Web Site Offers "Second Life"

How would you like to be anyone, and do anything, without any consequences?

FOX19's Steve Oldfield takes you inside an online world that's home to more than 12 million people, a site called Second Life.

Second Life reports that in the past week alone, more than 500,000 people have visited its online world.

That's why everyone from Reebok to General Motors has invested in a presence on the site, and now, even presidential candidates.

We found two very different fans of Second Life to take us inside the world they've helped to create.

Second Life is open source software. That means people like Jeff Reynard and Rick Hogestratt are playing an active role in shaping their constantly changing on-line world.

Highways for your Harley, ocean vistas viewed from a version of the Titanic, all explored by on-line characters you create called avatars, or avis.

Some, like Rick, model the characters on themselves. Rick's got a bike, so does his avi. Rick and his frankly cooler cyber clone have both wooed women online. That's where Rick met his real now ex-wife in a chatroom, and his avi met his wild woman, created by another second-lifer in Canada.

Jeff's taken another approach just as popular, creating a totally different kind of character.

Her name is Kimori. She's cool and curvy and Jeff's given her a bachelorette pad where she can entertain guests, avis created by other second-lifers who Jeff then chats with online.

But it's not all partying. Kimori's often hard at work, in nightclubs like the one Rick created, and Kimori's earned her keep as a personal assistant and even a stock broker, making Jeff on-line currency that translates into real dollars.

"I've made enough to buy my family a Wii," said Jeff.

FOX19.com: Steve Oldfield