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Entrepreneur Makes Millions Selling Virtual Land

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the expensive-patterns-of-electrons dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 142

kkleiner writes "How much would you pay for a piece of imaginary real estate? Anshe Chung has made millions renting it. Today, Anshe Chung Studios has 80+ employees managing thousands of rental properties, helping design new 3D virtual chat rooms, and making tons of money on virtual to real currency exchanges. Anshe was the first person whose virtual property exceeded a real world value of 1 million dollars, and Anshe Chung Studios is perhaps the single largest third party developer of virtual property ever."

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Buy virtual realestate with bitcoin now! (5, Funny)

kotku (249450) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202054)

Do two scams cancel each other out?

Re:Buy virtual realestate with bitcoin now! (1)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202544)

Buy something worthless with something of equal value? I'd say yes it does.

The joke's on the person selling the land; they thought they were scamming someone out of something of value.

Dollars, BitCoins, what's the difference? :P

Re:Buy virtual realestate with bitcoin now! (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202686)

A dollar has two sides on which one can gamble real money. Do bitcoins even have sides?

Re:Buy virtual realestate with bitcoin now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202768)

No, but if you pick two large random primes p and q (both congruent to 3 modulus 4), keep them secret but send n = pq to the other person, the other person can pick a random integer x and compute y = x^2 mod n. The other person keeps x secret but sends y to you. You know that y has a square root mod n (if it doesn't, your calculations will show this and thus prove cheating) so you use your knowledge of p and q to find the four square roots of -+a, -+b, of y mod n
One of those will be x so you pick one at random (the "flip"), let's say a, and you send it to the other person. If a == -+x mod n then the other person can tell you that you have won. If a != -+x mod n the other person wins. Of course, this only works if the other person wants to win.

Re:Buy virtual realestate with bitcoin now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203536)

Brilliant - you just described how to simulate a random process, during which you used the phrase 'pick one at random'. Perhaps by tossing a coin?

Re:Buy virtual realestate with bitcoin now! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203330)

Sure, they're shaped like a regular trihedron.

Re:Buy virtual realestate with bitcoin now! (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37206234)

Dollars, BitCoins, what's the difference?

The United States Government takes USD as a bribe not to put you in jail for tax evasion. It doesn't take BTC.

I'm a BitCoin using Patent Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202890)

I am a so-called patent troll and early bitcoin investor.

I am now worth over $20 million, mainly from selling rights to patents that I have trolled. Not bad for a kid from Houston with only an Associate's degree.

Re:I'm a BitCoin using Patent Troll (1)

cjcela (1539859) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204688)

Well, and still, being well off as you describe yourself, you have the need to brag about 'how much are you worth', and have to post as AC .... sad.

Re:I'm a BitCoin using Patent Troll (1)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 2 years ago | (#37206910)

Congratulations, sir or madam.

You have nearly won the contest for who can be the largest drain on our society.

I do hope you are proud of your achievement, the world is a better place because of you.

Please kill yourself now.

Re:Buy virtual realestate with bitcoin now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202954)

It's just the equivalent of renting server space, at an (excessive) premium due to the total pricing control by the platform owner.

Re:Buy virtual realestate with bitcoin now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37206826)

I hadn't heard about bitcoin before. It actually looks like a cool idea. Why is it a scam? Can someone just make as many bitcoins as they want or what?

Apple's Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202056)

This is Apple's fault. I blame Apple.

Imaginary space for empty minds (3, Insightful)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202058)

A new paradiem for the declining economy.
When I was younger, we called it castles in the sky.

Re:Imaginary space for empty minds (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202362)

When you're older, you'll call it a paradigm.

Re:Imaginary space for empty minds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203444)

Si vis noctem, para diem.

Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (3, Interesting)

toygeek (473120) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202072)

Hey look, these are your VERY OWN 1's and 0's! We are taking painstaking measures to make sure that absolutely NOBODY ELSE has this same arrangement of 1's and 0's. Sure, we could randomly generate them and then check them by md5 sum against all other files in our database, but NO, we design them JUST FOR YOU!

Hurry now and we'll throw in not just one set of 1's and 0's, but we'll sell it at HALF PRICE! That's right call now and only pay $1999.99, that's 50% off the normal price of 3999.98!

But wait, there's MORE.

Call within the next TEN MINUTES and we'll give you not just one set of 1's and 0's, but TWO sets for the same price! That's only 999.995 EACH! Yes, that's 75% off each set of 1's and 0's!

