Second Life Statistics
Linden Lab publishes the raw data for Second Life statistics
so that interested residents can draw their own conclusions about the economic health of the SL community. Making this kind of information public is important since the Second Life economy is very much tied to the real world via the Second Life currency exchange.
, which is the official Second Life currency exchange, allows residents to purchase Linden dollars (L$) at the most favorable exchange rate right from their viewer while they are inworld. Avatars that need new costumes, weapons, tails, pets or furniture can trade US dollars for Linden dollars to make their purchases as needed, from the convenience of their viewer. The ease of exchanging currency whenever and wherever it is needed keeps trade moving freely, and contributes to the overall health of the SL economy.
Second Life and real world economies
Second Life statistics show that the SL economy mirrors real world global economies, even in terms of consumer behaviors. Some residents are only interested in shopping for clothes, enjoying dancing in the nightclubs, visiting virtual fantasy islands and furnishing apartments in their small corner of the world. As long as they have enough Linden dollars in their accounts to buy a new pair of boots, a hairstyle or perhaps a pair of fairy wings, they’re happy.
But many other residents have set up real businesses building objects for the consumers to buy, creating scripts or developing land, and they need to follow the economic trends within SL very closely to safeguard their investments. SL statistics report that millions of Linden dollars exchange hands monthly for objects, services and virtual real estate.
Virtual commodities, real money
For example, the cost of buying virtual handbags, backpacks or briefcases on
Second Life Marketplace
is between L$1 and L$2,000. The cost of buying pools, hot tubs or saunas is between L$1 and L$6,000 or more. And the cost of buying a parcel of land, depending on whether or not it has been developed, can be between L$500 and L$7,000 and more. So although the commodities that are traded within SL are virtual, the money that changes hands has real value.
Virtual real estate developers and artisans who create objects and scripts need access to the Second Life statistics in order to monitor the price and availability of land, the currency exchange rate, number of users who log in, monthly consumer spending trends and overall business profits. Just like in the real world, analyzing these economic indicators provides information that businesses need in order to plan for their futures.
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