We admit, we’re not real big virtual world users. Our real lives keep us busy enough. But there’s no denying the popularity of these three-dimensional alternate reality worlds (see World of Warcraft or Second Life).

Now comes Doppelganger, a San Francisco start-up that is taking aim at the teen market. The company launches Monday with a virtual club that features the band the Pussycat Dolls. Teens can design their own avatars, interact with each other, dance, and if they are lucky, chat it up with members of the Pussycat Dolls themselves. (There are deals with other bands, as well.)

The online lounge integrates with AOL’s Instant Messenger, allowing teens to use existing Buddy Lists.

Doppelganger built the club for Interscope Records, which saw a new way to market its music to teens.

We spoke with Doppelganger founder Andrew Littlefield last week about the company and its goals. Littlefield was previously chief strategist at search company Inktomi. Doppelganger was known as Evil Twin Studios until recently but had to change its name because of a trademark conflict.

The company has taken two rounds of funding so far, including a $2.5 million round led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and a $8.5 million round that included Trident Capital.

The podcast of our talk with Littlefield is here.


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