They are virtually PRICELESS!

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202458)

Butthurt much? After all she is richer than you.

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202614)

I'm just sorry I didn't think of it myself.

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (5, Insightful)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202538)

Hey look, these are your VERY OWN 1's and 0's! We are taking painstaking measures to make sure that absolutely NOBODY ELSE has this same arrangement of 1's and 0's. Sure, we could randomly generate them and then check them by md5 sum against all other files in our database, but NO, we design them JUST FOR YOU!

A great painting is simply an arrangement of inexpensive paint on canvas, a great novel is simply familiar words rearranged on a page, great music is simply the same notes rearranged, and great software is simply 1s and 0s (NB *never* a random collection of bits). Yet somehow all these things are valued above mediocre paintings, novels and software, and people are willing to pay for certain arrangements of 1s and 0s, not because they are stupid, and all 1s and 0s are the same value, but because particular arrangements of information are valuable.

As we move the boundaries of our world to encompass more of the virtual than the real, information will become increasingly valuable, not less valuable. Digital information is also easier to copy than real-life encodings of information, which forms an interesting counterpoint, but that doesn't mean that 1s and 0s are inherently value-less or that any arrangement of them is the same as any other. Quite the reverse - it is becoming more and more clear that information (or order if you prefer) in and of itself has value, entirely independent of the physical world.

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (1)

CrashandDie (1114135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37205148)

So you mean that if I got a thousand monkeys watching the output of /dev/random, after a few hundred years they'd go "Woah! The Linux 2.6 kernel source code!"?

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202560)

I have no problem at all with buying a pair of cheap knockoff brand shoes. If they have the same arrangement of molecules and do the same job, what do I care what name is on the label? So if some other guy offers me the same arrangement of 1's and 0's at a lower price, what do I care whose name is on the office door... errr, cubicle?

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202684)

You might as well argue that a painting is just some oil on a canvas, a digital photograph is a string of 1s and 0s. Creative works have value because they require effort to create.

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202764)

Creative works have value because they require effort to create.

Wrong. Effort has very weak correlation with creative work's value, although I admit that some works may be valued mostly because they took extraordinary effort to make. Untalented "artist" can waste all the effort one has, to no avail. Creative genius may create a masterpiece in seconds.

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202946)

The genius that went in to that painting was also effort on the part of his brain working its little ass off to come up with a good arrangement.

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203078)

Eh no, creative genius is figuring out what it is that people are willing to call a "masterpiece". At the end of the day it's all about marketing. Throwing some paint in front of a fan at a canvas is unlikely to create anything unexpected, but if the name of the artist is right, people will pay millions for it. If you or I try doing it, however, we'll just be laughed at. Marketing.

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203350)

Throwing some paint in front of a fan at a canvas is unlikely to create anything unexpected, but if the name of the artist is right, people will pay millions for it.

You're talking absolute Pollocks.

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (1)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203472)

I see what you did there. _ XD

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203456)

There's argubly both.

Additionally there's probably both good and bad fan splatter.

But once a reputation is built, there becomes an inherent value.

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204292)

Then why do most artistic works increase in value after the artists death? This is typically when the effort they are putting into creating the work is declining rapidly.

It is commonly accepted in the physical world that the original is worth more than duplicates, even among people who can't actually tell them apart. However in the digital world it is not just that these duplicates can be created so cheaply, nor that they are totally indistinguishable, it is that the isn't even an original.

Value only exists at the moment of origination (ask van Gogh how that works out).

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (1)

darkgrayknight (1679662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37206460)

they are worth more after an artist dies because that artist isn't creating any new art.

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202880)

Some items in virtual worlds are valuable, because they are generating revenue from in-game economy. In Entropia Universe quite large sums of money change hands daily. That is because participants have great trust in this economy.

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203040)

Who cares what it is, as long as someone is willing to pay for it? What's the difference between some 1's and 0's, and say the design on a Luis Vuitton handbag? People are (still) allowed to do what they want with their money and they will. Just sitting there and complaining about how stupid it is will not stop them. But if you were really smart you would be finding out what the next "pattern of 1's and 0's" is, and making money off of their "ignorance".

