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Tue May 30 05:35:40 SAST 2017

Where anything goes

Azizzar Mosupi | 2016-02-08 00:17:47.0
To be reborn, prospective users of Second Life are required to sign up on the website site and buy "linden dollars", the currency of the virtual society. File photo
Image by: © Mario Anzuoni / Reuters / REUTERS

The motto "Yolo" - "You only live once" - has become obsolete in our technology-driven world with the huge growth of the population of the 3D online virtual society, Second Life.

Created in 2003 by the San Francisco internet company Linden Lab, the platform allows users to be whomever they wish through the creation of avatars, personas who live life to the full in cyber space.

To be reborn, prospective users of Second Life are required to sign up on the website site and buy "linden dollars", the currency of the virtual society.

An avid user of the site, Vanessa Love - she prefers to be known by her Second Life name - said Second Life is much more than merely a game.

"On Second Life, you can be anything you want. If you're a girl and want to be a guy, you can be. If you want to be black, you can; if you want to be white, you can. There's no limit to what you can be," she said.

According to Love, each aspect of the Second Life world has been created by users and is up for sale.

"Linden Lab provides only the software ... everything else within the game has been created by people who have joined in and that is how people make money.

"Skin types, different body shapes, nails - anything that you can think of - has been designed and created by a user.

"If you want rain, a tree, land, you have to buy it using your lindens - the only thing not for sale are the drinks, which you get free," she said.

Many believe there is big real money to be made from the game since entrepreneur Anshe Chung became the first real-life millionaire by selling land on the portal.

But Love said the Chung story is the exception, not the rule.

"People think you can make a lot of money through it, because of [Chung] but that is not true unless you have a new idea.

"Because almost everything has been created already."

She said that if what a user has created sells well, the user can make money by converting the lindens exchanged for goods on the portal into real cash.

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