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 Korolov