HBO Buys Second Life Machinima

hbo2lifeContinuing with the tradition of Second Life being “dead” still relatively vibrant, it looks like premium channel HBO has purchased the rights to a documentary created within the virtual world for a six-figure amount.

Initially announced on former-Linden-Labs-embedded reporter Hamlet Au’s fabulous New World Notes blog, the media company purchased “My Second Life – The Video Diaries of Molotov Alga,” a series of six dispatches allegedly created by a Southern Californian man who disappeared and started broadcasting from the world of Second Life.

All things considered, it’s really a pretty neat event when big media superpowers like the Time Warner-owned HBO are turning to independent filmmakers in virtual worlds when looking for new creative content. This is the same company that produced “The Sopranos,” mind you folks (and, although not as critically acclaimed, my favorite, the Brian Benben-starring “Dream On”).

The precedent here isn’t necessarily that large media companies are paying attention to virtual worlds. MTV created their own virtual worlds as extensions from their shows, as did the creators of the Matrix films. Showtime has created an incredibly successful island for fans of “The L Word.” CBS has even used Second Life to create a television spot that aired during the Super Bowl. But this is the first time that a channel (and the very esteemed HBO, none the less), has taken an interest in transporting content from the virtual world and using it on its actual channel.