Hollywood company gives away virtual islands to celebrities

Hollywood celebrities can now get their own virtual islands — at no cost — through Virtual Celebrity Islands, launching at this Sunday’s 2010 MTV Movie Awards.

Between 70 and 80 celebrities will be able to get their islands at the Virtual Celebrity Gifting Lounge, sponsored by Los Angeles-based GBK Productions, a livestyle gifting and special events company. The virtual islands will give celebrities an opportunity to reach out to more of their fans.

Quinton Aaron

Quinton Aaron, star of “The Blind Side” and a nominee for Best Break Out Actor, was the first celebrity to sign up to meet fans virtually, GBK announced this week. Aaron already has his own avatar, the company said.

Each island is 300 acres in size and can hold up to 12,000 simultaneous visitors. The platform can scale up for large-scale special events using mirroring, the company said.

There is no charge to celebrities for these islands, and no payment to the celebrities for showing up at the islands, either. The public can enter for free as well.

So where’s the revenue stream?

“As we are still in the beginning stages, presently money is only going out,” GBK CEO Gavin Keilly told Hypergrid Business.

However, there are plans to monetize the platform, he added.

“We obviously do envision there being various potential revenue opportunities in the future,” he said, “varying from advertisers, to click-throughs of actually selling product through the virtual gift lounge, to selling land in the virtual world next to where the celebrities live.”

(Image courtesy)

Virtual Celebrity Islands (Image courtesy GBK)

So what makes a celebrity? According to the company, “GBK’s definition of a celebrity is either someone nominated or presenting at the MTV Movie Awards or someone who is press worthy, such as someone who would be apt to making it in to a People Magazine or Us Weekly.”

The virtual islands are run using technology from Activeworlds, and require a download to access. Non-celebrity visitors can enter the islands, interact with celebrities and with one another, and customize their own avatars. Visitors can also travel between the islands.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Dakota

    It's GBK not BGK 🙂

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  • Dakota —

    Thanks for the edit — I just fixed it (and fixed the spelling of "monetize" while I was at it.)

    Also, a note from the organizers:

    You can visit this celebrity Island on Friday and Saturday between 11:00am -6:00pm. Ask your favorite celebrity a question or partake in the concert.

    Visit http://www.virtualcelebrityislands.com to get your login / your personal Avatar

  • Frank Corsi

    I think this is the direction of the future.

    I was not able to get into this world to see it, but I am ready to see what it is all about.

    Great reporting Maria 🙂