Monday, August 16, 2010

Spending In Second Life

Guest post By Josue Habana

Second Life is a well known virtual world in which every single item of content is created and designed from scratch by the residents, or users of the platform. However, Second Life is simply miles ahead of the competition for one main reason. It has a booming virtual economy. Even as the real world struggled with global recession, Second Life residents continued to spend their 'Linden dollars,' and 2009 was a record year. Residents spent the equivalent of 567 million US dollars in Second Life.

Second Life has its own currency, known as the Linden Dollar. Residents can buy Linden dollars using real world currencies and spend them in world. By the same token, Linden Dollars you have can be cashed out into real world currencies, meaning that Second Life has fast become a genuine means of a very real income for a number of talented designers.

But what on Earth are Second Life residents actually buying with their Linden Dollars? Well one of the biggest purchases for many is that of virtual land, which can be a place to house a shop to sell your items, a club or venue to host events or even just a virtual home, kitted out with a house and furnishings. There's also big money being spent on avatar appearances. It seems the Second Life users are keen that their characters look the part with thousands of residents shelling out on skins, Second Life clothing and virtual hairstyles.

There's also no shortage of cash spent on services in world. These services might include marketing services to enlist the help of specialists in marketing your own products or even on a live musician or comedian to perform at an event at one of the many clubs or live performance venues within Second Life.

For many people who have never been involved in Second Life, to hear of people spending such copious amounts of money on items and services that simply do not physically exists is often difficult to understand. However, the economy within this booming virtual world is a real income for many talented designers. And for anyone who still can't get their head around it... you pay for your internet connection right? Can you touch it? Thought not.

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