Blink and you'll probably miss it, but there's now an Apple Store in Second Life - complete with a Genius Bar.

It's unlikely the store is officially-sanctioned by Cupertino, so it's eminently possible that Apple's ever-active legal beagles will jump in there to get the virtual shop shut down, but it's open for business right now.

In case you aren't aware of Second Life I'll quickly tell you about it. It's a virtual world, with no story line. Players create avatars of themselves in the space, and wander around a virtual and always changing planet.

The game - which is available for most computer platforms now - also offers players a range of editing tools which can be used to alter personal appearance and to create new areas of the virtual world.

The game is becoming a new MySpace phenomenon. Millions of players now explore the world, which has spawned its own range of online, offline and even virtual in-game magazines.

In the environment you'll find shops, parties, clubs, live gigs and also other people.

It's becoming big business, too: Some labels and other major brands are investing in a presence in the place, and some bands are already planning to create their own islands in which to play live (but virtual) sets, (including Snow Patrol).

Returning to the Mac for a moment, you can visit the virtual Apple Store (complete with 'Think Different' posters) in Second Life - but only if you install the software and set up a character first - here, for as long as it lasts.

The SL Apple Store, today