24 April 2006

BW on Second Life: Virtual World, Real Money

The cover story for Business Week's May 1 issue (link, reg req) is the booming economy inside MMPOG Second Life. The article gets at what makes Second Life so interesting, even though other MMPOGs are (for now) bigger:

"it's a stretch to call it a game because the residents, as players prefer to be called, create everything. Unlike in other virtual worlds, Second Life's technology lets people create objects like clothes or storefronts from scratch, LEGO-style, rather than simply pluck avatar outfits or ready-made buildings from a menu. That means residents can build anything they can imagine, from notary services to candles that burn down to pools of wax..... Besides, in one important way, this virtual stuff isn't imaginary at all. In November, 2003, Linden Lab made a policy change unprecedented in online games: It allowed Second Life residents to retain full ownership of their virtual creations. The inception of property rights in the virtual world made for a thriving market economy."


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