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December 14, 2006

Second Life


Clay Calls "Bullshit" on Second Life

Clay Shirky demands to see Second Life's hand in a recent article on Valleywag that calls bullshit on the virtual environment's numbers - and the crazy press coverage it's been getting lately.

I've always said there was something over the top about the whole Second life thing. I know it's a media darling right now, but how many people actually play it? And for how long?

When Clay writes, "I have been watching the press reaction to Second Life with increasing confusion" he mirrors my reaction. With every huge article in Businessweek the hype tree grew taller and bore ever more verdant leaves, seeding other articles in other publications. (I don't mean to call out Businessweek except that they published the most outrageous "Virtual Millionaire" article recently.) And while, yes, money in virtual economies is real, as Julian and Ted Catronova have shown (among others), how real is the money in a good if you hold all the goods yourself? It's only worth as much as others will pay for it and frankly, I'm just not sure that a userbase exists that *will* pay, collectively, a million bucks for virtual real estate.

I respect what Second Life is, and I think some of the press is well-deserved. It is a concrete way to imagine what we used to call cyber-space. I just don't think there's anything close to a mass movement represented by its users - just really interesting new ideas. [posted by Jane on Game Girl Advance]

Posted by jo at December 14, 2006 10:54 AM