Ailin Graef is the first reported user to make over $1 million US in Second Life by selling virtual property.
Starting with an investment of just $9.95, Graef, also known as Anshe Chung in the game, built up her business in Second Life over a span of 36 months. Buying virtual properties and houses, Graef bought, redesigned and sold enough properties to make over $1 million US so far.
According to the press release, "Her operations have since grown to include the development and sale of properties for large scale real world corporations, and have led to a real life "spin off" corporation called Anshe Chung Studios, which develops immersive 3D environments for applications ranging from education to business conferencing and product prototyping."
She didn't do it alone, with properties selling for anywhere from $100 to $1000, Graef currently has 25 employees working in China and is looking to double her workforce.
When asked in an interview why Second Life is growing so fast, Graef believes it's about the people and lack of limitations. "It empowers people and renders many limitations that we know from real life meaningless. People also get tired of being treated like passive consumers or even small children by the established virtual world companies. They want to live, love, dare, create and do whatever they want."
She also discussed the fear users have of being banned from her properties, which make up 36 square kilometers of land, using 550 servers to maintain. "When I ban somebody, he is only removed from the regions of Second Life that we added ourselves since January 2005. Yet it is true that people grief far less in our sims than in most other parts of Second Life. They don't want to loose that option of spending time in our regions," Graef said.
Ailin Graef will hold a press conference within Second Life on November 28th to discuss her success.