Congressional Testimony Goes Off Smoothly — Updated

April 1, 2008; 8:09 a.m. SLT

The Internet Subcommittee just finished their hearing, as reported yesterday in New World Notes and this blog. Testimony was pretty much peaceful and with little or no confrontation; the main concerns have been in-world fraud, the terrorism question, and if teens can be kept in teen-oriented areas and adults in adult areas. For those worried about tax legislation, almost no mention was made of the money exchanged in Second Life; some note was made of revenues, but not a word about taxes was said.

Philip Rosedale was the lead witness, and he impressed me — at least in his opening statement — as very much the starry-eyed visionary many have portrayed him as. As the questions got a little tougher, he acquitted himself well generally — when he was given a chance to state a full answer. The rapid fire of begin to talk and follow-up question can make anyone look somewhat bad, and Rosedale was not the only one out of the group to suffer from this syndrome. Possibly the tensest part was, as I worried, when they got to the separation of teens from the main Grid and adults from the teen Grid. Rosedale did his best to work around the question, but he had to admit that there was no real way to exclude one group from the wrong simulators with present technology and legal limitations.

Watch the Subcommittee site for an archive of the hearing in Windows Media.

UPDATE, 9:47 p.m.:

Reuters carries a full summary of the hearing.

UPDATE, April 2, 7:32 a.m.:

Ben Duranske does a very good analysis of the hearing, more factual than my quick off-the-cuff take above.

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