Edmonton second life city hall/Image courtesy of Chris Moore Edmonton second life city Chris Moore

Second Life may be a scary, uncharted world for most local governments, but not for Edmonton, Alberta.

In the capital of Canadian province Alberta, CIO Chris Moore is on a mission to recreate his city in the virtual world, where avatars roam and interact like they would in real life.

Launched in 2003 by San Francisco-based Linden Lab, Second Life is an immersive online environment and a 3-D modeling tool based around simple geometric shapes that allows users to build virtual objects. At the beginning of the year, Second Life had 18 million accounts registered. Moore is one of them. When it comes to business, he likes to plug in.

"When I have 'in-world' conference calls, I'm much more engaged because on my screen, I'm actually looking at the other avatars," he said. "It creates a different experience because of the immersive nature."

Federal agencies such as NASA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a presence in Second Life, but most cities haven't gone there for various reasons.

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Russell Nichols  |  Staff Writer