Since I was a child I had older wiser adults advise me on investment matters. ‘Brick and mortar son, the safest way to go.’ “A good property purchase will never depreciate!’ ‘Get yourself a house, you’ll never regret it.’ Now this advice may be all true and good, but in the light of the Global financial crisis and the Sub prime mortgage scam some folks are understandably wary about putting their hard earned into brick and mortar. Yet for some the desire to own their own home has translated into virtual real estate reality. Others still have made a fortune from buying and selling virtual real estate.
Virtual Land Baroness
Have you heard of Ailin Graef? No? Perhaps Anshe Chung? Still no? Unless you play MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) Second Life, then it is unlikely you have heard of her. But Ailin Graef (Her real name) is the first acknowledged online real estate tycoon. In the May 1st 2006 edition of Business week (US) Anshe Chung, the Second Life avatar of Ailin Graef graced the cover of these prestigious pages as the first ever on line real estate mogul. Anshe began by selling small items and providing online services to other players. Her initial goals were humble, wanting to support an orphaned child in the third world using the profits made online, yet has grown into over a million US dollar fortune. You may be asking how is it that an online fortune can be converted into real money? Well, in the game Second Life there is a currency called Linden Dollars, named after the parent company Linden Labs. Members of Second Life can move money between their in game accounts and the real world, with an average conversion rate of approximately 170 Linden Dollars to one US dollar.
Anshe and her husband (Guni Greenstein) now operate a very large online real estate business employing over 80 designers, programmers and artists to produce bespoke online mansions, apartments and parcels of property for their Second Life clientele.
A Brief Glimpse Into Virtual Land “Second Life”
Assets in Entropia
Over the last ten years Online sales records have been made and broken with alarming regularity. Just about anything you can imagine has been bought and sold in an online format.
In online MMORPG universe Entropia residents are encouraged to engage in a free economy, trading buying and selling virtual products between their avatars. The Parent company Mind Ark even released 5 ‘Banking’ Licences’ that sold for a total of $404,000, one of which was sold to Anshe Chung.
Mind Ark has set a stable exchange rate of 10:1 for PED (Project Entropia Dollars) to US dollars.
In 2004 there was an entire island, aptly named ‘Treasure Island’ that sold for $26,500 USD. The following year the ‘Asteroid Space Resort’ sold for a record breaking $100,000. Other smaller property deals were brokered within the Entropia universe. A space ship and accompanying hanger were sold for $12,000 and a virtual shopping centre for $70,000.
Yet just in 2009 the largest virtual property deal ever brokered occurred within the Entropia universe. One ‘Eric Buzz Lightyear’ Won an online auction for the Crystal Palace Space Station at a cool price of 3.3 million PED or $330,000 USD
Since then there have been rumours of the sale of the original Planet Calypso for Six Million dollars have circulated around the internet. This massive slice of real estate is 1,500 Square Kilometres and just in 2010 had over 400 million real dollars worth of revenue pass through it. Details of why the deal fell through are scarce, but make no mistake, there will be larger and larger online real estate deals made in the future.
Thank you for reading