back to article Second Life mounts assault on reality

The felchland Second Life refuses to stay out of our synapses despite some of our best efforts. This month we find the puerile game creeping into our courts and into popular prose. The Washington Post - the poked lady - brings us the tale of six virtual vendors suing New Yorker Thomas Simon for allegedly making off with their …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think calling him "Daniel Sadville" is unnecessary. It's bad enough being called Daniel Turdman".

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Danger, Will Robinson...

    " tags around their necks to designate them as "A-list performers,"...that ...can be counted on to do what they're supposed to, move as expected, react as designed, and so forth..."

    Whereas the untagged ones (or ones that just slip by QA) will spazz out and totally uppercut some kid? Or just lie there inert?

  3. Gregory J. Neumann

    I see possibilities here ...

    1.) We Yanks finally figured out how to make the REAL money in Sadville:



    2.) In keeping with the true spirit of Sadville:

    Throw out the suits and force them back to a Sadville "joined-thinking-collective-(un)consciousness" judicial "consensus". Somehow "system" doesn't seem quite the right term for Sadville, does it? :-P

  4. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble.

    "And anyway, my role is journalist, not builder." ..... If you can't build, you can't create.

    If you can design and build, you can create with vision. And the better the designer and builder the greater the vision created and made Real.

    And speaking of Reality, surely it only last for a QuBit Instant before the Future renders it the Past. Does that therefore mean that the only Real Thing which Matters and has any impact upon the State of Life is in Virtual Fact the Future ......which is to be Imagined and made True in order to be Real.

    That would therefore logically make all Lying ..... a Crime against Humanity?

    Hmmmm .... You can watch some first class squirmers/prime candidates here .... :-) ... following in a long and ignoble tradition.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I wonder if this Mr Sadville character has considered writing film reviews. He could generate quotes to go on the posters. If he ever meets Earl Dittman, quotemonger extraordinaire, they would create such a dense bubble of hype that the universe would turn bright pink.

    I choose Paris Hilton as my avatar, because she is an expert on inflating things beyond reasonable limits.

  6. Phil

    Thank god for that

    After a couple of posts from amanfromMars that made some sort of sense, it's good to see he's back on form.

  7. Cameron Colley

    Let's hope this case is dismissed.

    While I feel for the creators of this virtual property (I know first-hand how much time it takes to create this stuff) I sincerely hope that the guy is found not guilty. Why? Because this is play money in a play world -- the moment the US legal system gets it's filthy paws involved is the moment the game becomes unplayable. The US has already banned gambling in Second Life, which has taken away an aspect of the game many people seemed to enjoy, now it looks like the currency may be either taxed, or made illegal (read the comments from the linked article -- the arguments make sense) if the US Legal system gets involved. This is supposed to be a "virtual world" where the laws are made by those who live there -- not somewhere else for the US and other countries to impose their industry-sponsored laws.

    Yes, I'm afraid I am one of the sad no-lifers who pay real money to play in a virtual world. Perhaps I should be sensible and spend my money on XBox Live or something -- that would be much more constructive...*

    *I find the double standards when talking about how people spend their money on "virtual" property a little strange at times. Still, I don't loose any sleep over it (too busy making virtual gadgets).

  8. Ned Fowden

    @Cameron Colley

    "Because this is play money in a play world"

    are you sure you've ever been involved in secondlife ?

    the amount of actual £ $ € traded on a daily basis is astounding for a virtual community.

    the fact is that the people prosecuting are doing so primarily for the simple reason, that their virtual property is being stolen.

  9. Cameron Colley

    @Ned Fowden

    I have, indeed, spent many an hour, and a fair amount of real money, in Second Life. I do so, however, in the knowledge that "Land" is space on a third-party server and that my "possessions" are entries in a complicated database. A quick perusal of the support forums should make people realise that it's not wise to spend any real money you can't afford to loose in Second Life (hell, Linden Labs themselves seem to break things and delete inventory items every now and again).

    It has also been noted that Linden Labs don't appear to take copyright seriously -- yet another reason not to treat SL too seriously.

