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Grab your virtual ticket: Cham's taking a stroll through 'Second Life.'
MTV News
Stephen Totilo
June 20, 2006

June 16 was just another average Friday in the virtual world of "Second Life." ...while some games have one eye on the real world and the other on the virtual, "Second Life" never lets you forget that real people are behind the game's carnival of wild sights. Only the terrain in "Second Life," a smaller world with about 200,000 members, is built by the program's developers. Everything upon those polygonal plots — the characters, the buildings and the crazy dance moves available for purchase in the floating is engineered by the "Second Life" players. The real world and the virtual mingle in full view.

On Friday that crossover involved the final preparations for a virtual American Apparel store that would soon open on "Second Life" 's Lerappa Island and that any wandering "SL" resident can walk through. The store was modeled off an American Apparel store in Tokyo but was the brainchild of Keltner, a young ad agent who read an article about "Second Life" a couple of months ago and thought that the no-sweatshop company should take its progressive values to this strange new world rife with possibilities.

"This is Web 2.0 right here," Keltner said. "You're walking through Web sites."

The AA virtual store will allow "Second Life" players to click on digital versions of the brand's shirts and dresses and buy them for pennies so their character can wear them. The store also links to the company Web site, facilitating real purchases. But there's a hitch with selling the simple styles of American Apparel in a video-game-like world where you can wear any kind of shoes, hairstyles or even bodies that you want. "Everyone else has wings and devil horns and all the rest," said Raz Schionning, director of Web services at American Apparel. "So it'll be curious to see if a red T-shirt makes sense."

Still, Schionning said the project is designed to test the idea of a virtual store, not necessarily to make big money.
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