International news service Reuters announced today that it plans to open a virtual news bureau in the online virtual reality game Second Life from San Francisco’s Linden Lab. The bureau will be run by a virtual representation of Reuters correspondent Adam Pasick, who will be present in the game under the name “Adam Reuters.”
“As strange as it might seem, it’s not that different from being a reporter in the real world,” Pasick said in a statement. “Once you get used to it—it becomes very much like the job I have been doing for years.”
In opening shop in Second Life, Reuters joins a number of major corporations seeking to establish a vibe with the nearly one million registered users of the virtual reality game. (Other Second Life-savvy companies include Toyota, Sony BMG, American Apparel, Stanwood Hotels, and Sun Microsystems.) In Second Life, players create avatars who set up alternative lives for themselves, building homes, creating neighborhoods, traveling, and carrying out alternative versions of their lives. Second Lifers also buy and sell goods and services in the game’s virtual economy using Linden Dollars; the game economy is tied to the real world, with participants currently spending about $350,000 a day.
And now, Second Life has its own stringer: “Like any reporter, I’ll cover Second Life events as they happen, interview residents and uncover interesting stories. Reuters capability and experience in news and financial reporting will be valuable to the thousands of people who need to make decisions about how they run their businesses inside Second Life. Whatever the news, Reuters will be there.”
Tom Glocer, Reuters CEO said in a release: “Reuters is all about innovation—new technologies, new audiences, and new ways of presenting the news. In Second Life, we’re making Reuters part of a new generation. We’re playing an active role in this community by bringing the outside world into Second Life and vice versa.”