Hugh Hefner's adult entertainment empire becomes the latest high-profile company to set up shop in the virtual world.
A variety of businesses have already pitched up virtual offices in Linden Lab's social networking game Second Life, including Reuters, Dell, American Apparel, and Sky News. Recently the Swedish Institute also announced that the country was planning to open the first virtual embassy in Second Life, to raise awareness of Sweden amongst young people.
Now Hugh Hefner's famous playmates are also invading the world, bringing with them the Playboy Island, in the shape of the famous Playboy bunny logo. The island will feature a shop where Second Lifers can buy virtual or real Playboy-branded gear, served of course by virtual avatars in bunny girl outfits. There will also be a video lounge and a hangout area in a virtual Playboy Mansion.
There will be an in-game launch party June 12-13 which will feature concerts from various artists with avatars in Second Life.
Playboy is an adult entertainment magazine founded in 1953 by the now infamous Hugh Hefner. Since then the company has expanded in a number of directions, including Playboy TV, Playboy clubs, and Playboy.com. There has also been a video game, Playboy: The Mansion, released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2, PC, and original Xbox.