Valencia – 02.06.2007
America’s Cup logs on to Second Life
There is a group of islands with 6,860,888 residents, whose economy is thriving, whose currency is Linden dollars, and who call themselves Avatars. Did you sleep through a very important geography lesson? No. Well, not in this life. This is the land of Second Life, a ¨3D online digital world imagined, created and owned by its residents¨ that has recently boomed to international success.
Yesterday, Alcatel-Lucent announced their own addition to the alterna-world, a virtual island called Port AmericasCupAnywhere where ¨Second Lifers¨ can watch virtual animations of the races, race in the Second Life Cup, attend swanky parties and much more.
For new comers Second Life is a burgeoning cyber world with people logging on from 100 different countries, where users create an embodiment of themselves, an Avatar, which they then use to explore and chat with other Avatars. But the program takes the cyber-life one step further by introducing a real market (the LindeX Market) where every 24 hours roughly 1.6 million US dollars are spent. While the program itself and creating your own Avatar is free, users pay real money to purchase property, such as land, designer clothes and sailboats (of course); and to create things like houses, restaurants and bars for their Avatars to inhabit.
Alcatel-Lucent, the Official New Media Provider for the 32nd America’s Cup, purchased their island as part of the AmericasCupAnywhere project and, using real architects and designers, created the alterna-Port for the sailing world, the first of its kind in Second Life. They also went ahead and bought some ocean while they were at it for the express purpose of holding the Second Life Cup, a real regatta that coincides with the America’s Cup and ends on July 17th with the winner being awarded a copy of the 32nd America’s Cup video game.
Creating your own Avatar for exploring Second Life is relatively straightforward. Just go to http://www.secondlife.com and follow the instructions for downloading the free program. Of course, once you get ¨in-world¨ you may need to practice your flying, hang-gliding, and sailing skills. But don’t worry, it’s not like you’ll have to face Alinghi or anything, maybe in another life…Oh, wait a minute…