Imagine Peace Tower lights in Second Life

Oct 11, 2009

Just hours after Friday's annual lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland, a virtual version of the tribute to late Beatle John Lennon opened in online world Second Life.

"I hope we will all come to visit it when it lights up every sunset time, as it spreads our wishes of peace throughout Second Life," Lennon's widow Yoko Ono said Friday in a message at her imaginepeace.com website.

"Remember, each one of us has the power to change the world."

Ono's avatar spoke at the Second Life lighting ceremony, and then danced with others until a virtual dawn.

She left the online realm to dash on stage in Iceland to sing "Give Peace a Chance" with her son Sean and local musicians taking part in a Lennon tribute concert, according to organizers there.

The tower on an island in Second Life is modeled after the real-world version, which uses mirrors to bounce beams from powerful searchlights into the sky from a white platform 17 meters in diameter.

Imagine Peace Tower was dedicated in Iceland on Oct. 9, 2007 on what would have been Lennon's 67th birthday. The Beatles band member whose songs included "Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance" was shot dead in New York City in 1980.

The light blazing into the firmament from an island near Reykjavik is said to be powerful enough to be seen in space. The tower is annually lit each night from October 9 until the December day that Lennon died.

Time is accelerated in Second Life, resulting in a half-dozen dusks and dawns in a real-world day.

Above the virtual tower are a set of clouds where animated characters, or avatars, that are people's proxies in Second Life can socialize, meditate, or take in views.

Virtual hot springs were added in tribute to the fact that the real Imagine Peace Tower is powered by geothermal energy, according to Linden Lab, the San Francisco company behind .

Avatars can also ride above the island in Imagine Peace hot air balloon.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: UK: Former reporter sentenced for phone hacking

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