Second Life is not really a game, you do not score points for shooting down alien space ships or rescue princesses from despots. It is a virtual world on the internet where people can interact with others and create their own environment and gadgets.

Is this escapism? You bet it is!

Second Life has become very successful, it is now claiming to have at least one million regular users. Linden Labs who are the creators of this virtual world must be in hog heaven, because according to news reports the revenues generated are about $7 million a month.

That is not bad for a service that is essentially free to the customer.

Even very staid and traditional services are cashing in on this service; Reuters recently introduced a virtual news bureau.

There are even people that have given up their regular jobs to earn money professionally in this virtual world.

If the numbers are to be believed, the average user (or resident as they prefer to be called) spends about $7 each month for the ‘free’ service. Apparently not everyone wants or has the technical savvy to build their own house, or make their own clothes, and so prefer to buy these items. The currency of choice is the Linden, the exchange rate being approximately $274 Lindens to $1 US.

Virtual worlds are obviously a growth industry.

Simon Barrett  

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