Curious to know how French Residents were taking the decisive election of Nicolas Sarkozy, I took a quick stroll in-world after the vote was called. Official metaverse headquarters for two of the losing candidates, Le Pen and Segolene Royale, have been thriving these last few months; though Sarkozy's campaign never bothered to create an SL presence, the in-world group "Sarkozy President!" boasts 567 members, more than twice the number in Le Pen's group, and far dwarfing Segolene's 115 supporters. Instead, I came across Sarkozy himself, regaling supporters and well-wishers on an accordion, which he somehow managed to play while also holding a glass of beer and a handgun. After a time, he repaired to his Blackhawk chopper, and after insuring that two babes were safely ensconced in back, took a victory flight around Sarkozy castle, where every tower flies a flag emblazoned with Sarkozy's profile.
In actuality, Second Life's "Sarkozy" is a product of Christophe Hugo, who's mastered the unique art of turning the customization of avatars into recognizable caricatures of real world personalities-- then goes about embodying them in-world in an equally satirical way. (To clear his dock of gawkers, his Sarkozy produced a rocket launcher.)
And while I suspect Christophe isn't a Sarkozy supporter, his cariacture of Segolene and other world political figures are equally scabrous. (More on his site.) He's planning to create a selection of American political avatars in time for the US elections, too.
"You have to see my new Obama some day," he tells me. "A prof from Iowa talked to the real life
Obama about it yesterday."
Not being French nor about to express a personal opinion on the country's politics here, I worry aloud that Sarkozy supporters won't take these screenshots in good humor, and find offense.
Christophe Hugo virtually shrugs. "As a caricaturist I just focus on what I want to say. Same thing when I
designed my Virtual Muhammad."