The BBC is to open its own version of Second Life aimed at children. Kids will be able to use the planned virtual world to access BBC content and create avatars to interact with characters from BBC children’s programmes. They will also be able to share their own user-generated content.
The service will be soft-launched this summer and will see a full rollout later in the year to coincide with a makeover of Children’s BBC.
For security reasons, the BBC’s service won’t have any chatrooms.
Unsurprisingly, the BBC’s virtual world will not see any money changing hands, unlike Second Life. In Linden Labs’ offering, users can buy Linden dollars – the world’s currency – to pay for virtual goods and services.
The BBC already has a presence in Second Life, where it rents an island. The virtual arm of the Beeb has hosted Radio 1 tie-ins, including a virtual representation of the station’s One Big Weekend event last year.
The BBC did not respond to requests for comment.