Liden Labs' online world Second Life has become home to a thriving fashion industry bringing in surprising revenue, and a new sort of thievery.
Second Life is an online world supporting an ambitious player-driven, real-money economy. The game has been the focus of many surprising online developments, such as players suing Linden Labs over the loss of virtual assets. Thus far, Second Life has supported many virtual "jobs," most notably land development, but the design and sale of virtual clothing also seems to be one of the most lucrative. Due to taxes taken off of each sale, it's difficult to find exactly how much money actually makes it to the creators, but Linden Labs reports that the top 20 designers made a collective sales total of $140,466 in the month of August alone.
However, the fashion sector also has its problems. The designs can be pirated with relative ease, and theft is a constant threat to a designer's flow of income. In an interview with Second Life fashion magazine Second Style, top designer Ambyance2 Anubis spoke about his experience with thieves not only selling his designs for their own profit, but doing so out of his own store. "It kinda wrecks the whole SL experience," he said. "Like every time we logged in-it was so disheartening. They basically sell our stolen skins from our own shop-like using our merchandise wasn't bad enough. They have to use our land now, too?"
Source: The Wall Street Journal