Ghost in the machinima

Second Life launches virtual fashion show

Showbiz has often dabbled in virtual reality. Now virtual reality is dabbling in showbiz.

Second Life, an online virtual reality world that attracts more than 160,000 gamers (known as “residents”), has started to produce so-called machinima content within its computer-simulated borders, and it’s showcasing the goods on more traditional platforms.

On March 9, broadband net MTV Overdrive offered what is probably the first virtual fashion show filmed entirely within Second Life. MTV producers coordinated the event, but Second Life residents built the set, defined camera angles and dressed their avatars — online simulations of themselves — for the runway.

At the recent Screen Burn Beta Festival (part of the SXSW Interactive Fest), Second Life presented the real-world preem of its latest virtual cinema pic, “Bells and Spurs,” based on the cowboy poem “Silver Bells and Golden Spurs.”

“The main difference between this and real-life movies is that we can work with actors and a production team who can come from any part of the planet, and where the only limit to the creative process is their imaginations,” says David Fleck, VP of marketing for Linden Lab, which created Second Life. “And it’s for a fraction of the cost.”