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)

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MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
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Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
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TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
 

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