MediaBistro reports that a company called Twinity has received €4.5 million in venture funds on the launch of their new project. Here's how Twinity explains itself:

In the 3D online world Twinity, a free virtual world, you can create your own avatar to party with friends and other avatars, go shopping and communicate via 3D chat. Get creative and design your virtual apartment in an authentic real virtual city. Explore Berlin in 3D with other avatars as the first of many virtual cities in Twinity and communicate via 3D chat. Join now and discover the possibilities Twinity offers you as your new virtual home. Twinity is not a traditional online game (MMO or MMOG) but a mirror world, which means a 3D online world or a virtual world that mirrors the real world.

Twinity is also reportedly planning virtual Singapore and virtual London. Here's a video of Berlin:

The idea here—Second Life meets Google Maps—is something that I'm surprised isn't a bigger deal already. I'm sure Twinity will partner with Berlin businesses to open virtual storefronts that mirror the real ones, creating a closed-circuit mini-internet (the Twinity Minternet?). But I'm not sure how they plan to beat the creepy Second Life stigma, because that video clip, to me, looks like Second Life without the furries, the flying, or the ability to change your environment. I'm not sure that's what people want in their life as an avatar.