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Showtime Puts the L in Second Life

Showtime Networks created an interactive area based on its original series, The L Word, in Second Life, the 3-D multiplayer-online-game world that allows members to fashion their own identities.

Showtime is laying claim to having the first original cable series in Second Life, but other media companies have staked out territory in the virtual world. For example, Sundance Channel debuted a screening room in Second Life last month.

The hub of The L Word’s island in Second Life is a virtual café called The Planet, modeled after the rendezvous point of the same name in the show.

Second Life members will be able to sit in on various events, including “speed dating” and discussions about the show. A 60-person amphitheater will screen past episodes of The L Word and other show-related clips. There’s also a virtual dance club with special guest DJs.

Showtime also plans to hold weekly chats with cast members from the show, who will appear as digital avatars with their own names.

As of Jan. 17, Second Life had 3,560 islands. The online game, produced by San Francisco-based Linden Lab, had about 50,000 paying subscribers at the end of 2006.