Techcrunch has the scoop on an episode of CSI: NY that will take place in part in the virtual world Second Life. Here are the details:

The episode will see Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) entering Second Life to pursue a killer who has killed a Second Life user in a case of virtual stalking gone too far.

CSI:NY fans will be encouraged to join Second Life and investigate the case by following a link on the CBS website. CSI:NY will have three options for CSI-related inworld activities. The first option will allow viewers to walk around virtual New York buildings and visit a CSI lab and play forensic games.

The second option consists of a game called “Murder by Zuiker,” a unique murder plot which can be solved by users finding clues. The 100 people who come closest to solving the murder will win virtual gifts.

The big tie-in gives new users the ability to become CSI investigators, complete with field kit and tools, and are given a chance to interview suspects and to solve the murder featured in the actual CSI:NY episode. The episode itself will apparently end in a cliff-hanger with the solution not revealed until February.


Some reports suggest that Second Life could see one million new user signups following the CSI:NY episode going to air, however it will be more interesting to see how many of the new users will stick around.

Reading this I really have to wonder if CSI: NY is getting anything out of this. Cash? This is such a massive promotional opportunity for Second Life that you’d think money has to be changing hands here.

I think this will also be a huge test of whether Second Life is going to become truly part of mainstream America. If massive numbers of people go in and get hooked, this could take the virtual world to the next level. If this promotion doesn’t move the envelop for Second Life very much, it pretty much will confirm what I suspect: Second Life is a niche community that doesn’t have much appeal for the average person.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.