this part is interesting - I remember reading blog/news entries about the "virtual sweatshops" that have sprung up to make real cash from playing in the worlds or games. I  don't know if people were doing this when we used to  play in worlds away or alpha world & the moos, but perhaps they were and we never knew about it. (though I don't recall being able to trade for $ outside the worlds). it sounds like people are taking neal stephenson's ideas a step further.. another case of fiction becoming reality.,6903,1436411,00.html

An Internal Currency with Real Market Value

Millions of Linden Dollars change hands every month for the goods and services Residents create and provide. This currency may then be bought and sold on third party sites for real currency. Check out the latest L$ exchange rate at Gaming Open Market. Many of these sites even offer in-world "ATM" machines to facilitate transactions.

• The Developer Incentives Program

Every month, Linden Lab reinvests some of its Second Life revenue into cash-based Developer Incentive awards. These go to the most successful Residents in Second Life, based on Dwell (the amount of time other Residents spend visiting their land). Creating a place where people like to enjoy themselves is not just fun for its own sake—it can also mean checks in the mail.



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