Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

December 18, 2008 -

Uh, I'd like to pay my property tax, sign up for trash collection and could the police department do something about that Orc who lives around the corner?

Well, it's not quite like that, but the City of Decatur, Georgia is evaluating the use of a virtual world interface to "encourage community networking, improve civic engagement, and promote economic development."

The project even has a name: Virtual Decatur.

A website devoted to Virtual Decatur references Second Life and World of Warcraft, although not necessarily as models. From the site:

Virtual Decatur will provide an environment in which residents, businesses, institutions and visitors can interact and connect...  it is it is imperative that the project go beyond the features of traditional virtual environments.  The overarching purpose of this project is to allow users to interact with the City in new and innovative ways that are not possible in the real world.

Possible features of the proposed Virtual Decatur might include:

    • Opportunities to gather citizen input on policies, topics of interest, city services, and happenings
    • A Virtual City Hall Tour with multimedia capabilities.
    • Opportunities to earn coupons for use in real stores/retail establishments.
    • Streaming video of public meetings, ideally with a chat room feature that allows viewers to comment.
    • Access to visitors information (store hours, directions, weather, etc.)

A Request for Information (RFI) is available for download, with proposals due by February 13th. Among other requirements, the city expects Virtual Decatur to be "avatar-based" as well as "fun and intuitive."


Comments

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

If they want to do a virtual city, I think they would save time piggybacking on Google's street view feature. At least for the city exploration part. And then add on the interactive landmarks in their own discretion. Google provides development tools to integrate these features into another site, so why reinvent the wheel?

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

The Virtual Decatur Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line January 4th, 2009. Human decisions are removed from municipal planning. Virtual Decatur begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, January 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

And Virtual Decatur fights back.

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

I work for an IT company that provides services to cities in GA and I have to say that Decatur is one the more innovative cities around. They are very liberal and its reflected in their policy. Beyond Virtual Decatur, they're also about to implement a municipal wireless program. Not everyhting like this will work, but its nice to see them experimenting when its difficult to get many cities to even see the value in backing up thier data.

And to be clear, Decatur is anything but a rural redneck city. it's essentially a part of Atlanta and its one of the hipper, more laid back, artsy neighborhoods. I used to take tango lessons there a while back and they have one of the best bars in the country in terms of beer slection - The Brick.

 

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

I think it's a great idea.  You could explore your neighbourhood and see your neighbours as they want to portray themselves, and without the natural reticence that comes from the need for privacy in the real world.

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

The idea of it sounds great, but you know that people are going to abuse it to death.  Not only people within the town, but the internet itself.

I think if they focus more on a forum concept, if you will.  In that way, they can contribute polls and the basics and see where it goes from there.

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

Because going outside and traveling around your own neighborhood is too much work.

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

Decatur? Why Decatur? Decatur's only a suburb of Atlanta, and it's not a very exciting place. Anyways, they already made a game similar to this. Ever hear of Redneck Rampage?

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

Um, decatur is within the perimeter. Rural or redneck are not the words that come to mind.

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

6:00 - Virtual Decatur goes online.

6:05 - Virtual Decatur overrun with millions of self-replicating penises.

---
The Mammon Industry

---
Fangamer

Re: Georgia City Wants to Develop a Virtual World Interface

This will be great... until they institute the PvP system (you just know that everyone will roll Horde)

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin
 
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MattsworknameAndrew: I meant lifeless planet, Time frame is an exploration game. Your dropped onto a world which is gonna be hit by a metor in 10 seconds, but due to time dilation ,you actually have ten minutes, so you can explore the world, in it's last moments, as08/01/2015 - 5:32pm
Andrew EisenLP is 20, TF is 8 and has an old build available as a demo.08/01/2015 - 5:32pm
MattsworknameLast I checked zip, Lifeless planet was 10 bucks on steam I think08/01/2015 - 5:29pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Which one? Time Frame? How exactly does that play? What exactly do you DO in that one?08/01/2015 - 5:29pm
Andrew EisenZip - Neither game is above $20.08/01/2015 - 5:28pm
Mattsworknamefinished it, great game all the same.08/01/2015 - 5:22pm
MattsworknameMy only complaint about that game was it's length, I felt it was a bit to short yet in certain places felt like it dragged on a bit. SOme areas were so engaging they flew by, others didn't do enough to keep me energized to play, but I got to the end and08/01/2015 - 5:22pm
ZippyDSMleeNo demo makes me not want to buy until its 10-20$ ><08/01/2015 - 5:21pm
Andrew EisenAh, yes. Lifeless Planet has a much better trailer. Tells me a bit about the game, its story and how it plays. Novel! http://store.steampowered.com/app/261530/08/01/2015 - 5:19pm
MattsworknameOn the same vien, another great exploration game is Lifeless planet. but that one has an actuall story, and real gameplay08/01/2015 - 5:16pm
MattsworknameDoc: I think it's the other way around, I think gamergate only really coalesed when a larger discussion on issues started. The Jerks and asshats just sorta got swept along with the tide.08/01/2015 - 5:13pm
MattsworknameYour not wrong andrew, the trailer doesn't explain much ,I had to play it to understand what made it unique08/01/2015 - 5:12pm
Andrew EisenBut, plenty of great games have crap trailers.08/01/2015 - 5:11pm
Andrew EisenMy problem is the trailer doesn't communicate how the game plays or what you do. The camera pans over the landscape for about a minute and a half and that's about it. Not sure how that's supposed to interest anyone.08/01/2015 - 5:10pm
DocMelonheadLike I mentioned before: Gamergate may have been created by mean spirited bigots to use it to trick people to support their actions.08/01/2015 - 5:10pm
MattsworknameDoc: I think the issue is that IP cannot seperate the small group that used the Gamergate hashtag to hide there mean spirited actions ,from the rest of the people who wanted to discuss actuall issues in the industry08/01/2015 - 5:08pm
MattsworknameAs for time frame, the idea is good, I just wish it was using hi def graphics and allows for more exploration. Still think the idea is a good one if properly fleshed out08/01/2015 - 5:07pm
DocMelonheadAnd what facts: that 4chan is toxic for allowing hate speech on their site?08/01/2015 - 5:06pm
MattsworknameAndrew: Just reminding ip to be civil andrew.08/01/2015 - 5:05pm
Andrew EisenAs for Time Frame, interesting premise but the trailer does absolutely nothing to interest me in the game. http://store.steampowered.com/app/340270/?snr=1_5_1100__110008/01/2015 - 5:04pm
 

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