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203060)

You pay money for the arrangement of 1s and 0s in an MP3 or a piece of software, right? Or maybe you don't. But you'd pay to see the pattern of flashing lights known as "movie" and you don't even leave the theater with the sense that you've acquired anything. Humans will pay for entertainment, and if virtual property lets them enjoy their entertainment more, then it's perfectly reasonable to pay for it.

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 2 years ago | (#37205334)

Nitpick: When you go to a theater, you're paying for the service of displaying the movie, not the movie itself.

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203256)

Hey look, these are your very own pieces of cardstock. Sure, others may have ones that look like yours, but these are YOURS. You can collect them all, each with their own likeness of your favorite player!

But wait, there's more!

Buy ten pieces of cardstock, and we'll throw in a piece of gum, for FREE!

Yes, in case you hadn't caught on yet, I am referring to baseball cards. Point is people have been collecting objects that may seem rather pointless to the masses for decades now. The fact that the medium has changed doesn't really make any difference. I can click on a virtual property and hold an old baseball card in my hand and be equally as disgusted as to the perceived value of each rather worthless object.

Re:Call now and SAVE on Virtually Nothing! (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204290)

It sounds as though you arguing that the whole software, music and film industries are really just a giant scam. Oh wait...

I don't want to live on this planet any more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202078)

I don't want to live on this planet any more :(

It's just fucking bits! Entropy! Their renting fucking entropy!

Re:I don't want to live on this planet any more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37205654)

Absolutely true. That is why I go into internet fora and post messages of despair.

So would that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202104)

make him a Virtual Millionaire?

Re:So would that (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202162)

make him a Virtual Millionaire?

It's a "she", actually.

umm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202128)

Why don't you people go make fun of those who get paid to design video games OMG THEY'RE JUST 1's AND 0's!!!!!

Oooold News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202136)

Dear god, this isn't news. This is ancient and she achieved this from at least 2007 onwards. This is like the equivalent of a newb discovering this cool OS called "lunux" which is for free and thinks he's special. As a SecondLife fanboi myself, please, shut the fuck up up Anshe Chung and focus on the people trying to demolish the walled garden and working on decentralisation and interoperation.

Re:Oooold News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202174)

So you can sit in your mom's basement and play games all day ?
Some day, mom's going to croke, and you're going to be screwed after you liquidate
her junk and house and end up living in a shelter or a drain pipe.
This is a fact, I know unemployed people, and they're not going to be getting a job, ever
I'm employed as a firmware guy (for now), and I'm as scared as hell,
I don't know what my mentally-challenged 55 year old bus boy brother-in-law
will do when the unemployment runs out.

Re:Oooold News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202248)

Re:Oooold News (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#37205506)

Except now with sculpt prims, mesh, shadows, and the new 64m limit they can be much nicer looking penises.

I was there, arrived late so I didn't see the start of the griefing. The event hosts were stupid and unprepared, those kinds of attacks are easily stopped.

Re:Oooold News (2)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202286)

It sounds like Anshe is trying to regain some spotlight here. It never claims that she's actually "made" millions, just that she's got holdings of "millions of dollars worth of online real estate". That's a completely different thing, and if she were to liquidate, I doubt she would walk out with 7 figures.

This is just the singularity hub going along with nearly 10-year-old "wow, people can like own 'virtual property' on teh intarwebz!" typical Second Life garbage hype, I'm guessing at her behest.

Re:Oooold News (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203164)

She does have 80 employee, even if they were all part time minimum wage student, I would expect that she must be pulling in a fair amount for personnal income.
Do that for a few years and she could easily have 7 figures in real world money when this is all over.

Re:Oooold News (1)

evanism (600676) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203270)

don't forget the "in China" bit.

I have a friend who has 250 employees in a coffee cup factory and their collective salaries come to less than mine monthly.

Numbers are meaningless when you have 1.3 billion half starved peasants.

I'm conflicted (3, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202158)

I've never been into Second Life, or World of Warcraft, or any of those online games that've been known for people using real money to buy pretend stuff in the game - but, on an individual level, it's never bothered me. I figure it's those folk's money, so they can spend it however they want... just like I might buy a decent bottle of Scotch.

But somehow, in the aggregate, this bothers me. I can't really put my finger on why, exactly; but it just seems like a sign our society is going down the toilet (or something equally dire). It's probably just because I'm older than most of these people, I suppose.

Re:I'm conflicted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202242)

I'm with you, if only because this is another version of the dutch tulip investments.

Re:I'm conflicted (3, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202350)

Actually it doesn't really bother me, let them just go ahead.

