Following the success of Second Life as a virtual destination for millions, many big name companies including Sony (SNE - Get Report) and Lego are trying their hand at establishing their own digital world, setting the table for a potentially fierce Internet competition.
Second Life, the massive multiplayer online world, allows users to log on through the Internet and create 3-D computer-generated identities. Businesses such as Cisco (CSCO - Get Report), Dell (DELL - Get Report) and IBM (IBM - Get Report) have already set up shop in Second Life, making it the first destination for real-world companies looking to extend their brand in to the virtual realm.
Linden Lab, the San Francisco-based creator and maintainer of Second Life, has big numbers. The virtual world's population is quickly approaching 5 million residents, more than tripling over the last six months.
Over the course of one day, more than $1.5 million is typically being spent by users within the digital world, making it one of the most popular 3-D destinations on the Web outside of There.com and World of Warcraft.