Second Life, Linden Labs’ online simulator of everyday life, is starting to look a lot more like First Life. Started in 2003, the online, multiplayer video game does not have traditional winners and losers. You convert real money into Linden Dollars and use that money in the virtual world. One of the main attractions of the game had been that you could do just about whatever you wanted. Gamble, extort, cheat, have cybersex, even infringe other people’s intellectual property.
First Gambling, Now Banks
Now it seems that a world without laws is not the utopia is might otherwise seem. Last July, Linden shut down gambling operations in Second Life, apparently leaving players sitting on near worthless virtual gambling infrastructure, often paid for with real dollars. The latest problem has been player created banks offering upwards of 60% annualized returns on deposits. Needless to say, banks defaulted, leading depositors to make an old fashioned run on the banks.
Laying Down the “Law”
Now it appears that Linden is cracking down bythreatening all unauthorized banks with excommunication, or whatever is the Second Life equivalent. I mean you can not sanction a scheme whereby people pay you money under the premise that your virtuosity in getting subsequent people to pay them MORE money will return huge profits to the original investors. That is a pyramid scheme right?
Where Will It All End?
With gambling, usury, harrassment and even trying to game the system all forbidden, how long will it be before the increasing restrictions turn Second Life into a First Life mirror? I mean, if I can’t can’t cheat and assault people while disguised as a compulsive eight foot tall gambling chinchilla, I mean what is the point. Really?