Second Life in popular culture

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Since its debut in 2003, Second Life has become increasingly referred[citation needed] by various popular culture mediums, including literary, television, film and music. In addition, various significantly-popular personalities in such mediums have themselves used or employed Second Life for both their own works and for private purposes.

Comics and webcomics[edit]

  • Second Life is also parodied in the webcomic Kevin and Kell, in the form of an MMORPG called 9th Life.



  • The feature film Beautiful Kate (2009) contains a scene where Rachel Griffiths' character demonstrates her avatar in Second Life to her brother (played by Ben Mendelsohn)[1]
  • The feature film Gamer (2009) depicts an ultra-real parody of Second Life, called Society, in which players control real people, whose free will has been forfeit in exchange for being well paid.
  • The film Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) has Clark Duke's character's avatar in prison, explaining that committing crime in Second Life has similar consequences as in real life.
  • Second Life is featured prominently in a scene from the movie Hot Tub Time Machine (2010). The character Jacob is playing as his avatar Jacob Morlim in-world, and the scene shows several shots of Second Life gameplay.[2]
  • In My Avatar and Me (2010), a Danish "documentary fantasy" by Bente Milton and Mikkel Stolt, a man enters Second Life to pursue his personal dreams and ambitions. His journey into cyberspace becomes a magic learning experience, which gradually opens the gates to a much larger reality. The film stars Stolt and features cameos by Long Now co-founder Danny Hillis and the Foundation's Nevada site.[3]
  • The feature-length documentary Life 2.0 (2010)[4][5] follows a group of people whose lives are dramatically transformed by Second Life.
  • The German documentary Login2Life, which aired first on public broadcasting station ZDF on October 17, 2011, portrays seven people who have found an alternate home in Second Life and World of Warcraft.[6]
  • The HBO film When Strangers CLICK: Five Stories From The Internet (2011), features a real life couple, now happily married, who actually met as Second Life residents.[7][8]

Human resources[edit]

  • Kelly Services, an employment agency, features Second Life in its "break room" for temporary employees.


  • Peter Anghelides' novel Another Life (2007), based upon the television series Torchwood, features a Second Life-inspired virtual world called Second Reality. Although the literary version is far more advanced than the real Second Life, several features of the real-life Second Life are referenced, including the ability to customize avatars, and at one point in the novel a character is banished to an area similar to Second Life's punishment area, "The Corn Field".
  • Catherine Asaro's novel Diamond Star takes place in a future where Second life has evolved into Life Million, an intelligent virtual reality universe extrapolated from Second Life.
  • Additionally, Peter Bagge's satirical graphic novel Other Lives (2010) features a fictional game, Second World, that is closely based on Second Life.
  • In Sam Bourne's thriller novel The Last Testament (2007), Second Life plays an important part in the story and in cracking of codes.
  • Ready Player One (2011) by Ernest Cline is mostly based inside the "OASIS", formally "Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation", which, as described, is very similar to Second Life, with support for future hardware.
  • A Week in December (2009) by Sebastian Faulks describes a virtual reality game parodying Second Life called "Parallax", which is played by one of the main characters, Jenni Fortune.
  • Ready Player One (2011) by Ernest Cline is mostly based inside the "OASIS", formally "Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation", which, as described, is very similar to Second Life, with support for future hardware.
  • The scifi novel ANIMA: a novel about Second Life (2007) (ISBN 0-9763168-9-7), written by the avatar Dalian Hansen, was the first complete work of fiction based in the 3D virtual environment of Second Life, and the plot included real world connections. It is book one of a trilogy that will include ANIMUS: Of Animus and Men and PERSONA: Persona Publica.[9]
  • In The Darkest Evening of the Year (2007) by Dean Koontz, one of the antagonists is a private detective who lives vicariously through his Second Life avatar.
  • Jonathan Lethem's novel Chronic City (2009) features a game called Yet Another World—which closely resembles Second Life—as a major plot point in the second half of the story.
  • Alain Monnier 's novel, Notre Seconde Vie, which translates to "Our Second Life", poses the question: "Will the Internet replace reading paperbound books one day?".[citation needed]
  • A Second Life avatar was used as the cover art for Dr. Theodore Rockwell's fiction novel - The Virtual Librarian (2008). The novel was introduced and promoted via Second Life by TheSLAgency.
  • In Sarah Sarnoff's novel The Disambiguation of Susan (2014), the fictional heroine, Susy Fisher, discusses her time using Second Life with her boyfriend. They agree it might be fun to go online together sometime.[citation needed]
  • Halting State (2007) by Charles Stross makes a casual reference to Second Life, though it is apparent that many major plot elements have been drawn from this virtual world and other metaverse platforms. (See appearances, below)
  • R Maghusholm's novel Roula: The Girl in the Machine (2015) features a fully immersive virtual reality world, inspired by Second Life and the MMORG Ikariam. Roula, a non-player character, becomes self-aware with far-reaching consequences for both virtual and real world.


