Not content with occupying vast chunks of the television schedule for weeks at a time, Endemol, the company that produces the "Big Brother" reality TV programme, has announced that it will be hosting a special edition of the show inside the Second Life virtual world. Participants, or at least their online representations in the form of cartoon-like avatars, will be confined in a house with transparent walls, and the winner will become the owner of a whole Second Life island. This seems to be piling the self-referential onto the virtual to the point where it becomes impossible to maintain the suspension of disbelief necessary to survive in what has recently become the hippest and trendiest of online environments. For one thing, few of us are going to feel at all engaged with the trials and tribulations of a bunch of pixels.
It might help if the people behind the avatars were forced to appear on webcam and remain in their homes for the duration of the contest to add some much-needed verisimilitude to the proceedings, but it is a doubt that this is the plan. Still, at least it will give the just announced in-world gossip tabloid newspaper something to write about. The "newspaper" is being set up by German publishers Axel Springer and promises "a colourful tabloid with snippets about show business and tales from the avatar world". It will be sold for Linden Dollars, the currency used throughout Second Life to buy goods.
Tags: Second Life
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