Many real-life games come with expansion packs as well. Settlers of Catan was (is?) a very popular one where people could buy extras to play with. It enhanced their enjoyment of the game, so they put down money to buy more parts for it - no problem with that, is there?

Magic the Gathering is another game that has many expansion options. Many cards are there, some are becoming increasingly rare and have become collector's items. People pay a lot of money for it - even though it's basically just a piece of printed paper. There surely are people trading in this kind of cards, whether they make a living out of it I don't know but it will be possible.

These virtual items I don't think are that different. It's a game, people enjoy it, and are willing to pay extra money to enjoy it even more. Some (probably most) of these traded items may be available to anyone playing enough, others may be created one-off by the game designer, whatever. But not everyone is willing to do all that work, they just want to buy the finished product. And as long as they're not scammed (i.e. they get what they pay for) it's fine with me. Let them go ahead.

Re:I'm conflicted (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203012)

buying wow gold is more like buying extra pawn pieces when playing chess.
it's not like you get to bend the rules in settlers of catan by putting down real cash(well, actually many people would take that cash and let you have extra pieces..).

Re:I'm conflicted (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203210)

It is what people are willing to spend on entertainment
As for the feeling that it is wrong most people have it because of the lack of a physical product. It is something that you will never touch and is totally controlled by someone outside of your control or abaility to contact in person.

Re:I'm conflicted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37205836)

Yeah, it is weird that people are spending time and money on entertainment. These folks need to be doing what everybody else does and plop down in front of the tv in the evening instead of interacting with other folks over the intertubes. As for age, the age demographic for Second Life is older folks, and there is a disproportional high number of people with some sort of disability. It is a cheap and easy way for people to interact. It is basically a 3D chatroom that lets you build things. Personally, I would much rather see mom and pop doing this than vegetating in front of the tv.

Re:I'm conflicted (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37206266)

The bothersome part of all this isn't that people spend money on virtual entertainment, server space and computing time cost money after all, so one shouldn't expect to get everything for free. The bothersome is how it all developed in the last few years. It is no longer about providing the user with something of value, something that has actual real world scarcity, it all turned into a game of playing with human psychology and creating artificial scarcity. It's no longer about paying the provider for the servers and development time, now you are paying them for nothing more then removing the locks they put in place. It's also a model build inherently around a monopoly, as you can't buy your virtual goods from a manufacturer of your choice, once you bought into a game, you have to buy everything around that game from the manufacturer.

Has somebody who used to hex edit his savegames, this really sickens me. Essentially the developers took the savegames (and dedicated server) away from the player and now want money for giving us very limited access to them. It's a loss of freedom without benefit. The consumer becomes nothing more then a mass to milk money from, without ever getting anything tangible in return. And it's not just games, every kind of digital trade seems to develop around that scheme.

That dream of the Internet freeing us from the need for distributors? That bubble pretty much burst, we are now more depended on the distributors then ever, be it the Blizzard, Steam, Amazon, Apple or whoever.

You can sell what others pay for (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202178)

It is that simple. A piece of linen cloth with colorful specks arranged in a certain pattern is called a painting, and if it happens that someone named Gaugin or Degas left those specs on the linen it's worth millions. Why? It's just some pigments on linen.

You don't pay for the pigments and not for the linen. You pay for the arrangement. Likewise, you pay for the arrangement of those 0s and 1s.

Is it worth that? If you ask me, no. But for some people it seems to be, and as long as there are people willing to pay real money for certain arrangements of pigments or pixels, there will be a market for them.

Hell, some people pay me to tell them how to get their IT infrastructure secure. I don't even give them pixels or pigments, I only give them information without a carrier medium (ok, not entirely true, it's most of the time also encoded in 0s and 1s). But by the logic expressed in most other postings here, I shouldn't even get a dime for what I'm doing, yet there are people willing to pay thousands of dollars per day. Because they want it, because they're willing to pay for it, and because I'm willing to sell that information.

Welcome to the market economy.

Re:You can sell what others pay for (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202212)

For crying out loud, why is the concept of Virtual Land so difficult for people to understand? It's basically just web hosting. You don't pay for the 1s and 0s themselves, but for them to be hosted and be usable/capable with the environment you play in. What you pay for is a slice of server time and memory to host your 1s and 0s and to have a bunch of object definitions between two Euclidean vectors whilst also indirectly paying for support and further development of the technology which runs your environment. The term "Land" is just a user facing concept. It's no more crazy than an MMO subscription or cloud hosting when you look at it for what it actually is.

