Second Life (which as you know has been a favorite of the Radar for some time) has made the cover of Business Week. On Saturday, at the Maker Faire, Beth Goza of Second Life excitedly showed me the magazine, turning to the table of contents and showing me the picture of her avatar: “That’s me!” she said. She sheepishly added that people who didn’t spend as much time in SL as she does might not understand, but to her, it is just as much her picture as a photograph of her first-life body. She’s totally right: and for some people, the aptly named “second life” (which could easily be a description of the whole class of virtual worlds rather than just a particular virtual place) is as important as their first life.
There are four stories in the coverage: My Virtual Life, a general intro to Second Life; It’s Not All Fun and Games, an exploration of the economy of Second Life; Virtual Land, Real Money, a profile of Anshe Chung, the most successful business executive in Second Life, who adorns the cover of the magazine; and Virtual Worlds, Real Economies, an essay by economist Edward Castronova, recapping the talk on virtual economies that some of you may have heard him give at ETech in 2003.
It’s quite a milestone that the person on the cover of Business Week was not Philip Rosedale, the founder and CEO of Linden Labs, or Cory Ondrejka, the CTO, but rather the avatar of a Second Life resident. (Philip did get his avatar on an inside page — and maybe even his first life picture as well. (I don’t remember, as I only got a quick glance at the physical magazine, and the online version, alas, is missing the pictures.))