If you check out the latest ad buy on 3pointD’s cousin publication, the Second Life Herald (see the right sidebar, top), you’ll see that the inevitable is finally about to happen: Playboy Magazine is entering the virtual world of Second Life. No word yet on what form Playboy’s presence there will take, but it would seem to be the perfect place for them. After all, constructing a sexy avatar for yourself is just an extreme version of the airbrushing that often goes on in the pages of higher-end skin mags like Playboy. The possibilities, of course, are very interesting: in-world girlie mag to compete with Marilyn Murphy‘s Players? A Playboy mansion where a virtual Hef and the bunnies will hang out? (Second Lifer’s won’t have any trouble finding things to do in the Grotto.) If there are virtual bunnies, will Playboy take as good care of them as they take of the real ones? RL Playboy Playmates are pretty much set for life; Playboy offers them jobs (albeit they’re usually jobs as professional cheesecake) and often does stuff like help pay for their education. In return, the organization gets a steady supply of buxom women to decorate their parties and functions with. Working as a virtual fleshpot is already a popular pursuit in Second Life; why not get paid a decent wage for it? And while it’s still exploiting the female image, you can’t say it’s exploitative of the women being photographed or hired, since you don’t know whether there’s a woman behind that curvy female av. All very interesting. The ad says Playboy won’t hit SL until June, but you can already sign up for email updates. The shape of things to come? We’ll see.