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Virtual worlds and second lives

Over the last year, the virtual world Second Life has grown from a niche activity into a major phenomenon. Thousands are making money from it, and corporations are taking an interest. The distinction between real and virtual worlds is becoming increasingly hazy

By Victor Keegan   April 2007

I am sitting on my patio without a care in the world, contemplating the water as it falls softly down the rocks before splashing into a swirling pool beneath, watched over by gently swaying palm trees. It is an idyllic scene, and it is a shame that not everyone can enjoy it.

Well, actually, they can. This is not the real world, but a three-dimensional simulation created by millions of “residents” in Second Life, the phenomenon that may be taking the internet in a whole new direction. Some say it will be a nine-month wonder, others that it will gradually…

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