Second Life Article

Dan Enders

April 19, 2010

Land In Second Life

Ever since Linden Labs created Second Life in 2001, the 3D virtual world has been quickly growing into a complete and total alternate world. Now, people can even buy land and houses on Second Life.

Compared to buying property in the “real world”, buying property is second life is very simple and cheap. In order to buy land on Second Life, a user must first exchange “real-life” money for “Linden Dollars (L$)”, the Second Life currency. Like the real world, the exchange rates between the US Dollar and Linden Dollars fluctuate based on supply and demand, but the rate has appeared to remain fairly stable at about 250 L$ to the US Dollar. Other ways that users can make money in Second Life is to get a virtual job or even win prizes at events.

Like the “real world”, there are countless different types of land in Second Life, from snowy mountains to sandy beaches. There are also different sizes of land and private and mainland estates. Mainland estates are estates and land that are controlled by Linden Labs and rented or bought by users, but private estates are purchased by individuals and have nearly complete control of the land. All of these factors, along with a few others determine the prices of different estates. In order to purchase land straight from Linden, however, users must first upgrade their account to a “Premium Account”.

Generally, in the long-term, buying an estate in Second Life is cheaper than renting one. However, the owner of a Second Life ­estate determines monthly and annual costs for a rented property. Although larger plots of land are overall more expensive than smaller ones, they are cheaper per square meter. For example, according to Angel Fluffy, a 512 square meter estate costs about US$25 upfront and six to ten US Dollars a month to maintain (Fluffy). An island estate (65,536 m2) from Linden, on the other hand, costs US$1,675 upfront, and US$295 a month to maintain (Fluffy).

After purchasing a plot of land, Second Life users can then build a house and personalize it with a variety of furniture and accessories. Second Life users can buy anything from a couch for their virtual living room to a Ferris wheel to add to their backyard. Users can even control aspects of their virtual home, such as the weather and the time of day. With a plot of land, Second Life users can build a store to sell their products or even an amusement park to entertain themselves and other Second Life users.

In the virtual world of Second Life, truly anything is possible. Users can buy anything that they would like including houses and lots that they could never afford in the “real world”.

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