Google is rumoured to be planning a rival to the 3D virtual world Second Life, scheduled to be launched late 2007.

If this is true (and this being the internet, you really never know), it’ll be a surprising departure for Google, a company that has built its reputation on solid, reliable, consumer-orientated online applications. Second Life, whilst undoubtedly a great money spinner for Linden Lab, is a controversial, marriage-wrecking, sad, barely-legal, addictive beast that keeps people from pursuing their non-avatar based, real lives.

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