Virtual Worlds Pioneer Brings Fiancée Back From The Dead In Virtual Reality
Hollywood, CA – December 21, 2010 – Virtual worlds pioneer, Jon NEVERDIE Jacobs, has revealed that he has brought his fiancé back from the dead as an avatar, and part of the launch of his latest virtual destination, the new Club NEVERDIE. The controversial entrepreneur believes that virtual reality will be the means by which humanity transcends death itself, and has taken the first step towards this with the inclusion of the avatar representing his late fiancée, Tina Leiu, who passed away suddenly in 2005. Two weeks ago Jacobs made worldwide headlines with the sale of the first Club NEVERDIE, based on a virtual asteroid, for a new world record $635,000 USD.
One of the stunning central locations found at the new Club NEVERDIE is the exotic Tiki beach resort with private houses and ‘The Island Girl Spa’ dedicated to Tina Leiu, who was known in the online gaming world as the avatar, ‘Island Girl’. Jacobs explains how he has kept Tina’s spirit alive in his new virtual destination. “Tina was a beautiful Samoan Princess and, in addition to her career as a singer and actress, was also a licensed therapist and healer. One of her unfulfilled dreams was to open a Spa in American Samoa where her family was from. By creating ‘The Island Girl Spa" at Club NEVERDIE, I'm able to in some way fulfil her last ambition. We've also created an Avatar in her likeness and she automatically revives anyone who dies gaming on the island, bringing another level of meaning to the name Club NEVERDIE. For me the return of Island Girl at the new Polynesian Club NEVERDIE brings everything full circle and represents an important statement to the online community and the world; that virtual reality is the place where we can transcend death, perhaps not on a literal level right now, but very possibly in the future. I plan to continue to lay the foundation for that future with the virtual worlds developed by NEVERDIE Studios.”
Tina Leiu was a popular singer, actress and gamer in her own right. In 2004 she narrowly survived a sudden attack of myacarditis brought on by the flu. During her convalescence she spent many hours as Island Girl inside the virtual Entropia Universe. When she passed away suddenly in February 2005 as a result of complications stemming from the myacarditis, MindArk, the developers of the Entropia Universe built a virtual memorial inside the world to allow the gaming community to pay their respects. In a touching effort to keep Tina's memory alive, Jacobs would occasionally allow their son, Taliesin, to log the Island Girl avatar online to play inside the virtual world. However, the developers finally requested the avatar be retired, so reluctantly Jacobs logged Island Girl out for the final time at Club NEVERDIE in 2007. He comments, “I was very disheartened to shut her avatar down in the first place. I feel like virtual reality is ultimately a place where we can live forever. It really went against my hopes and beliefs for its future to have to retire Tina's avatar and face the incredibly painful death process for a second time. Now both I and our son Taliesin can feel close to Tina once again, knowing her avatar is there waiting for us every time we go online and visit Club NEVERDIE. It’s actually a beautiful tribute to her that she would have loved.” Taliesin agrees, stating, “I think it’s awesome. It feels really good to see the avatar because it feels like my Mom is still there playing the game.”
The new and improved Club NEVERDIE gaming destination cost over a million dollars to develop and is this time located on NEXT Island, a free to play, virtual tropical island paradise where time travel is the main attraction and the focal point of a real cash economy where players can buy, sell and profit from the trade of virtual goods for real cash, with an exchange rate fixed to the US Dollar. Users can visit a range of incredible virtual environments and can of course, visit the Island Girl Spa, safe in the knowledge that should they die in the game, Island Girl herself will always be there to revive them.