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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 August 2006, 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK
Duran Duran to give virtual gigs
Duran Duran
The real Duran Duran: But what will their avatars look like?
British band Duran Duran are to create a virtual island within online game Second Life, on which they will perform actual live concerts.

The band is the first major group to announce a virtual world presence in the game.

Second Life is an online 3D digital world, which is imagined, created and owned by the residents.

More than 370,000 people have Second Life characters, called Avatars, who exist in the world.

Earlier this year, BBC Radio 1 rented a virtual island in Second Life where it held music festivals and BBC Two's Newsnight hosted an interview inside the game.

One Big Weekend

In May, Radio 1 recreated the One Big Weekend event - which took place in Dundee in reality - inside the game so people could participate virtually.

Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes told the BBC News website: "When I first discovered Second Life a few months ago, I was astounded by the possibilities that were there.

"When I started looking at the figures running around, chatting and interacting, I thought this is somewhere between a bizarre virtual reality TV show, a surreal real-life experience and a video game.

"Somehow the amalgamation was just irresistible - what became obvious was that Duran Duran should have a presence within there."

Second Life
In Second Life your avatar can look how you like

Rhodes said he hoped the Duran Duran community would help develop the island into a "fully functional, futuristic utopia".

He said the band was "thrilled to become citizens of Second Life".

Duran Duran retains a large fan base more than 20 years after they became one of the biggest bands in the world, thanks to songs such as Wild Boys and Girls on Film.

Three-dimensional versions of the band members - called Avatars - have been commissioned and will be revealed in September. The band hopes to perform their first virtual concert in the coming months.

Rhodes added: "We are hoping to give the crowd that come to the virtual concert a real immersive experience, so they can interact with us and react while we are stage."

He said new technologies, such as Second Life, will become an enormous part of the music industry in the future.

The digital continent of Second Life covered an area equivalent to 64 acres three years ago but now is more than 20,000 acres in size and growing rapidly.

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