From the 'Why didn't I think of that?' department, the story of the day has to be the first millionaire out of Second Life. Business Week reports that virtual land baroness Anshe Chung - known in the real world as Ailin Graef - has become the first millionaire from Second Life. That's what she's worth in real dollars! After an investment of $9.95 a month for more than two-and-a-half years, a virtual real estate agent has become a millionaire by selling virtual real estate. The press release explains:
Anshe/Ailin achieved her fortune by beginning with small scale purchases of virtual real estate which she then subdivided and developed with landscaping and themed architectural builds for rental and resale. Her operations have since grown to include the development and sale of properties for large scale real world corporations, and have led to a real life "spin off" corporation called Anshe Chung Studios, which develops immersive 3D environments for applications ranging from education to business conferencing and product prototyping.
Apparently she has a real world spin off, the Anshe Chung Studios has offices in Wuhan, China and is currently seeking to expand its workforce from 25 to 50. Photo comes from BL Ochman's What's Next blog.
The stickler is, she hasn't cashed all her profits in yet. Most of it is still stuck in virtual dollars (called Linden dollars), and it may not be that easy to withdraw it. And recent Congressional interest in virtual economies could result in virtual taxes.
Personally, I still don't get it. Why spend real money on a fake life? For some, I suppose, it will be because they think they can make some money from it. But for me, I have enough trouble in the real world.
Tags: Second Life, Anshe Chung,