Not one to be outdone by the likes of PlayStation Home, World of Warcraft, or even that cesspool of flying dildos Second Life, the city of Decatur, Georgia might be going virtual.
The virtual city, or "Virtual Decatur" as the fine elected officials of Decatur are calling it, would be a networking hub for the city as part of a greater overall effort to boost the economy.
Virtual Decatur is only in the planning stages, but designers have already listed a number of MMO-type qualities they'd like to see implemented. There would be custom avatars and chatting, like there is in any number of MMOs today, but in Virtual Decatur the residents, non-residents and government officials would bear certain marks, so that they'd be easily distinguishable from one another. Business owners would have the option of a virtual storefront if they donated to the city.
The virtual world would also boast achievements (GovBlago2213, You've unlocked a senate seat!). Back in the real world, these achievement points could be turned into coupons or discounts for participating businesses.
Other Virtual Decatur features could include:
• Opportunities to gather citizen input on policies, topics of interest, city services, and happenings
• A Virtual City Hall Tour with multimedia capabilities.
• 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.)