A couple years ago I tried Second Life but didn't devote the time necessary to figure out what was going on. Too busy blogging on ActiveRain I guess. It was kinda interesting but, ehhhh - Not too realistic. Everybody was beautiful, the weather was beautiful, buildings were beautiful. My life's OK just the way it is but it would have been nice to have ripped AB's and long wavy hair again (yeah, like I ever did).
But I remember big name campanies like IBM, Coldwell Banker & Microsoft spending real money to promote products both real and virtual in the game. There was even talk of real people earning real money as virtual real estate agents selling digital properties. And real people getting real divorces because of virtual flirtations and affairs. Well, if everybody there is beautiful, why not.
Now I read about a another real person spending real money in another virtual game called Planet Calypso. Planet Calypso sounds alot like Pandora (AVATAR) except apparently there's a lot more money grubbing going on. Even though the game is 'free', sounds like it's going to cost you some scratch if you want to get ahead.
So this dude named Buzz 'Eric' Lightyear (I don't know if that's his real or virtual name) spent $3.3 million Project Entropia Dollars (PED's), the equivalent of $330,000 American, to buy a virtual space station. Supposedly the way the game goes, you can cash in your PED's for real cash anytime you want - plus most players claim you do have to spend some real money in pursuit of virtual dinero - so one way or another this guy actually invested $330,000 honest to goodness dollars in this enterprise. The Buyer is confident he will make his investment back by charging others to visit his place to purchase goods and hunt for treasure.
On the other hand, if nobody stops by he will have spent thousands of hours online buying, selling and bartering to earn this $330,000, not to mention any real money invested, which would then be worthless. He'll have a nice looking digital structure that you can only see through a computer that he won't be able to sell for a fraction of the price. And if he has a real wife (what're the odds?), she would probably divorce him & clean out half of any real or virtual assets he has left, possibly forcing him to get a real life.
Hmmm, sounds more and more like the real real estate market. I wonder if he used a Realtor® to buy the place or if it was a FSBO? And what's the commission structure on virtual commercial property?
I wish I had that kind of time. And that kind of money.