Spending In Second Life

By Josue Habana

Second Life is a virtual world in which every single item and location is designed and created by its users, commonly referred to as 'residents.' However, what sets it aside from many other virtual worlds is the fact that it has a booming economy. Even in the face of recession, residents continued to spend Linden dollars in world, purchasing anything from virtual services, to pixel furnishings and virtual clothes for their 'avatars.' 2009 saw the economy total 567 million US dollars.

The currency of Second Life is Linden Dollars. They are bought through the exchange, better known as the Lindex. These Linden dollars can then be spent on a variety of goods and services made or offered by other users or residents. The residents earning Linden dollars in Second Life can cash them out into a very real currency! This means that Second Life is actually a means of real income for many people.

But what do people in Second Life actually spend their money on? Well, virtual land is big money business. Residents pay both an upfront fee and an ongoing monthly fee to rent the virtual space on which to set up homes, stores, clubs, relaxation or romancing locations or even spoken word venues. There's also plenty of money gets spent on avatar appearance, Second Life fashion, skins, virtual hairstyles and shapes. People like to have their 3d representations looking great.

There's money spent too on services including marketing, on hiring live musicians to perform at clubs and so on as well as on furniture or virtual homes. Essentially, whatever you could buy in real life, you can probably buy a Second Life version.

While many may complain that it's simply bizarre to spend money on items that don't physically exist, Second Life's economy is providing a real life income for many and continues to grow. Besides, do you spend money on your Internet connection? Can't really touch that either, can you?

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