CNN opens virtual news bureau in Second Life

Looks like the trend for tv networks to venture into SL is now reaching into the news area. Mediaweek reports that CNN will be opening a news bureau in SL i-report.jpgduring the week of November 5th. An interesting twist to this is that reporting will not be done by embedded CNN reporters, but by SL residents. This experiment is an extension of CNN’s current i-Report, where ordinary people can file in eyewitness reports to the network. Kits will be distributed to residents, enabling them to file news and pictures.

Thanks to Second Life Insider for the lead.

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SL’s ActUp’s “A Halloween Spooktacular!” – Opening Night

Well, it looks like the mini plays I wrote back in July will be premiering (is that a verb?…) this weekend on Broadway Live Island in Second Life. Got the following invite in-world yesterday:

Act Up Theater presents

A Halloween Spooktacular

ActUp! Hallowe'en SpooktacularACT UP Theater announces a Second Life (SL) performance of three original works. A Halloween Spooktacular is a live theatrical performance with lines and movement delivered by the actors in real time in front of a live audience in a virtual setting.

The performance consists of 3 short plays consisting of 13 scenes on 10 different stages with no intermissions. “Love Bites” is a one scene performance examining the challenges which might exist in a relationship between a vampire and human. “When Monster Creation Goes Bad” looks at the trials and tribulations of creating “famous” monsters. “Martha’s Halloween Spectacular” offers cooking suggestions and other tips for monsters around Halloween. Drawing inspiration from iconic horror genera and pop culture, the result is a humorous performance sure to please the crowd.

A HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR will be performed three nights. Admission is free to the SL public, however, attendance is limited to 40 avatars per performance. Tip jars will be set up for contributions.

Friday Oct 26th, 7pm PDT
Saturday, Oct 27, 7 pm PDT
Sunday Oct 28, 1pm PDT

Broadway Live Island

Broadway Live is a five island sim residential and live theatrical commerical area. Live Performances from all levels of artists and a beautiful residential community. Residents are encouraged to use the five theatre spaces for their own needs and performances

TCM Entertainment

TCM Entertainment designed, and built the stage, sets, and lighting used in the performance. TCM Entertainment features a unique set changing system powered by REZTech. ?The stage features HUD controls of the theater lighting, curtain, and individual special effects such as lightning strikes, set door styles. The HUD is worn and controlled by the set director. ?For more information about TCM Entertainment Contact :Erlic Chevalier

You can access Tromanville, Broadway Live South (131, 187, 33) by clicking on the following SLURL. Space is limited! Come early and we hope to see you there. 🙂

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CSI: NY & SL – The game is afoot

This much anticipated episode was quite good. In Down the Rabbit Hole

The CSIs are called to the garment district and arrive to find a beautiful Jane Doe in punked-out plastic hair and S&M couture with a bullet in her head. After running her picture through the databases, the team gets a hit on an unlikely source: It turns out the victim’s real-life picture is a match to a popular Avatar in Second Life. In order to track down her killer, the CSIs must create their own Avatars and descend into Second Life’s “grid” where they are lead on a wild ride. While collecting virtual evidence and concrete evidence in the real world they ultimately discover they’re after a contract killer who has a hit on a congressman and time is running out. (CSI: NY website)

The episode ends with Mac looking down a chute for Venus, the popular avatar, which has just killed the congressman and shot an innocent by-stander. I don’t know if any clues or any directions were given to U.S. audiences as to where to go to continue this adventure. Here in Canada, we got stuck with previews of other upcoming shows on CTV (although I was tuned to CBS). I tried to catch something in the small scrolling credits. But nothing that pointed to the on-line continuation.

So, I went to the OnRez website, registered (unfortunately it seems you can’t use your current avatar if you’re already a member of SL), got my new password, downloaded the viewer, and logged on for a quick look.(see pictures below). I’ll be exploring more in the coming days.

Erratum: Thanks to a post by Kabalyero on his blog, I now realize already existing avatars can access the CSI: NY virtual lab and participate in the game without having to use OnRez’ viewer. A search last night in SL had not revealed this location. The portal is located at the following SLUR. Thanks Kabalyero!

Virtual CSI

NY in Second Life

Stay tuned!


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CSI: NY & SL – 4 more sleeps

It’s been quiet on this front for me as I’ve concentrated on my other blog, Bits ‘n Bites. I’ve also gone back to work about a month ago, after a 9-week recovery period, following hip resurfacing. It’s amazing how much work encroaches on blog writing time…;)

As the much anticipated (by me and many SL enthusiasts) CSI: NY episode approaches (Wed, Oct. 24), more promo videos are surfacing. Here’s a look at Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise), as he gets made up à la SL for his in-world investigation, courtesy of CBS on YouTube:

There’s also a new video, hosted by Anthony E. Zuiker, producer for CSI: NY previewing the CSI game in SL, again, courtesy of CBS:

How many product placements can you see in this last video?… 😉

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Little Mosque on the Prairies to receive humanitarian award

Quick follow-up to my post below on Little Mosque on the PrairiesCBC Arts News today reports that the show “will receive the Search for Common Ground award from a U.S. human rights organization that promotes collaborative problem-solving as an alternative to conflict. The award was previously won by Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, newsman Ted Koppel and Muhammad Ali.”

Further, Little Mosque is “to receive the Canada Award for excellence in mainstream television programming that reflects the nation’s racial and cultural diversity”, at this year’s Gemini Awards. The Geminis are the Canadian equivalent to the Emmies, south of the border.

Congratulations to the cast and crew!!

CNN story on the show.

Thanks to FiftyState for posting this video.

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CSI: NY – Oct. 24 episode to feature Second Life & viewer interactivity

NY Times/CBS Promo shot of CSI: NYWow! Is this becoming a trend? Today’s New York Times reports that the October 24th episode of CSI: NY will not only integrate the virtual world of Second Life into the episode, but will also invite viewers to interact with CSI characters in Second Life. The show’s creator, Anthony Zuiker, describes it as:

“…the episode will contain two 30-second promotional messages directing viewers to, promising a “live simulation” letting them experience Second Life for themselves. “You can pick one of 12 avatars,” Mr. Zuiker said. “It will download in five to nine minutes. My own avatar will be there to greet you.”

Three levels will be available, depending on how much you want to experience:

Level 1: Walking around representations of New York buildings and the CSI lab, and playing basic forensic games
Level 2: Involves solving a murder designed by Zuiker
Level 3: Will…

“…allow “CSI” fans to become CSI investigators. They will receive a field kit and tools, get a chance to interview suspects and be given the opportunity to solve the murder featured in the episode. The final gimmick of that episode is that it will end in a cliffhanger: it will not be resolved until an episode in February.”

Kudos to Mr. Zuiker! Now, here’s someone who gets it! It will be interesting to see how numbers in SL increase following this episode, keeping in mind that basic membership to SL is free.

On another level, one wonders how this virtual reflection of TV characters, potentially interacting outside the tv medium, sits with actors portraying these characters? Are we looking at a new class of “virtual body doubles”? Actors who will be called upon to perpetuate a tv character in virtual reality? Somehow, I can’t picture Gary Sinise pushing a mouse around to animate Mac in SL… (brings to mind an old tv commercial: “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on television”…”I’m not an actor, but I play one in Second Life?…”)

A short preview clip of the Oct. 24 episode is available here.

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