On the October 24 episode of CBS' hit drama CSI: NY
, the crime procedural will feature a murder investigation that meanders into the virtual world of Second Life. Gary Sinise
's detective will track a real-life killer all the way into the popular world of Second Life, a real online dimension where millions of users create avatars and co-exist in a fully functional civilization. Second Life is actually one of the most interesting technological phenomenons of recent years. For a fee of $10 a month, anyone can sign up for a Second Life account and fully immerse themselves in an entirely virtual world. In a recent episode of Law & Order: SVU
entitled “Avatar,” the NBC drama had a similar storyline which utilized an entirely imaginary online world. CSI: NY
, however, is using the real thing with Second Life's cooperation.
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Second Life is freaking insane. I only recently became aware of this phenomenon, and though at first it appeared to be just another MMORG (massive multi-player online role-playing game) like World of Warcraft, it is anything but. Second Life isn't a game. There are no points, no quests, no winners. The craziest part of Second Life is that it contains its very own economy. Not a fake economy, either. A real one. There are people who buy land, set up businesses and actually make money. Sometimes, a lot of money.
As part of the CSI: NY
episode, fans will be able to follow a link on the CBS homepage to join a novice-friendly version of Second Life and investigate the case. It won't be officially solved until an early February episode of CSI: NY
, but this level of online interaction on TV crime procedurals has heretofore been non-existent. CSI
creator Anthony Zuiker explains his motivations for this project: "The days of watching TV at 9 o'clock on-air live are pretty much over with. We really have to figure out a way to make sure the younger generation and the older generation embraces the new way of how to watch entertainment, and that's cross-platform. And the best experience you can possibly have right now is Second Life."
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)