The 21st Century Defense Initiative invited the public to explore Second Life, the award-winning “virtual world,” and its potential impact on real world politics and security.
Second Life is a digital world in which the rules are user-defined, allowing people around the world to interact, communicate, innovate, and do business in a revolutionary manner. To give a sense of its recent growth, the number of registered accounts was at one million on October, 2006 and doubled, to two million, just eight weeks later. Second Life’s growing impact on the real world of business was featured as a cover story in Businessweek, while the New York Times recently discussed the growing link to electoral politics.
Cory Ondrejka, who leads the development team of Second Life at Linden Lab, presented the virtual world’s genesis and future, and discussed its applications in the real world, from consumer surveys to diplomacy and national security.
As former Navy officer with Bachelor degrees in Weapons and Systems Engineering and Computer science, Cory Ondrejka is uniquely positioned to talk about how Second Life and its technology can be applied in the real world. His particular interest is in public diplomacy, and he works with a number of institutions, including the University of Southern California, to enhance diplomacy through technology. Ondrejka also worked for the National Security Agency and developed electronic warfare software for the Department of Defense.