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Duran Duran gets a Second Life

Second Life, an online 3D virtual reality world where avatars act on behalf of players, has grown to a "population" of over 370,000. Now it's getting its own 80s band as well, according to the official Duran Duran Web site.

Duran Duran announced on Monday that the band will have an avatar presence on Second Life.

"When the video revolution began we instantly saw the opportunity to experiment and explore a new form of expression to enhance the musical experience. Second Life is the future right now, offering endless possibilities for artists. Duran Duran are thrilled to be the first band to become citizens of Second Life and are rehearsing now for our first concert there in the coming months. I think I can safely say that it will be filled with surprises," said Nick Rhodes, the keyboardist of Duran Duran, on the band's Web site.

Three-dimensional avatars of the five original band members (Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor and Nick Rhodes) are in development and will be revealed this September. Second Life allows players to build and create their own part of the virtual world. The band said that their avatars will "live" on a fantasy, luxury island within Second Life, and hold virtual concerts and media appearances in addition to those held in real life.

Duran Duran said that it will be the first major band in the world to have a virtual world presence, and that they will play the first live concert "by a pop avatar band performed by the group's actual members." Duran Duran's virtual concert will allow Second Life virtual fans to interact with the band during the concert.

Duran Duran, best known for their hits "Rio" and "Hungry Like the Wolf," have maintained a large fan base since the height of their fame in the 1980s. The band members have been known as embracers of technology, being one of the first to shoot an on-location music video, use live video cameras and video screens in their concerts, and produce a video using Macromedia Flash Software. They also made their song 'Electric Barbarella' available for digital download on the Web in 1997, long before the iPod and MP3s made music downloads ubiquitous.