Reuters is opening a news bureau in the simulation game "Second Life" this week, joining a race by corporate name brands to take part in the hottest virtual world on the Internet.

Starting on Wednesday, Reuters plans to begin publishing text, photo and video news from the outside world for "Second Life" members and news of Second Life for real world readers who visit a Reuters news site.

Created by Linden Lab in San Francisco, "Second Life" is the closest thing to a parallel universe existing on the Internet. Akin to the original city-building game "SimCity," "Second Life" is a virtual, three-dimensional world where users create and dress up characters, buy property and interact with other players.

More than 900,000 users have signed up to build homes, form neighborhoods and live out alternative versions of their lives in the 3D, computer-generated world. Players spend around $350,000 a day on average, or a rate of $13 million a year. Usage is growing in rapid double-digit terms each month.

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Related Link: Reuters/Second Life