Re:You can sell what others pay for (2)

Egor_but_no_hunch (2444330) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202562)

It's not even market economy, it's just perceived value, and that's been going on since mankind could only talk in grunts, and cave women traded sex for food.

Why is gold valuable? Its not good for anything, I don't think it's even particularly pleasant to look at, Silver is much prettier. It however retains significant value due to its relative scarcity, and the value people place on scarcity.

((I'm ignoring the digital issue, where anything digitised has effectively infinite quantities, because we seem to buy into allowing artificial scarcity to be created... which I don't get at all))

Virtually everything is worth something to someone, so why is this actually so surprising? Would we be shocked if the story read "Man makes millions selling dung / water / himself"???

Re:You can sell what others pay for (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202734)

It however retains significant value due to its relative scarcity, and the value people place on scarcity.

((I'm ignoring the digital issue, where anything digitised has effectively infinite quantities, because we seem to buy into allowing artificial scarcity to be created... which I don't get at all))

You basically give the reason yourself. People buy into artificial scarcity because people place value on that scarcity; they feel they're buying something of more value (and as long as the scarcity is guaranteed, they do).
It's like any "limited edition" product in real-life. There's nothing stopping companies from producing more of these limited edition items.

Re:You can sell what others pay for (1)

Egor_but_no_hunch (2444330) | more than 2 years ago | (#37205416)

I was trying not to basically open up the can of worms that that is music and piracy. Copying an mp3 is only piracy due to the desire to create a scarcity of the item in question. Which in turn is supposed to drive up its value through that scarcity.

Someone who copies this "scarce" mp3 could take pains to suggest that the value of the mp3 is artificial due to the artificial nature of the scarcity, and that if the scarcity is removed, it therefore intrinsically has little to no value any more.

The default value of anything is the cost of the materials plus the manpower to create that copy, which for a digital item is virtually zero.

Re:You can sell what others pay for (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203112)

Its not good for anything,

It's actually quite good for a few things. It never rusts, it's an excellent electrical and thermal conductor, and it's fairly non reactive chemically meaning it usually sticks around for a long time. Best of all, it's pretty rare and you can't print it. Thus it's a great store of wealth. However if you subscribe to the Ben Bernanke school of thought then yes, gold is absolutely worthless and people who think that it makes a decent store of wealth should be mocked for believing in "tradition". You need to trust these little green pieces of paper the US government is printing by the trillions instead.

Re:You can sell what others pay for (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203770)

As others have said on the subject, if you think that little green pieces of paper are worth less than gold, you are more than welcome to trade the little green pieces of paper for gold to someone who wants the paper more than they want the gold. No one is stopping you.

I trust the paper because there isn't a single entity that I've done business with that hasn't accepted them in exchange for goods and services.

If you're making an oblique reference to a gold standard, I respectfully submit that the Federal Reserve having control of the inflation rate is better than no one having control of it (or rather companies that mine gold having control of it). The fiat money system does have it's failings, but it's better than a federally-fixed price for gold.

Re:You can sell what others pay for (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204284)

I have traded quite a fortune of little green pieces of paper for gold, when the exchange rate was 400 pieces of paper for one troy ounce of gold. I traded another stack of green paper for silver too, when the exchange was around 20:1. Ask me again what I think of the little green pieces of paper today? The rest of them have been swapped for Canadian pieces of paper when the exchange rate was 7:10. Now the exchange rate is around 1:1. I think your little green pieces of paper are silly, they just keep losing value compared to my metal and my loonies. This is without getting into how many millions of green pieces of paper you would need to buy my land and lumber compared to how many you needed 10 years ago...

As for the federal reserve having "control" of the inflation rate, I submit that it has as much control as the government has over unemployment. It's easy to hide inflation by choosing to ignore prices that actually are inflating. It's like me doing a medical study on diabetics but first we will exclude anyone with a blood sugar over 100. Plus the CPI only looks at a "basic breadbasket" that has absolutely no reflection with the real products and services used by real people. It is more a measure of survival than standard of living. Sure, you can live with little or no inflation, but you have to adjust your standard of living downwards over time.

But ok, go ahead and believe what you want to believe. I don't have to convince you. I just have to make sure I stay wealthy for the rest of my life, and that my kids have a reasonable chance of success. I think I have managed and am managing. At the end of the day we each take care of our own.

