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AOL announces 'Second Life' presence

Very little fanfare surrounds the faded online giant's entry into the virtual world.

AOL is the latest company jumping into virtual world Second Life. Few details have been released about the new environment, to be called AOL Pointe, according to the company, which is now accepting registration for a private beta test. Access to the area in Second Life will be limited to approved testers.

"AOL is dipping its toes in the nascent virtual-worlds environment for research reasons, but we clearly don't consider this a significant project for the company," AOL corporate communications representative Jaymelina Esmele said. The company expects AOL Pointe to have three main areas: an amphitheater, an extreme-sports park and something called Hollywood Pop-Land. Some of AOL's more popular brands, such as TMZ Productions and Lat34.com, will be highlighted in the virtual space.