How many people looked at the title and said, “What the hell is Second Life?” (If you’re still raising your hand when I can’t see you, you should probably have someone look into that..) The simple answer might be: It’s a virtual world where you can literally live a second life, but for those who want a little more I broke it down for you.
Quick Run Down on Second Life:
- Created in 2003 by Linden Labs
- Allowed users to create avatars and interact in a virtual world. (Though the creator tries to claim he had the idea prior to Neal Stephenson and SnowCrash..it’s funny how they haven’t been able to prove that..)
- Has its own economy (fake money that costs real money..wait..really? *sigh*)
- Can create locations, interactions, etc.
- Literally a virtual world where you can “live” a “Second Life” (Get it?..No..fine it’s like the Sims..better?)
Anyway, the point here is that no matter how lame everyone thinks Second Life is, apparently they are making money like it’s going out of style. According to the latest numbers, Second Life is pulling down roughly $100 Million a year. In fact, Linden Labs reports that their average for the last three years has been at least $75 Million. So, how does a virtual world make money you ask? Great question and the answer is simple, but disturbing: 1.) Virtual Items and Virtual Land/Property Sales (Yes really, stop laughing.) 2.) Sex related services (Yup..and CraigsList thought they had that market cornered..)
So yeah, note to self, new world domination plan: 1.) Build awesome virtual world 2.) Sell branding rights, real estate, and worthless crap. 3.) Open virtual strip club and “services company” 4.) PROFIT!