Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States was an appropriately staid and stately affair. The inauguration party in virtual world Second Life was much more colorful.
The biggest inauguration party in Second Life took place in the London City sim, oddly enough, where avatars of all sizes and shapes from around the world converged to experience the momentous occasion together.
The organizers did a fine job of transforming the Soho & Regent’s Park area into a tribute to the American presidency. The gathering took place in the central square, just in front of the Freebie Megastore, where new avatars go to gather horrible clothing.
The square/dance floor (though no one danced during the proceedings) was decked out in a United States flag design with a massive presidential seal in the middle. At the front, a stage with Trump’s named spelled out in large letters of red, white, blue and gold.
Though the party didn’t start until 11 AM Eastern, I arrived an hour early to scope things out. There were already a dozen or so avatars wandering about, waiting for the festivities to begin.
I found a seat towards the back of the square and listened to voice chat, where several non-Americans were discussing their hopes that Trump’s presidency will be a successful one, for the sake of the global community. An adorable little creature commented on my avatar’s tail, but that was pretty much the extent of my direct interaction.
Rather than watch a video stream of the event, the area was streaming British audio coverage of the inauguration. Instead of watching the events going down, I listened to pleasant-voiced people describing what was happening.
As the moment of Trump’s swearing in drew closer, the crowd grew much larger.
One moment there were 69 avatars in the zone. Then 78. Then 97. I crashed several times during the final half-hour of the event, as my computer struggled to show me everyone attending.
Some came to show their support for the next president of the United States, though it’s hard to tell if their outfits were earnest, ironic or just something they wore every day.
Others just dressed in whatever they had on hand, from video game costumes . . .
. . . to their best grunge-wear.
Most of the crowd kept their cool as Trump was sworn in and gave his speech. Others made snide comments. A few shot each other, or laid down on the ground in dying poses with daggers in their backs.
But for the most part, attendees just stood quietly and listened as the events unfolded.
Ladies and gentlemen, a virtual cardboard cutout of the 45th president of the United States.