Media Lifeline: Second Life

A growing number of brands are setting up shop in the online virtual world.

June 2006: The BBC becomes the first big UK organisation to stake a claim to territory in Second Life. It acquires a whole tropical island on which it can host music festivals in a hassle-free environment. The drugs are cool, there's a minimal police presence and everyone's, like, really chilled.

August 2006: Leo Burnett and Arc become the first advertising agencies to set up shop in the game's virtual world. As other agencies follow suit, they are among the first victims of "flash mobs" - organised teams of avatars coming together to disrupt the activities of Second Life's more overtly commercial participants.

September 2006: Adidas buys "centrally located" land in Second Life, on which it builds a shop selling virtual pairs of its a3 Microride trainers to virtual avatars. Virtual a3s cost 100 Linden Dollars, which equates almost exactly to their price on the so-called real high street.

January 2007: Vodafone makes its products available to avatars in the Second world - and also begins looking at whether it will be possible for avatars to dial out into the real world (if such distinctions exist any more). Other advertisers to debut in Second Life include Visa, plus a whole host of media companies including Sky and Reuters.

May 2007: The Daily Telegraph breaks new ground when it recreates its award-winning 2007 Chelsea Flower Show garden (designed by, Isabelle Van Groeningen and Gabriella Page) in the Kensington and Chelsea area of the Second Life world.

Fast forward ...

July 2007: With the activities of the Second Life Liberation Army gaining ground, there are fears that some sort of terrorist outrage could trigger a recession, not just in the Second world, but in other parallel dimensions, too. And our worst fears are more than realised when someone breaks in and trashes the Telegraph's garden. The paper responds by digitising its editor, Will Lewis, and sending him on a revenge mission.