Virtual Land

Richard Siklos Fly, be free Fly, be free The Age: Games Review Philip Rosedale, chief executive of Linden Labs, the San Francisco company that operates Second Life, says that until a few months ago only one or two real-world companies had dipped their toes in the synthetic water. But more than 30 companies are now working on projects there and dozens more are considering them. "It's taken off in a way that is kind of surreal," Mr Rosedale says. ....Linden Labs makes most of its money leasing "land" to tenants, Mr Rosedale says, at an average of roughly $US20 per month per "acre" or $US195 a month for a private "island." The land mass of Second Life is growing at about 8 per cent a month and now totals "60,000 acres", the equivalent of about 246 square kilometres in the physical world. Linden Labs, a private company, does not disclose its revenue....As many as 10,000 people are in the virtual world at a time....(a US Congressional committee is reportedly considering taxing virtual assets and incomes). ...Sony BMG is also toying with renting residences in the complex and selling music downloads that people can listen to throughout the simulated world..."Users are the content - that's the thing that everybody has a hard time getting over," says Michael Wilson, the chief executive of Makena Technologies, which operates its own virtual world,

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