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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 November 2005, 09:01 GMT
Virtual club to rock pop culture
Image of a club DJ
Ayia Napa today, virtual space station next?
The gamer who bought a virtual space station for $100,000 (56,200) says he wants to turn it into a nightclub to change the face of entertainment.

Jon Jacobs, aka Neverdie, won the space station, currently being built within the online role-playing game Project Entropia, in an auction.

He wants to call it Club Neverdie and sees it as the perfect vehicle to bridge reality and virtual reality.

Gamers in Entropia regularly buy and sell virtual items using real cash.

Last year, a gamer bought an island for $26,500 (13,700).

"I'm already in talks with some of the worlds biggest DJs about spinning live sets inside the nightclub," he told the BBC News website.

Gamers everywhere are realising that our virtual worlds can compete with reality on an economic level
Jon Jacobs, aka Neverdie

"Gamers want to be entertained while they play, hunt, socialise and craft, and because of the real cash economy aspects of Project Entropia, they can afford to pay for their entertainment."

Traditionally, a club, theatre or a stadium have been the only live venues where one could have a social experience while listening to and watching top performers, said Neverdie.

But now, he says, virtual worlds can be an alternative live venue.

"I truly think that this will be the decade that gaming and virtual reality changes the face of popular culture," said Neverdie.

Reach inside

Set on a distant planet called Calypso, made up of two continents with large expanding cities, Entropia has 236,000 registered players.

In the game, players exchange real currency with PEDs (Project Entropia Dollars).

Neverdie is a popular and well-known in-game character. He and another character, Island Girl, appeared in a 2003 dance music movie Hey DJ!, which starred Jon Jacobs, Charlotte Lewis, and Tina Leiu.

Entropia view
Entropia is a virtual world where people buy and sell with real cash
He said that his club will give the entertainment industry in the "real world" a route into virtual worlds where millions spend their social time.

"Club Neverdie will enable the entertainment industry to reach inside virtual reality and target the gamer while he's in his element, while also harnessing the economic power of the gamers to raise the quality level of the content on offer."

When the space station was put up for auction, it was described as a "monumental project" in the "treacherous, but mineral rich" Paradise V Asteroid Belt.

It came with mining and hunting taxation rights, mall shopping booth and market stall owner deeds, a land management system, and a billboard marketing system.

The game's currency lets players, or members, invest in personal development and growth by buying up goods, buildings, and land in the Entropia universe.

"The real estate market inside the Project Entropia universe is on fire, because there is so much money to be made," said Neverdie.

"Gamers everywhere are realising that our virtual worlds can compete with reality on an economic level."

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