Virtual Travel

I’ve been hearing a lot about Second Life lately. In case you don’t know, Second Life is a 3-D virtual world with a community of more than 350,000 “residents” who live a virtual life through animated avatars. In fact, during one of the panels at Worldcon last month, an audience member brought the subject up so often that Teresa Neilson Hayden told him that if he continued, he’d sound like a commercial. (Later during the panel, the audience member clarified that he had nothing to do with Second Life, but was just a big fan of the virtual world.)

Well, last month ’80s British pop band Duran Duran announced that they were going to be the world’s first artists to stage live concerts in a virtual world. Details are yet to be revealed, but the five original band members, Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor and Nick Rhodes, have announced the commission of their own custom-designed avatars, as well as on a fantasy, luxury island on which to stage “in-world” concerts and media appearances.

“Second Life has brought a third dimension to the internet,” said keyboardist Rhodes, “it is the new frontier where dreams have become reality. Whatever you can imagine is now possible.”

Once the concerts start rolling, it will be possible for genre travelers to, well, genre travel without even leaving their homes. Which, in itself is kind of science fiction-y. Of course, I don’t advocate doing all your genre traveling while sitting at your computer. Heck, how can you see the world through genre-coloured glasses if you haven’t left the house?

Anyway, Duran Duran will also be taking advantage of Second Life’s features that allow its residents to mold and change the virtual world as they desire. “Our community will be able to help develop the island into a fully functional, futuristic utopia, where you can never be quite sure what to expect,” said Rhodes. “Duran Duran are thrilled to be the first band to become citizens of Second Life and are rehearsing now for our first concert there in the coming months.”

Rivers Run Red of London have been appointed to create the five Duran Duran avatars and the band’s tailored universe. Said creative director Justin Bovington, “We’re working directly with the band members to ensure fans get the ultimate Duran Duran experience.”

Duran Duran has always had something of a forward-looking, futuristic bent. They took their name from a character in the cult science fiction film Barbarella, and many of their songs have had genre themes (Last Day on Earth, Planet Earth, Union of the Snake). Also, the band was the first group to use live video cameras and video screens in their concerts, as well as the first artists to offer a song as a digital download on the web in 1997 (aptly ‘Electric Barbarella’), well before MP3s and iPod made music downloads common.

For More Information:
Duran Duran’s Official Website

Second Life

NOTE: I just got this through the e-mail. ‘Second Life’ Hit by Data Breach
Apparently, Second Life’s data has been breached and it is possible that “the data of 650,000 users may have been exposed, including real names, addresses and billing information.”

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About the author

As The Genre Traveler, Carma Spence loves to view the world through Genre-Coloured glasses. In other words, she sees the world through a lens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where trash cans can be Daleks in disguise and neighborhood forests can harbor faeries and sprites. Magic realism is real! Or at least you can choose to see the world that way to add to the fun and awe of life.