On 4 April 2007, David de Rothschild of Adventure Ecology, a London based environmental group, and a National Geographic Society emerging explorer, in coordination with several other territory owners raised water levels in Second Life to simulate global warming. Ogilvy, a London ad agency, and Anshe Chung, the largest real estate developer in Second Life, were also involved.
Adventure Ecology had avatars explaining what was happening and how to prevent similar occurrences in the real world. Several avatars were confused at first, but they soon started helping one another onto roofs or getting into boats and getting on with their daily lives.
In addition to pointing out “real life” global warming issues, the event was also intended to point out the contribution “virtual life” is making to “real life” global warming. For example, the computer equipment needed to power a person’s avatar in Second Life consumes as much “real energy” as the average “real world” Brazilian. People were encouraged to “offset” their “real world” emissions of their avatars.
See National Geographic’s 4 April 2007 coverage of the virtual disaster for more information.
We also webmaster Boat Carbon Footprint which teaches “real” boaters how to reduce and offset their emissions. Its interesting to see our real and virtual efforts coming together.