Second Life

CSI:New York in Second Life – the Electric Sheep’s “Real” New York

As previously discussed, the CSI New York sims were disappointingly thin and cartoon-like. After all the spin and hyperbole and excitement I was left with the humbling notion that the real good that came out of all of this was the grid didn’t crash, humiliating Second Life one last and possible irrevocable time.

Hmmm. That’s hardly a measure of success. As Prokovy Neva reports, the ‘spin’ now begins – proper stats aren’t available for how many people logged in to date based on the CSI episode, but Pokovy kept a running “green dot tally” and maybe counted 4,000 concurrent – and hardly the grid overload and expected 500,000+ new users.

OK, but back to the build itself. The CSI sim promised” a recreation of Time’s Square” and other brilliant builds to help users immerse in the feeling of being within a CSI episode. Um….well, if that’s Time’s Square I’d suggest you boys get OUT of your offices a bit more. The presence of large useless banners does NOT a Time’s Square make.

Now, now I’m perpetually confused, but this morning in my wanderings I ran across a New York sim. It was a beautiful recreation of Rockefeller Center.


The concrete seemed real. The buildings were beautifully rendered…

Even the little cafe downstairs had amazing tables with lighting baked into the textures.

To top it off, the Peacock Room in the building was a beautiful well-designed avatar-friendly and social-ready space.

And who designed it? Hmmm….Electric Sheep Company (ESC), for NBC. Ah! So now the REAL mystery! How is it that ESC can develop a corporate HQ for NBC with beauty, fidelity, detailed texturing, vibrant plants, wonderful social spaces – and design such DRECK for CSI?


Oh! And if you have a chance, check out the humor in the side alley heading off in the direction of Time’s Square – a Manatee X-Rated porn shop! Very tongue-in-cheek but hilarious! I LOVE it!


Did corporate sponsorship, the presence of a “middle America” viewing audience, jittery nerves over potential wide-scale media exposure – did these things SCARE you? Did your overlords at CISCO and the NBC advertising Politburo join your development committee? It’s a miracle the blood-splattered head on the murder victim was allowed to stay! (Naw, what am I saying, violence is ALWAYS OK in the mass media, it’s sex that’s the crime).

Being in the creative industries myself I would KILL to have a word with the creative team, see how many of their ideas hit the cutting room floor (or prim cutting floor, however you want to put it). If I was a designer with a chance to work on a CSI sim, even one for newbies, I would go positively mad with excitement – it really would be a creative gold mine, considering the reference material that the CSI series provides.

What a shame that the art was left for the vacant, not-often-seen NBC HQ (P.S. what’s that used for again?) and excluded from the CSI sims.


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