More on the economy

Further to my last post, although the Second Life introductory pages claim that “thousands of residents are making part or all of their real life income from their Second Life Businesses”, their own statistics put this into perspective. In the month just past, out of 987,958 residents who logged in, 49,156 had a positive cashflow, but only 950 made more than US$1000, and a mere 157 took home over US$5000. 24,132 residents earned less than US$10, which I guess is part of their income, but about as big a part as the money they find down the back of the sofa.

There just isn’t enough big spending going on. The total transaction count for October might be an impressive 7,880,293, but 94% of those deals were worth less than US$2, or the price of a (cheap) cup of coffee. Only 101 trades topped US$2000, in an economy with nearly a million residents. That’s like a hundred used car sales being the most notable economic activity in a city the size of San Francisco.

I’m going on a bit about this, because I’m interested in the idea that it is possible to slip the chains of the dull everyday world and prosper purely through virtual activity. It has an almost religious quality to it. I’d like to meet some people who truly believe, to see what sets them apart from sceptics like myself, and to find out how they deal with the disappointments they must experience.

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