Re:You can sell what others pay for (1)

Egor_but_no_hunch (2444330) | more than 2 years ago | (#37205564)

And those properties makes it valuable to my grandmother how? Yes to electrical engineers, no to my grandmother.

Also, don't get confused with the difference between "value" and "money", the two are not directly related (One man may value something greater than the other, and therefore is prepared to part with more money to obtain it). If major investors in gold decided that the value of gold was decreased in some way, fatuously say a meteorite of pure gold flattens France, it would suddenly become a poor store of wealth as its perceived value would have decreased due to less scarcity.

The only perceived value which is consistent is power, more of the variety of manpower or horsepower...

It isn't so strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202252)

People like to save their wealth in some neutral readily tradeable form. For some people it is old paintings, for others it is old postage stamps, for most of us it is a record of account held at a bank or bits of paper with some fancy promise to pay printed on them. It could be bits of precious metal, crystals dug out the ground.

With the right perception management of the customer people can be persuaded to accept the value of the almost anything which isn't trivial to produce.

The beauty of it is that once you have convinced a few people that a thing has value it becomes self perpetuating because when a few people are willing to pay for a thing, the value increases and others, seeing the prices paid for that thing, will also then consider buying it - increasing the prices still further.

The trouble is that at some point the commodity being exchanged for whatever the new thing is starts to run out, the price stops increasing and the bubble bursts.

The perfect scam repeated around the world daily. Convince two suckers your piece of crap is valuable and, hey presto, it really is valuable.

Re:It isn't so strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202462)

The problem most people have with "Virtual" land, etc, is that it /is/ trivial to produce.

But this is normal (2)

furgle (1825812) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202258)

Maybe I'm strange, but I spend my days managing websites. Which are essentially virtual newspapers / magazines/ posters/ directories/ whatever. So what if it is a online designed 3d room, its just a online facility people pay for.

I feel a strange separation to my work, because I know in 1000 years from now, no one will ever no I was alive or a person. There won't be an antiques roadshow describing how wonderful/shit my work was, my work wont exist it will be simply gone. Ancient potters, blacksmiths, artist, or architects don't have this problem, part of their work can survive. Something physical something real.

I would love to listen to the future documentaries describing how "clever" we are with our "Internet" and "condoms" and our "iPads". But how simple we were for not realising that we should really have a centralised computer attached to our brains, that can simply kill all the sperm in a man's body before we have sex, by analysing our thoughts and electro-shocking our testicles.

I'm kinda sad that I wont see the future.

Re:But this is normal (5, Insightful)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202374)

To be fair 99.999% of people will pass and be largely forgotten within 3-4 generations. Probably 99% of potters, blacksmiths and even architects toil in complete anonymity and their work will be effectively unattributed within their own lifetimes. Don't sweat it. I used to get angry at all this virtual malarkey, then the economy tanked and I realised it was all virtual.

I find your testicle-shocking vision to be intriguing, please tell me how to sign up for your newsletter.

Re:But this is normal (1)

etrusco (576870) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202386)

I hope you're drunk (I sure am :D ). It's not the question whether the medium is "real" or "virtual", the matter is whether the "fact" is real or virtual.

Re:But this is normal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202790)

I feel a strange separation to my work, because I know in 1000 years from now, no one will ever no I was alive or a person. There won't be an antiques roadshow describing how wonderful/shit my work was, my work wont exist it will be simply gone. Ancient potters, blacksmiths, artist, or architects don't have this problem, part of their work can survive. Something physical something real.

I know where you're coming from. When my last web gig was coming to an end, the planning for a new suspension bridge nearby was well advanced. I looked seriously into doing some training and getting a construction job, purely so that I'd leave something more permanent than the orientation of a few magnetic particles, something huge that I could show the grandchildren and say, "I helped make that."

But the planning is still going on, economic reality intervened, and I'm back flipping bits. *sigh* Beats flipping burgers, I suppose. (I know, I've done that too.) Doing modular origami in my spare time helps.

Re:But this is normal (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203418)

Doing modular origami in my spare time helps.

My brother used to have a business doing that.

YOU MOTHERFUCKERS ARE JUST JELOUS !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202368)

Muahahahahahahah !! Eat my virtual shit and die, motherfuckers !!

