Tyra Banks Launches Virtual World

Tyra's Virtual Studio, the virtual world of Tyra Banks

Well, it’s official: celebrity scents are over. As of tonight, you’re nobody if you don’t have your own 3D virtual world. Just ask supermodel-cum-talk show host Tyra Banks, who opened Tyra’s Virtual Studio this evening with a grammy party. “The studio is a free virtual world where you can listen to music, chat with your friends, get insider info about what’s happening at the Tyra Banks Show and just hang out,” according to the site. But you knew that already. In Tyra’s Virtual Studio, however (which is available for both Windows and Mac), “Your avatar can drop it like it’s hot.” Whew. We knew there was some added value here.

The celeb’s VW is a Warner Bros. property built on technology developed by Doppelganger Inc., the folks who brought you the PussyCat Dolls Music Lounge. That means it comes complete with Doppelganger’s cool cell-shaded avatars. The Doppelgangers are also behind the music-based world that MTV is planning.

Look for this trend to continue. Many entertainment and media companies have been satisfied to launch their own areas within the larger world of Second Life, but many other big players want standalone worlds such as MTV’s Virtual Laguna Beach (built on There.com technology). And for the quick and dirty celeb-branded world, Doppelganger’s solution may be near ideal, if your production or marketing crew that doesn’t want to do too much of the heavy lifting.

Either way, it’s looking like what we’ve been saying here for a while is starting to happen: The kids who have pushed MySpace to the limit are looking for the next cool place to hang out on the Internet, and they’re finding it in easy-entry 3D virtual worlds like Tyra’s. I haven’t been in yet since I just got home and wanted to get the news up, but Glitchy tells me the place is packed. Why? Because it does the one thing Web pages can’t: It provides “presence,” the ability to interact in three dimensions with the people around you. (The ability to change your outfit on the fly ain’t bad, either.) It’s a richer mode of communication than chat, email or IM, and the generation that already takes those mediums for granted want more. 3D worlds give them that. It’s not a quirk of technology, it’s a cultural shift in the way we interact and communicate with each other.

So what’s next? Paris World? As long as there aren’t any Britney avatars to get in trouble with the paparazzi, we’ll be happy.

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  • Comments (6)
  1. I wonder what fashion models think of being rendered so crudely in comparison to high production magazine photography. That shot of her avatar looks like a bad collage.

    • FritzMeaning
    • February 13th, 2007

    Yay! VWs have officially jumped the shark! Thanks Tyra!

  2. Tyra is NOT fat! She is 5’10 and weights 161 pounds which is natural for her height.She is a beautiful person in the inside and out.She is such a insperation to me and many other young teens.Tyra has made a difference in the world.She reaches out to young teens with self- estemm issues.She looks so GORGEOUS!! She is retired from modeling but she doesn’t need to worry about her weight as much.I love you Tyra no matter what anyone else says about you.Much love xoxo
    Brittany

    check out a site i made for her at http://www.tyrabanks15.piczo.com/

    • d-dubbb jr.
    • June 1st, 2007

    Tyra is not fat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoever said that must be pretty self conscience. They r just jealous b cause they want to be tyra

    Tyra i luv you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    • ALEXIS
    • August 13th, 2007

    HELLO TYRA I LOVE YA SHOW ITS DIFFERENT AND INSPIRING AT THE SAME TIME. i ALSO LOVE TOP MODEL AND ONE TIME IN MY LIFE WHEN I WAS DOWN AND OUT I ALWAYS WATCH YOUR SHOW ON A REGULAR I FORGOT WHAT THE TOPIC WAS BUT IT SEEMS LIKE YOU WERE TALKING TO ME REACHING OUT TO ME THRU YOUR WORDS. SO I SAT DOWN AND WROTE YOU A LETTER TELLING ABOUT MY STRUGGLES AND WERE I WANNA BE IN LIFE. i NEVER SENT IT BELIEVING THAT IT WOULDN’T REACH YOU BUT THAT DAY WRITING THAT LETTER TOOK A LOT OF STRESS OFF OF ME AND MOTIVATED TO FACE MY FEARS AND CLOSE SOME OPEN WOUNDS I DON’T WANT TO GET INTO DETAIL BUT IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW I WOULD DEFIANTLY TELL YOU ABOUT BOTTOM LINE YOU HELPED ME THAT DAY AND MANY OTHERS I RESPECT YOUR WORK KEEP IT UP “A TRUE FAN” @LEXI$

  3. hi tyra
    im from colombo. i’ve been through out warching your show. u have made me strong and confodent, i love u tyra. u have been a role moddle forr all women. proud of u. take care . wish u all the best on your carrier.

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