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Second Life WTF?

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I just heard about this thing, maybe it's hypocritical coming from somebody who plays Uru Live, but to me this sounds somehow pathetic and creepy. Anybody here know anything about or "play" Second Life or another thing like that like Multiverse-based games?


[I]Second Life is an Internet-based virtual world, provided by Linden Lab, which gained a great deal of attention from mainstream news media in late 2006 and early 2007. Through a client program, users interact with each other through avatars, providing an advanced social network service.

While SL is sometimes referred to as a game, in general it does not have points, scores, winners or losers, levels, an end-strategy, or most of the other characteristics of games. Users, who are often called "Residents" amongst themselves, can visit this virtual world almost as if it were a real place. They explore, meet new people, participate in individual and group activities, and buy items (virtual property) and services from one another. As they spend more time in the world, they learn new skills and mature socially (in the sense of learning the culture of the world).

SL's virtual currency is known as the Linden Dollar, and is exchangeable for US$ in a marketplace composed of users and Linden Lab. The Earth-like, but flat, environment is simulated on a large array of servers, and is referred to as The Grid. As of January 2007, the number of users logged into The Grid follows a fairly regular daily pattern, reaching an approximate minimum of 12,000 (around 11am UTC) and maximum of 25,000 (around 10pm UTC).[/I]

[B]Second Life Land Deal Goes Sour[/B]
[I]In what might be a first-of-its-kind lawsuit, a Pennsylvania lawyer is suing the publisher of the rapidly growing online world Second Life, alleging the company unfairly confiscated tens of thousands of dollars worth of his virtual land and other property.

The attorney, Marc Bragg of West Chester, Pennsylvania, says game developer Linden Lab unilaterally shut down his Second Life account, cutting off his access to a substantial portfolio of real estate and currency in the virtual world. He's demanding $8,000 in restitution.[/I]