As any avatar that has not been totally disconnected from the grid knows, today the CBS television show "Crime Scene Investigators: New York" is launching a full suite of multimedia products aimed at bridging old broadcast media and new internet-based media. Here’s the rundown:
- Tonight’s episode of "CSI:NY" entitled "Down the Rabbit Hole" will feature a murder connected to activities in Second Life. The episode will feature up to 20 minutes of machinima filmed in Second Life by the Ill Clan / Electric Sheep Company!
- Today marks the release of the new "OnRez" client application for Second Life, developed by the Electric Sheep Company, which is aimed at making SL much easier for newbies to navigate within.
- The Sheep have also created a huge Virtual CSI:NY (click here to teleport) where avatars can encounter virtual crime scenes, collect evidence, examine it in the crime lab, and try and solve the mystery. Now all you need is some portentious dialogue, bad New York accents, and disgusting close-up camera shots and its like being on the show!
Whether or not this leads to a huge influx of general public interest in and appreciation of virtual worlds will have to be seen. And who knows if the grid can withstands tens of thousands of newbies entering into Second Life at the same time. But the "CSI" franchise is one of the most successful series on TV now with an enormous fanbase, so it’s bound to have huge impacts. It certainly is a ballsy move, if nothing else.
I’ll be hanging out with some Sheep friends tonight at a bar to watch the episode live. Can’t wait!