Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Virtual Summer Jobs

Just saw an excellent 3 minute short on Channel 4 about Alayne Wartell who makes $1,000 a week designing and selling virtual shoes, jewellery and flowers in Second Life. Other residents pay virtual money for Alayne's products, so that their characters can then wear them within Second Life. Her products are so popular she earns a vast amount of Linden Dollars (the currency of Second Life) that she then exchanges for real money at the end of every week.She argues that people pay for things that don't 'exist' all the time – from downloading MP3s to watching a film, people are already used to exchanging money for something that cannot be held.Alayne also met her husband Chris in the virtual world – they were next-door neighbours, despite living in Philadelphia and Harrogate respectively. Things moved quickly and six months later Alayne moved to the UK to marry Chris.

My kids have signed up and are making much smaller amounts by doing short tasks and jobs in this virtual world. It beats Macdonalds for a summer job!