Second Life Economy
The Second Life economy is not exclusively virtual. It extends into the non-digital world and is increasing its reach as the virtual world continues to grow. Second Life (SL) has its own currency exchange so that residents can convert US dollars and other real world currencies into Linden dollars -- the official currency within SL Trade between in-world and real world businesses is growing as an increasing number of virtual goods and services are being sold online from websites that belong to Second Life community members.
Virtual businesses for consumer goods
Businesses within SL simulate real world businesses as well as cater to the fantasy scenarios that don't exist outside. Just surf
the official SL marketplace
and shop for virtual clothing, furniture, magic spells, jewelry, handbags and briefcases, battle armor and even wings...even though they're not necessary in order for your avatar to be able to fly. Want to be outfitted as a warrior princess complete with battle sword and magic mini skirt? How about treating yourself to an imperial crown encrusted with virtual rubies? You can have them all.
Virtual real estate
But the the economy in Second Life is not limited to consumer goods. The big money is in having your own business or owning
virtual real estate,
just like in the real world. Virtual businesses cross over into the outside world when their owners set up regular websites to sell their wares. Since Second Life avatars and accessories have become an art form, their designers have built a list of followers that are anxious to buy whatever they create.
Second Life economic statistics
But virtual real estate is the high ticket commodity in the Second life economy. Buying and selling land and buildings is only available to paid members of the SL community. Land use fees are charged on a monthly basis in addition to the membership fee. But land owners can build palaces, castles in the air or mansions on the virtual tropical island of their dreams. Serious buyers and sellers can track transactions and inventory on a daily basis on
the SL Grid Survey web page.
A healthy virtual economy
Although the pricing and transactions are in Linden dollars, the crafts people, artisans and real estate barons who create and trade all of these digital items can earn a profit in real world money. In fact, the Second Life economy is as healthy as most real world economies -- if not healthier, according to its fiscal reports.
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