Well, it's been an age, hasn't it. I have been busy at home...working as a Fashion Writer - in Second Life !!! What , I hear you say! If you haven't already participated in this virtual world, I can strongly recommend it, particularly if you are housebound.
Gone are the days when it was viewed as a virtual game. Now opportunities are rampant and ripe for the picking. Residents can design, build and create (and eventually make money), promote and publicise real life accomplishments and events as well as network and make friends. Many major corporations, businesses and educational establishments have set up virtual offices in Second Life and there has been a succession of writers, musicians and actors who have also made it their home and stage. To name a few; Suzanne Vega (the first major artist to perform inworld), Duran Duran, who performed on their very own 3-D luxury island, Rapper Chamillionaire and grunge five-piece Hinder who have meet-and-greets with fans inside Second Life , Bruce Willis, who promoted his latest Die Hard movie inworld, by attending a live conferencing event organised by the filmakers - I was fortunate enough to meet and interview the inworld designer of his avatar. The writer of the Star War books, Michael Stackpole, recently did a book tour inworld and I was able to ask him questions and interact with him. I find it hard to imagine how I would do this in real life.
The basics of Second Life are simple. When you join (it is free) you are given an avatar which you must clothe. You can earn virtual money- Linden Dollar - which can be used to buy anything you imagine; new body, hair, clothing, horse, car, house, land, business...
Many people learn the building skills early on and apply it to designing and creating a variety of goods, from hair and skin, to furniture, cars and speedboats. Many buy land and build on it, renting out the space to vendors or people who wish to live in that particular environment. Land owners are able to terraform and landscape their land, adding rivers, oceans, trees, rocks, flowers, grass, underwater caverns, mountains, shopping malls, movie theatres, ice-rinks... only their imagination limits them.
The wonderful thing about Second Life is that there are no barriers to achieving, regardless of who you are or what you do in real life. Working in the fashion industry in Second Life , has been a real eye-opener and I have met some incredibly talented individuals. Some only began their designing endeavours inworld but miraculously, made the jump into real life fashion design and are now reaping the rewards. Many real world designers have opened up stores in Second Life and you can purchase virtual versions of their real life goods.
I recently interviewed the famous inworld model and designer, Callie Cline, who was voted one of the top 100 most beautiful people in the world in Maxim . Not content to leave it there, she has also been interviewed by major editorials such asNewsweek and Elle magazine.
Anshe Chung, the virtual land baroness became the first recorded millionaire in Second Life, in real U.S. dollars. It is believed that her net worth, based on land holdings, linden cash, virtual shopping malls, chain stores and virtual investments, was achieved over a period of two and a half year from an initial investment of $9.95. She began with small scale purchases of real estate, subdivided these and developed themed architectural builds for rental and resale. She has since developed the Anshe Chung Studios, which helps create 3D environments for applications ranging from education to business conferencing and product prototyping.
Well, back to work now; I have my first million to make! If you are inworld and want a chat, IM me or visit my office in Kirkness, Hinterland. My inworld name is Harriet Gausman.