October 10, 2006 12:58 ET

MEDIA ALERT: IBM Expands Its Virtual Worlds Initiatives With a First-of-Its-Kind Virtual Block Party in Second Life

-- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 10, 2006 -- On Thursday, October 12, 2006, IBM (NYSE: IBM) is holding a first-of-its-kind Alumni block party in the virtual world of Second Life, an online world that brings people together in a 3D universe, allowing for more natural and "real" interactions for people who cannot meet in person.

The virtual block party is part of a larger IBM program called the Greater IBM, designed to maintain connections with IBM's network of alumni around the world. Matthew Georghiou, CEO of MediaSpark and an IBM alumnus, will share his thoughts on how simulations and virtual worlds can transform e-learning. Georghiou's software company today develops educational games and simulation environments.

Hundreds of IBMers -- across its services, global business consulting and IBM research labs -- have been working together in Second Life for more than a year. There focus is on applying synthetic world and game-like universe techniques to real business and social applications. For example:

--  September's IBM worldwide meeting and virtual press conference with
    media and analysts in the UK, including IBMers from Australia, India, New
    York, California, England, Texas and Seattle. For more information, see
--  Client work in government, entertainment, insurance and the medical
    fields to realistically evaluate and apply virtual worlds and sim-business
    scenarios in marketing, medicine, ERP and government response areas.
--  IBM, in partnership with The Palace Museum, is bringing Chinese
    culture to the world by creating a virtual online recreation of the
    Forbidden City and associated sites in Beijing. This online environment
    will be a fully immersive, interactive world that corresponds
    architecturally and historically to the vast grounds of the current Palace
    Museum, allowing visitors to experience three-dimensional representations
    of cultural artifacts and places such as the majestic Hall of Supreme
--  Public and private meetings in Second Life to evaluate real world
    problems that might be solved in a virtual setting, such as financial,
    retail, industrial and medical operations problems
--  A first ever 3D Virtual Jam, as part of the IBM Innovation Jam, a
    global online collaboration with IBMers, clients and partners around the
    world. The jam included approximately 150 participants from inside and
    outside IBM "jamming" face-to-face in the virtual world of Second Life. For
    more information, visit:
--  Developing a new hire on boarding process to take place in virtual
    worlds, eliminating the need to travel and making it easier to do real-time
    business and cultural training and education.
--  Research in how human interactions can be made more effective through
    live rehearsal, and into what makes virtual worlds so engaging and

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