Sydney– The ABC was the first Australian media organisation to establish a presence in Second Life ( when ABC Island opened for visitors, initially on a trial basis, on March 19. Second Life is a 3D virtual environment created by US-based Linden Lab in 2003. Within the computer-rendered world, 'residents' can explore a territory larger than 42,000 acres in real-world scale, where they can create their own identity (an 'avatar') and interact with others in a lifelike social space.

ABC Island enables visitors to design and create objects, discover a hidden underground music club, listen to indigenous stories, wander round an environmentally friendly eco house, experience ABC audio and video in a social environment and attend live screenings and concerts. Among live events planned are comedy gigs, concerts and interactive discussions. The Island was developed with 3D, sound and design students and staff from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

"Second Life presents the ABC with the perfect space to explore the 3D environment and test new ways of presenting content and creating interactive experiences" said Abigail Thomas, Head, Strategic Innovation & Development. "Everything we have learnt – and will continue to learn – from our first foray into this virtual world will stand us in good stead for a time when 3D environments become commonplace online."