Officially licensed merchandise for twelve bands can be found at the new Rock Vault in Second Life. Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot, Funeral for a Friend, HIM, Kings of Leon, The Ramones, Trivium, Iron Maiden, Bullet for my Valentine, Nickelback, Stone Sour, and Cradle of Filth are the bands represented, though not every one of them has inworld shirts to buy.

Whether there are inworld shirts or not (the price for all of them seems to be about L$150) each kiosk links to an online merchandise site where you can order the physical article. Don't go to to sleep quite yet, though. There's something much more interesting about this place than just selling tee-shirts -- thank heavens!

'Rock Vault' might be a bit of a misnomer, perhaps 'bloody, fearsome, subterranean, heavy-metal vault' might be a tad closer to the mark. The vault is also populated, from the grim boatman who ferries you to the kiosk of the band of your choice, to assorted demons who are standing by to whip you, eviscerate you, roast you on a spit, or decapitate you these are bots.

Bots with a purpose. Bots who fit with the grandiose, dark and hellish theme of the place. Bots who are really well done, actually. This is the first time we've seen the widespread use of bots as a part of the decor and they integrate really quite well (though there do appear to be a few scripting failures here and there where things don't work quite right - but we're used to that in Second Life. Be patient, rinse, repeat and all will be generally well).

The project has been developed by Bravado, the merchandising division of Universal Music Group, and The Sine Wave Company, the virtual world animators.

The place is well-assembled, visually appealing (if you have an eye for the macabre), and comes across very professionally. A bit much blood for my tastes on some of the interactive displays, but well worth a visit for interest's sake if nothing else.

This article was originally published on Massively.
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