MTV opens up virtual Laguna Beach

MTV wants their Laguna Beach fans to not only watch the show, but to star in it as well. In different capacities that is. If you aspire to being the next LC, Kristin or Stephen, you can give it your best shot in MTV's virtual Laguna Beach game/social experience. It's a game in the same sense that Second Life is a game, and that is, they're not really games. In virtual Laguna Beach, you can basically make you avatar do anything you want (besides get physical, you can only do a PG-rated kiss with other avatars). You can even start a band. The beta is free (for now) and MTV is touting this as an experiment just to see if they can build something popular and gain some attention back from MySpace and YouTube. It's definitely a unique way to reach out to your audience, but will the kids dig it? If so, how long will it be until advertisers jump on board and begin experimenting with the unique marketing opportunities virtual worlds provide? I also wonder how long it will take for the creepy way-too-old-to-be-hanging-out-with-teens-in-a-virtual-world crowd to start creeping in.

[nytimes article]


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