All the ramblings are just Jealousy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202554)

It think it all comes down to this: Someone is making more money than I am and probably in an easier way than I do. It's more of a "wish I thought of that!"

2006 called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202738)

it wants its news headline back.

This was news back in 2006.
This reeks more of an advertisement though.

Linden Labs playing on people forgetting to pump new users into its dying platform, or a way for anshe chung to pump more people in because yes he, he used his wife for public appearances.. is likely hurting now that people are no longer interested in worlds like second life.

Balant Slashvertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202822)

Kkleiner owns the website that is referenced

Many of the articles are ads for Second Life and other related things

oh and this little gem:

"Singularity Hub is aggressively building up its advertising relationships with new advertisers, so send us an email at hubadvertising@gmail.com today and let us help you reach our targeted audience.

We offer many different banner sizes, including 728x90, 300x250, and more. In addition to the standard advertising slots above, we welcome advertisers to work with us to consider alternative, creative advertising solutions within the Singularity Hub website.

Learn more about our advertising programs check out our advertising page "

Those were the days... (2)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37202838)

Anyone remember this [somethingawful.com] ?

Did you ever buy jewellery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202952)

I recently found a ring (on my property) - heavy but not really attractive (to me). So not really one for gold and diamonds, I took it to a jeweller to get an idea of what I'm dealing with here. Who told me that to buy such a piece today would probably set me back about 11000 (converted to USD). However, if I would sell it to them, they would pay me only the price for the materials, which would give me about 2000 (converted to USD).

I think there are a lot of things like that in the real world. Ever eaten, or had wine, at a restaurant? Ever buy a painting or sculpture? Ever watch a movie? Wearing a watch? Had an internist have a pathologist perform blood test, then prescribe some vitamins to you, that you paid for out of the small change in your pocket?

Guess you all know the joke about the engineer, having been asked to present an itemised bill, wrote: 0.05 for chalk mark, 1499.95 for knowing where to apply the mark.

Not that I would rate the ability to construct virtual real estate anywhere close as valuable, but value is in the eye of the beholder.

Re:Did you ever buy jewellery? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203150)

Don't forget about the taxes you now owe on this windfall. Uncle Sam (or whichever government) worked very hard to earn his share of your luck. I figure you owe him at least half.

PR fluff piece? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37202998)

This was covered a lot in technology media years ago and looks like a PR fluff piece to hype up the company.

failzo8Ps.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203306)

do and doing what 5tand anymore,

Leasing their art. (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203320)

There's nothing particularly earth shattering here. They create art in the form of private islands and then rent said art for profit. This isn't exactly a new phenomenon. They just make a decent chunk of money doing it.

Re:Leasing their art. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37203644)

There's nothing particularly earth shattering here. They create art in the form of private islands and then rent said art for profit. This isn't exactly a new phenomenon. They just make a decent chunk of money doing it.

You're still get a bit sensational here.

She designs 3D models, and gets paid for it. She also gets paid to put those models on a hosted site. Wow, what a concept!
But that's not sensational, so they come up with the bullshit about "Virtual Property" because it's a catchy buzzword and makes it sound like she's getting paid for nothing.

Look folks, all Second Life really is, is a shared hosting space with a 3D GUI for the front-end instead of a web browser. Big Fucking Woop-dee-doo. The only interesting thing is how they rent a limited resource amongst a group of people, and allow those people to directly swap server resources with each other.

Re:Leasing their art. (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37206772)

if you have even used the SL modeler you would know a few things

its so fucking simple a person with zero 3d experience can make a decent house their first try, second your stupid to pay someone to host your 3d bullshit who doesnt actually own the servers. linden labs is more than happy to sell you land. I have never figured this out, its like if my landlord has a landlord, and it gets fucked up all the time, pay for a quarter island for a year? better fucking hope your land lord did.

Too old for this shit (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203590)

I don't understand any of this, can anybody explain it to me in terms that are easy to understand please? I literally do not understand what any of this is. Like in a few sentences: what the hell?

I mean I commend them for making money and building businesses with this stuff, I just don't understand why anybody pays real money for this, what does it do for them and how does this translate into real life (except for the customers becoming poorer of-course)?

Basically I now find myself at this point in life when I can legitimately say about something that I am looking at: I am too old for this shit.

Re:Too old for this shit (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203984)

They derive enjoyment from the product. I think that's the beating heart of the Western economy TBH.

