Obama transition team includes World of Warcraft, Second Life players

November 22, 2008

GigaOM reports two MMO players and net neutrality advocates will lead President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team for the Federal Communications Commission.

Last week, Obama appointed Kevin Werbach, assistant professor of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Susan Crawford, a teacher of communications and internet law at the University of Michigan, to co-chair his FCC transition team. Among other duties, the two will provide advice to the president-elect on the government’s internet policies.

Werbach is a dedicated WoW player and member of two guilds, including one organized by professionals who study virtual worlds. Crawford describes herself as “a huge fan of Second Life,” saying the way users retain IP rights to their content in the virtual world is very positive.

Werbach and Crawford will advise and write the new administration’s policy positions on net-related issues, including online games, broadband use and content ownership rules. Both have been very critical of the outgoing Bush administration’s policies.

Both are also in favor of net neutrality, keeping broadband networks free from restrictions on content, platforms and equipment.

On his blog, Werbach writes, “The FCC has a vital role to play in the nascent Network Age. During the campaign, Barack Obama and his advisors demonstrated an understanding of the transformative power of today’s communications technologies. I’m excited to help carry over that understanding in the transition to his administration.”

Crawford also has a blog.

The FCC is an independent U.S. government agency that regulates communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. It’s headed by five commissioners appointed by the president for five-year terms, only three of which can be from the same party.