(Alphabetical by artist)

  • Duran Duran were among the first artists to join the metaverse, and they subsequently wrote their "Zoom In" song with hip-hop mogul Timbaland, clearly pointing about the Second Life experience.
  • The first track on James Ferraro's album Far Side Virtual is titled "Linden Dollars".
  • Liza Fox's machinima music video, "You Turn Me On" (October 2013),[10] filmed by Pia Klaar based on the song of the same title,[11] in the 3D virtual world Second Life.
  • The Italian singer Irene Grandi figured in her musical video "Bruci la città" (2007) some scenes of Second Life gaming. It was almost entirely filmed within Second Life, featuring her own lifelike avatar.[12]
  • Redzone were credited by Wired and Reuters as the first band to tour in Second Life in Feb. 2007, followed by Beyond the void as the first official rock band touring in second life (open PR, Mar. 2007).


  • A Second Life girl, caLLie cLine, was chosen to represent Second Life Girls at #95 on the "Top 100 Hottest Females of 2007" in Maxim.

Public appearances in the grid[edit]

  • In August 2006, author Kurt Vonnegut was interviewed by John Hockenberry, host of the radio show The Infinite Mind. The interview was aired live on the radio and in Second Life.[citation needed]
  • On September 1, 2006, former Governor of Virginia Mark Warner became the first politician to appear in a MMO when he gave a speech in Second Life.[13]
  • In 2007, Second Life harbored the first virtual car expo for Ford Motors, created by Martin Bueno and the digital team of the JWT Agency in Argentina.[citation needed]
  • On February 3, 2007, British comedian Jimmy Carr performed a virtual show on Second Life.
  • Jimmy Kimmel & Jay-Z were both made as Second Life characters, and Jay-Z had a virtual concert on Second Life at the same time as his real life performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live![when?][citation needed]
  • In early 2007, Beyond the Void became the first rock band to tour in Second Life; they organized virtual concerts in various locations in the virtual world.[citation needed]
  • On June 21, 2008, Charles Stross held a conference in Second Life to discuss, "[T]he Singularity in fiction, cutting-edge technologies, [Halting State], and his upcoming novel Saturn's Children"[14]
  • In October 2008, author Terry Pratchett visited Second Life to conduct a question-and-answer session about the launch of Nation.[15]

Television and web sitcoms[edit]

(Alphabetical by series title)

