Second Life seems to have peaked, but the British Labour Party apparently never got the memo.
The move comes by way of Labour's game plan to retain power in the event of a General Election. From the Daily Mail:
[Mandelson's] starring role in Second Life will intensify speculation that he is being earmarked as Gordon Brown's election supremo.
But it will also draw criticisms from those who will question the involvement of a senior politician in a fantasy world best known for its dubious moral standards... As well as the millions of innocent users who enjoy its escapist fantasy, Second Life has also become a favoured tool of adulterers and porn addicts.
The Guardian takes a more positive view:
The point about virtual worlds such as Second Life and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter is that they offer a direct communication channel to voters when they are at play at a time when people, especially younger people, are switching off from traditional media channels...
Mandelson's visit to Second Life... is partly a successful publicity stunt but is also a way to make sure that leading politicians have some idea of what is going on out there. Sadly, most of them still don't.