While some elected officials do battle with the video game industry, a key government research organization has established a presence in a popular online RPG.
As detailed by the Second Life Insider, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has set up shop within the popular MMO Second Life. The NOAA studies things like climate, weather and, of course, the oceans.
The agency's Second Life hangout is an island called Meteroa on which players can try out fully interactive demos of ocean and weather topics. These include a marine life tour via submarine or a checking out a pair of tsunami simulators.
There is also a real-time temperature map powered by Yahoo, an airplane excursion into the eye of a hurricane, and a realistic look at a melting glacier.
No Second Life account? You can still check out the tsunami demo here.
GP: Even if Second Life or MMO's aren't your piece of cake, stories like this one should warm the heart of every gamer. When even a leaden bureaucracy like the federal government can begin to acknowledge the power of games as a medium, things are definitely looking up. Kudos to the NOAA. Somebody there gets it...