A few weeks ago he was in Santa Barbara, serving as junior "mayor for a day" because on a national TV show he had bested the real mayor, Hal Conklin, in the video game SimCity. After traipsing through the daily rounds--facilities inspections, press conferences, a City Council meeting--he concluded, "The hardest part was listening to all those annoying citizens." The best part was issuing proclamations. He issued a Letter of Recognition to Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft--and a grown-up whom Michael resembles in his occasional impatience with ordinary folk.
The mayor, 10, thanked Gates for "opening up the world of computers to youth and the world--allowing people to get into their daily lives and solve their problems and to get out of their daily lives through entertaining games."