NBC Jam Session Brings SL to TV
After this recent post flagging tonight’s appearance in Second Life by Robert Randolph and O.A.R.‘s Marc Roberge (at 5:00pm SL time), a couple of people dropped me a line asking for more details — which can be found below. Also want to note, though, that this event looks to be generating an interesting televisual moment. NBC will apparently air some brief footage of Second Life (see video above, though I’m not sure whether that’s what will end up on air) as a way to drive people to VirtualNBC.com, a Web portal where people without SL accounts can experience and participate in the event.
Virtual worlds have been on television before, of course, though almost always as part of a news program (or an episode of South Park). To have NBC run a spot that features one, though, is a different matter entirely, more comparable to the moment last month when I spotted MTV’s Virtual Laguna Beach on Total Request Live. That was a jaw-dropper, to see Vanessa Minnillo sitting in front of a computer screen, beaming at her avatar and chatting to fans in the virtual world. News items are one thing; it’s easy to receive that kind of information as a novelty that merits no further exploration. Appearing on TRL or on network television prime time is another thing entirely. The TV-watching public is generally much more receptive to that kind of information. While the spot above doesn’t actually mention SL, it does feature SL heavily, and VirtualNBC provides a link to the »Peacock Room in SL«. This is the kind of thing that couild be a very strong driver of SL adoption.
As to the event itself, it appears to be a jam session between Marc Roberge of O.A.R. and Robert Randolph of Robert Randolph & The Family Band, and runs from 5:00pm to 7:00pm SL time (8:00 to 10:00 Eastern). Virtual t-shirts and Autographed CDs (the non-virtual kind) will be given away to lucky audience members. The event, which is being produced by the Electric Sheep Company (sponsors of this blog), will use the “sharding” technique they’ve developed, through which the event is held in one sim and broadcast to many others in order to allow a larger number of users to attend, as they did for the virtual Christmas tree lighting that got NBC so excited about SL.