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Publishers, despite the hardbitten skepticism of their journalist underlings, vie with the denizens of Silicon Valley for the crown of gullible neophilia. So they ignore reports of Second Life's impending demise, and instead fix their eyes on the virtual world's elusive 8.7 million registered users. Virtual World Productions has decided to stake a claim in virtual journalism. Its goal is to grow into the News Corp. of virtual worlds — never mind that Reuters and CNET beat it to the punch in establishing Second Life bureaus.

But Virtual World Productions may have a Hollywood edge. Based in LA and backed by LivePlanet, the studio that filmed HBO's Project Greenlight, VWP is wisely hedging its bets. One of its websites, Grid World News, chronicles Second Life, but the other, Azeroth World News, covers happenings in World of Warcraft, the more popular, and profitable, multiplayer online game.

"We're trying to be the uber-media agency that services virtual worlds for information and other things," LivePlanet CEO Larry Tanz told The Hollywood Reporter. "Advertising, classifieds and personals will follow the content — content is just the first foray into it."

A staff of 30 — yes, 30 — journalists is currently churning out riveting stories such as "Honor Among Thieves", a look into the misunderstood life of rogues (a character class in World of Warcraft), and "Now That's a Whopper", which recounts a Second Life fishing trip.