  • In the January 20, 2014 episode of the CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls', Han Lee (Matthew Moy) stated he was to busy in Second Life to help Caroline (Beth Behrs) when she was at home scared. Han stated that his Second Life online wife was having a baby.
  • Second Life was featured prominently, and used as a tool to locate a suspect, in the CSI: NY episode "Down the Rabbit Hole" (airdate October 24, 2007).[16]
  • Second Life was also featured in the CSI: NY episode "DOA For a Day" (airdate 2 April 2008).[17]
  • In an episode of the CBS drama Ghost Whisperer, Melinda Gordon experiences a similar online world, at one point pulling an avatar out of her computer at the shop as the user's ghost; she gets to know the local equivalent of Second Life while determining the avatar's true identity.
  • Soap opera actor Greg Rikaart played a Second Life fanatic on the web sitcom Imaginary Bitches.
  • In the Disney XD series Kirby Buckets, character Eli plays a game called Other Life, a spin on Second Life.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit parodies Second Life in the season 9 episode "Avatar".
  • The "Social Networking" episode on Current's SuperNews! involved a Second Life character with one eye and a multi-pitched psychic-esque "echo" voice, alongside Facebook, Friendster, and MySpace characters.
  • In an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon Cooper asks one of his friends if they would like to play Second Life and go virtual swimming, since he does not like the water in real life.
  • On April 8, 2008 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart did a segment called Avatar Heroes.[18]
  • The CBC program the fifth estate, in an episode entitled "Strangers in Paradise" (airdateJanuary 28, 2009), documented two cases of families being damaged after a spouse became obsessed with Second Life. In each case a spouse formed such deep emotional and cyber-sexual relationships with another Second Life player that it resulted in their leaving their real family to join the person they had met and bonded with in Second Life.[19]
  • Dwight Schrute from the US television series The Office is an avid Second Life resident; this was featured prominently in the episode "Local Ad" (airdate October 25, 2007).[20] Dwight has an avatar named "Dwight Shelford" and creates a virtual world within Second Life, named Second Second Life. Jim Halpert is also seen in Second Life later in the episode, and he claims his character is "just to keep tabs on Dwight"; however, Pam Beesly comments on the detail in his character and notes it must have taken him quite some time to make it.
  • The "Goin Bananas" episode of The Suite Life on Deck features a Second Life parody called Better Life. Woody is seen to play Second Life, forms a relationship from doing so with another crew member, and gets addicted to the game.
  • The season 5 episode, "I Live Another Life in the Web" (2008), of the MTV documentary series, True Life, followed three people who have alter egos online that greatly differ from who they are in reality. Amy used Second Life and she had two avatars, or alter egos. The first is named Keiko, an avatar that resembles her, and her second alter ego is Mama Shepard, a 38-year-old widow, who owns and operates a virtual bakery. Amy was completely involved in her virtual world. Ben Rosen, the producer of this True Life episode, explained that Second Life houses a lot of people obsessed with their "other lives" in this virtual world.[21] With its own currency, job opportunities, and shopping options, Second Life allows for endless possibilities for avatars and endless opportunities for the people playing on Second Life.

Websites and blogs[edit]

  • Second Life is parodied by the website Get a First Life by Darren Barefoot, extolling the virtues of meatspace/real life.[22] Material from the site includes false links to such topics as "Go Outside - Membership is Free" and "Fornicate Using Your Actual Genitals." Linden Lab proved that they had a sense of humor when Darren received, instead of a cease and desist, a Proceed and Permit letter.[23]
  • Second Life CEO Mark Kingdon's email inbox was parodied by Prad Prathivi. Kingdon replied in response to the satirical mock up.


  1. ^ "Beautiful Kate - virtual worlds as normality". Retrieved 2009-12-27. 
  2. ^ "New World Notes: Hot Tub Time Machinima: How Second Life Was Incorporated Into the New John Cusack Comedy". March 30, 2010. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ "My Avatar And Me". Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Life 2.0". 
  5. ^ Life 2.0. IMDb. 
  6. ^ "Login2Life". Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Documentaries: When Strangers CLICK: Five Stories From The Internet". HBO. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  8. ^ Savage, Sophia (January 26, 2011). "When Strangers Click: HBO's Doc on Online Dating Premieres Valentine's Day". IndieWire. 
  9. ^ "New World Notes: READING *ANIMA*". June 22, 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  10. ^ "Liza Fox - You Turn Me On (Second Life Machinima)". YouTube. 
  11. ^ "Gimme All (Ring My Bell)". iTunes. 
  12. ^ "Irene Grandi - Bruci la città (videoclip)". YouTube. Warner Music Italy. 25 November 2010. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Former governor speaks in Second Life". Joystiq.comurl= September 1, 2006. 
  14. ^ "Charlie Stross in Second Life this Saturday". BoingBoing. 2008. 
  15. ^ "Photo session from Terry Pratchett in Second Life". flickr. October 2008. 
  16. ^ Carter, Bill (October 4, 2007). "Fictional Characters Get Virtual Lives, Too". The New York Times. 
  17. ^ Carter, Bill (October 4, 2007). "Fictional Characters Get Virtual Lives, Too". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ "Avatar Heroes | The Daily Show | Comedy Central". Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  19. ^ "Strangers in Paradise". CBC News. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  20. ^ "More Second Life Pranks Coming To The Office?". Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  21. ^ <>
  22. ^ "Get a First Life". Retrieved 2007-02-01. 
  23. ^ "I Got a Proceed and Permitted Letter From Linden Lab". Retrieved 2007-12-25.