    The problem here is that someone is starting to take the flow of virtual money to real money for granted. Now they have attracted the attention of the US legal system, you can expect the possibility of tax on all L$ earned, or worse.

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Way to go, SLers

    Continue with the lawsuits and stuff and I think you'll be brutally dragged back into Real Life with a note from the tax man.

    You know, the guy you can't evade however many flying penises you throw in his general direction ?

    Keep whining about the money you're "losing" and I think his ears are going to perk up to the fact that there is a market operating without any taxation oversight. And we all know how the tax man hates to leave something without supervision.

    So go on (and on and on as you are prone to do), I'm waiting to know what the IRS percentage will be.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ned Fowden

    There's no such thing as "virtual property". For something to be property, it must be goods. There's no such thing as intellectual property - there are copyrights, patents, trade secrets and trademarks.

    There is no such thing as virtual currency. There are worthless game tokens which have a de facto exchange rate for real money. There is no such thing as virtual land, though by paying real money to Linden Labs they will attach certain file permissions to particular data table entries.

    You can draw a picture and upload it into the game so that avatars can wear it as trousers. And you have copyright on that picture. But there is no established financial value for such pictures - nobody every buys or sells them for real money, only for worthless game tokens.

    This is where people get to be very, very stupid indeed. If I choose to buy some game tokens with real money then I am buying entertainment for a while. As soon as you ascribe any sort of monetary value to the game tokens, then you are dealing with an unregulated bank. How stupid are these people?

  12. Alan Jenney


    Just because something is not "tangible" in the real world, doesn't mean that it's not worth money or fighting for. Just look at the software and music industries.

    The points that other people have made about copyright abuse on Second Life are very true. When a "painting" or a "sound effect" that somebody is "selling" consists merely of an image scanned in or sound sampled and uploaded (that are clearly not the user's own work) and then they make their L$ "money" from it, that's fraud. Making real money from other people's work as "Linden dollars" which can be exchanged for real-world cash.

    Even those who spend hours building unique items sometimes trade on a real-world company's name - I've seen "Nike" trainers or "Rayban" sunglasses that are in the image of the real-world items, but I seriously doubt they have any connection with the real-world companies.

    Given that precedent, it's rather difficult for someone to call "foul" when their sex-bed scripts get copied. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this as it may have serious implications for all the above if the copyright and trademark holders get busy.

  13. Luther Blissett

    "green tags around their necks to designate them as "A-list performers,"

    Sadville thus functions not as a proxy for today, a refuge from "toxic friends", a hyperreal society mapped onto the cool blue screen, glowing with the nostalgia it never had, but as a very real simulation, run with full 100% reflexivity, of the New Age, where virtual green tags are replaced by very real subcutaneous RFID chips. Watch Sadville - watch it for signs that the simulation run is being wound down. You know what is next.

    How stupid are these people?

  14. Anonymous Coward


    ... by name, Terdiman by nature.

    I'll get my comment_icon_coat.

  15. Daniel B.

    Toy money ... not that much.

    Even though the in-world L$ are "legally" just tokens, well some people did buy into the hype and do an actual living from in-world businesses. Though most of them seem to use their net "income" to pay the land fees or other in-world stuff, but they do use it.

    That's why the Ginko bank run and the Tizzy Bank scam had a really bad effect on the SL economy. I've seen at least one in-world biz go down in flames because of this, and well, I lost 20k of those "toy L$" on one of those "toy banks". Do the math, and that is roughly 75 bucks... and I was a minor depositor. So, its understandable when someone loses sometimes thousands of dollars, virtual or not.

    Me? Most of the L$ comes from my premium stipend, so basically there is no "real-world" investment involved. Not that I would invest into anything there, mind you. I've seen three banks go poof (one where I had L$), an entire industry shafted overnight (casinos) and some dudes "doing an Enron" there.

    The downside of regulation is that it would bring all the nasty "real-world" rules into the system, and it would now end up being as dull as your real-life. Oops!

  16. Anonymous Coward


    I've got it! He's Sadville's avatar!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pyramid schemes

    Are the rules most financial authorities enforce against pyramid schemes applicable in Second Life? I can see such schemes raising decent amounts of toy money if not.

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