Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Unreal Estate

Stripper: “I love long walks on the beach, dancing in the sand, and I hate jealous avatars. Don’t you just hate jealous avatars?”

I thought the real estate game couldn’t get any more unreal.

I was wrong. Oh, so wrong.

The image above is from the Youtube video embedded below. It is part of an ad for people to come live in “The City of Sand Sleen.” Where is the City of Sand Sleen? On Second Life’s Gor section, of course. You can buy property there. Or rent. Your choice. Of course, the place doesn’t exist in the real world, so that’s a downside for sure. But at least you’re paying for it with unreal Linden dollars.

Except -- Linden dollars aren’t COMPLETELY unreal. You can buy them with US currency. The current rate is 1000 Linden dollars for $4.16 US. Which means $1US equal $250 Linden, more or less. Which means Linden bucks have real value. In fact, they are more valuable than many foreign currencies. Linden bucks are worth almost TEN TIMES what the Columbian peso is worth ($1US equals 2,305 Columbian pesos, according to a currency exchange chart I just consulted.)

So I guess it makes sense to advertise unreal property on Youtube. There’s apparently good money to be made … especially if you live in Columbia.

(Does anybody remember the old saying that goes: Neurotics are people that build castles in the air, psychotics are people who live in those castles, and psychiatrists are people who charge them rent?)

Full disclosure: I have a house in SL Gor. But: such a deal! I’m getting in on the ground floor of this real estate boom before it explodes!

And, finally: is this so different from what the bankers and real estate moguls were doing before their schemes blew up in everyone’s faces? At least the folks in Second Life are being up front about what they are selling.

Below: an unreal estate ad.


Sasha said...

Wasn't there some scrap about SL players might have to pay taxes on their belongings, since they have a real world value (they can be purchased with real money) ?

Pat Powers said...

I don't know about that, but I do know there was a huge flap because gambling was a very big deal on SL, and real world legislators took note, so they made gambling illegal, which took out about half the Linden dollar economy. The current flap is about child avatars, which some RL adults have been using for immoral porpoises, so they've been banned from the mature areas of SL. And so it goes.

Anonymous said...

The current current flap is age verification. Linden Labs is hard targeting the business sector and educational institutions as a way to grow their business, so they need to clean up Times Square, so to speak. I have recently seen a number of articles in diverse publications lauding the extremely vague benefits of conducting business meetings via a roomful of avatars, and just as many articles about the brave new world of some kind of Second Life usefulness regarding the teaching of young folk.

IMO, as a person who has an interest in virtual reality and enhanced reality there is a long way from here to there, but what this means for you is that you should probably go ahead and get your avvies age verfed, if you haven't already.


Pat Powers said...

Thanks, Nissa I already have age verified. I think Linden is wise to avoid the whole child avvie thing. Kiddie porn is never going to be popular with people who have kids, which is by far the majority.