of the Labour Party setting up a base in SL but found nothing to say they actually had an account in there. Not a big fan of the Labour Party (or any of the other parties come to that, as it is just a choice of who is doing the least damage to the country!), I would be interested to see how Mandleson and his cronies would go about trying to get the public vote by meeting people on line ‘in-world'. As I work around the London sims in Second Life, I had gone into SL Knightsbridge a couple of days ago and was standing talking to people outside the Underground Club. There are lots of new people arriving in SL all the time who come straight into the London sims, and you get used to the look of them, but one newbie came up to us and he looked a little odd to say the least. He had an unusual dark grey suit and bright red tie (not newbie issued clothes!) and his hair was badly attached to his scalp, as I could see bald patches all round it. His eyes were sunken into his head and he had dark shadows around the eye sockets, his mouth was small and mean looking, with nasty gappy brown teeth. To make matters worse he had a ‘group tag' showing over his head saying ‘Peter Mandleson'. His avatar name was Peter Mascarenhas and when I looked at his profile the group was named ‘The Peter Mandleson Fan Club'. Also in his profile there was a direct link to the Daily Mail news story I had read a few days earlier, so I instantly thought this was a spoof and not the real Labour Party Av. I started by laughing and telling him that he look like he needed a makeover and you can see from the conversation below how things went first of all: 14:02 Janey Bracken: Peter Mandleson lol 14:02 Peter Mascarenhas: Hello there everyone. Lovely to be here. 14:02 Janey Bracken: you are kidding! [14:02] Mark139 Lamilton: hi peter 14:03 Janey Bracken: you got your avi like the one in the paper lol 14:03 Peter Mascarenhas: We're just trying a few things out...what do you think? 14:03 Janey Bracken: think you need a make over, you look better than the real one though 14:03 Peter Mascarenhas: Oh! I don't know what to say! [14:03] Janey Bracken: lol 14:03 Janey Bracken: well at least you look honest 14:04 Peter Mascarenhas: Well I like to think so - are you not a fan of Labour? 14:04 Janey Bracken: well no mate 14:04 Janey Bracken: you could say that 14:04 Peter Mascarenhas: Is it Gordon you don't like? 14:04 Janey Bracken: hmmm well the whole lot 14:05 Peter Mascarenhas: What about Tone? He was very good. 14:05 Clive Hissop: well said janey 14:05 Janey Bracken: he is a nutter (his reference to ‘Tone' meaning Tony Blair caught me off guard but I suppose I could have said ‘unstable' it might have sounded better!!) 14:05 Peter Mascarenhas: Gosh. I was hoping to engage with the youth of Britain. .. 14:05 Mark139 Lamilton: like george bush 14:05 Janey Bracken: lol 14:05 Janey Bracken: you are so funny! [14:05] Janey Bracken: good impression (of Mandleson!) 14:06 Peter Mascarenhas: Given that I look honest do you think I might make a good PM 14:06 Janey Bracken: so what you got to do with the Daily Mail? (my guess was that this was a guy from the newspaper and not the real politician) 14:06 Janey Bracken: no not a chance (referring to Mandleson being Prime Minister) 14:06 Peter Mascarenhas: Nothing. If you read that link it explains what I am doing.. 14:06 Janey Bracken: yes I saw the story 14:07 Peter Mascarenhas: Right. Well there you have it. We're trying to reconnect with the electorate. 14:07 Janey Bracken: lol not a chance 14:07 Janey Bracken: Labour has had it, ruined the country 14:07 Peter Mascarenhas: I've been dancing and everything.. (think he was trying to change the subject ???) 14:07 Janey Bracken: taken it apart bit by bit (the country) 14:07 cutewillow Carlberg shouts: janey 14:07 Peter Mascarenhas: Janey you seem bitter. By this time I had begun to get private IM messages being sent to me by the SL London sims Manager Seany and sim owner Debs Regent telling me that this was the real politician, and my banter was not the right way to go. I was, to say the least, a little confused as I wondered how a real MP could have been talking so naively and childlike. ‘[14:08] IM: Seany1235 Blinker: you know he is the real guy lol.' I decided to carry on with my opinions anyway, as I had already started. 14:08 Janey Bracken: no I study what is happening and I don't like it 14:08 Clive Hissop: janey for PM 14:08 Seany1235 Blinker: lol 14:08 Janey Bracken: you lot have destroyed everything we stood for 14:08 Peter Mascarenhas: Surely you don't like David Cameron? 14:08 Janey Bracken: well we will see what he is like 14:09 Peter Mascarenhas: Sorry. New to this. Don't know the etiquette. 14:09 Janey Bracken: well you can come and talk to me about all that, but are you spending tax payers money in here? 14:09 Peter Mascarenhas: Well. Now. No. Not erm.,I like to see it as investing it ... 14:10 Janey Bracken: well I can't see you convincing anyone now and I don't really think you care 14:11 Albus Carling: sounds like quite a heated debate! [14:11] Peter Mascarenhas: Gosh. This is harder than I thought it would be. Doesn't anyone round here read the Guardian.. I'm getting out of here before I get lynched. 14:11 Janey Bracken: you sold us out to Europe, all on the gravy train 14:11 Janey Bracken: lol 14:11 Peter Mascarenhas: Very nice to meet you Janey. But I have a prior engagement I have to attend to. Most enlightening. 14:11 Janey Bracken: running away then?
    [14:12] Janey Bracken: if you want to contact me with a statement you can Mr Mandleson, I run a London blog http://sllondon.blogspot.com/
    14:13 Peter Mascarenhas: Which way is it to Islington? 14:14 Peter Mascarenhas: Where's my driver? With that, the hilarious little avatar scampered off into the distance as I stood trying to figure out just what had gone on. All was revealed the next day in the Daily Mail, it had all been a spoof, the Mail got someone to create an avatar and go into SL, ahead of the real MP, to see what people's reactions would be. You can see the report at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1120106/What-happened-took-Mandys-avatar-Second-Life.html And well, do you know what, they never mentioned me!!! Perhaps I was too quick to guess their game! I wonder now if the real politician dare set foot in SL, as people will be prepared for his arrival, he may not get the easy time he thought he might have......we will wait and see!
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