I see no problems here. (1)

Nox3173 (1495587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203878)

People pay anywhere from $5 to $50 for 1s and 0s all the time. Every time a video game is purchased you pay for 1s and 0s. How is this any different? You pay membership dues to various organizations, and once you stop paying you don't take anything with you except the memories. If you have ever paid $100 to go to a Broadway musical, you paid for something you can't touch or own. This is not any different than any other thing you pay money for that you don't get to keep. It's not really that difficult to understand is it? People pay money for things they find valuable. If someone wants to buy virtual property then great. That means somebody got paid and the economy continues. They aren't being extorted or coerced they bought it of their own free will. Silly humans.

This is NOT news (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#37203978)

Anshe Chung was big back when it looked like Second Life might take off. It is not news that he/she has made a lot of money on Second Life. There was even an article here on slashdot two or three years ago. Anshe Chung made a lot of money by recognizing the possibilities early, just before the buzz hit about Second Life. Since Second Life has passed its apogee, Anshe Chung has managed to continue making money by being one of the dominant players in Second Life business (as a result of having gotten there first).
For those who don't understand Second Life, there are a lot of people who believe that there is a business use for virtual worlds. Second Life became big because it was the first virtual world that looked like it had put all of the peices together. Unfortunately (for Linden Labs and those who think virtual worlds are the future), no one has figured out how to do real world business in a virtual world. Fortunately for Second Life content developers (like Anshe Chung), there are a lot of people who are willing to spend a fair amount of money on their entertainment. Today, Second Life is a visual chat room.

2007 called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37204040)

2007 called and they want their story back.

That's the year Anshe made it big in Second Life. SL hasn't exactly prospered since then, and unless she's been very successful elsewhere, either has Anshe. I don't think her SL empire is doing great, and its theoretical value has shrunk as land values have gone to near zero. She can no longer say she owns a lot of value in land. She's now just a landlord. She makes her money on rent, and unless Linden Lab (they run Second Life) has cut her a special deal, the margins are very low. It's a lot of work and a lot of risk (unless LL has made it risk-free for her) for not a lot of money.

She moved from Germany to China to make the cost-of-doing-business work. Hopefully her "employees" do better than most Second Life "employees". An SL "job" pays pennies per hour. I hope hers are paid in real-life currency, even if it's at Chinese rates.

Re:2007 called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37204240)

2007 called and they want their story back.

That's the year Anshe made it big in Second Life.

2007? The following was posted in 2006, and it says she was a millionaire then:

http://www.somethingawful.com/d/second-life-safari/room-101-vs.php [somethingawful.com]

Re:2007 called... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204872)

An SL "job" pays pennies per hour.

or as the Chinese call it, a "living wage."

Re:2007 called... (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37206816)

yea thats a problem on SL, when she did it so did any fuckbrain with an internet connection, now the place is infested with zombies gaming the system all day. and not all from china there are many stupid people who will let their 500 watt computer burn for 2 real dollars worth of tokens "for free" its pathetic

What an old story (2)

TraumaFox (1667643) | more than 2 years ago | (#37204418)

Really, this article is years behind. Anshe Chung hasn't been relevant in the pantheon of virtual land barons for ages.

Toys... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37205218)

Basically, this person makes toys and rents or sells them to people who are willing to pay for those toys. Nothing to see here. Move along.

They must be cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37205282)

Supporting 80 employees on $1,000,000 of revenue? Now I know where the Oompa Loompas went after the chocolate factory bankruptcy.

Re:They must be cheap (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37206848)

they are Chinese, so just a shade cheaper than Oompa Loompas, but yet they have the ability to even make candy total shit

Virtual Prostitute? (1)

Pennidren (1211474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37205316)

I thought this was old news, and that the millions she made were revealed [smh.com.au] to mostly be through "virtual prostitution" of sorts?
And that when some folks found out about her having an interview within Second Life, they hilariously griefed her [youtube.com] .

So *this* is a scam... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37206358)

But a guy who looks like he lives in Middle Earth selling an expensive rickety box to make crappy plastic rings is a genius. Got it.

So the fuck what (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37206718)

This was news like 6 years ago, the real news is that second life has not caved in on itself in a cestpool of land sharks like the one mentioned in the article getting you to "rent" space on a plot and then bans you from it a week later, furries sex slave, and fucking retard noobies trying to cyber fuck every square inch of the place while advertising a "bank" scheme.

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