Although many would say that Second Life is not a game, but a social phenomenon, I think it is a bit of both. You are still creating a virtual avatar, roaming virtual environments and doing virtual things, although you are not alone, but part of a social phenomenon with thousands of other people. So how can something virtual, something from a “game,” like the Linden dollars used in Second Life, be converted into real-life dollars to spend? The in-game economy allows for this and the fact that you are playing against other people who are willing to spend a few bucks in this virtual environment answers your question. But to use the Second Life economy, we need to understand it.
Second Life – Virtual Economy
The entire economy of Second Life is based on the in-game currency, called the Linden Dollar, or simply L$. About 270 Linden dollars makes one US dollar, and you can easily transact from Linden dollars to US dollars (or various other currencies) using Second Life’s currency exchanges.
With millions of Second Life residents buying and selling items, land, and property, it’s not hard to understand how this economy comes to life. In fact, virtual economy analysts at the Metastat Bureau of Statistics estimated that Second Life will have a GDP of over $550 million in 2007. $550 times 270 = lots of Linden dollars flowing freely into Second Life’s economy.
It is easy to convert virtual money into real money in the world of Second Life and you have several options to do so. First of all, you can go from Linden to real dollars using the Linden Lab forex brokerage, which is closely monitored by the creators of Second Life. Or you can try the LindeX currency exchange, which many residents prefer to the old currency exchange offered by Linden Labs. Last but not least, if you want better management of your transactions, you can use a third-party currency exchange program , but please note that you are using them at your own risk.
As you can see, it is not very difficult to go from Linden to real dollars and you have several options at hand. However, exchanging money is not the hard part, but doing it is! It’s not easy to make money as a beginner in Second Life, but if you work your way up and become “rich” in the virtual world, you can easily start earning real dollars and earning a living. Many qualified residents have built successful businesses within Second Life that allow them to earn real money. As in real life, Second Life has its giants, with various real estate owners or venue owners generating thousands of real dollars every month, since they can basically live off the profits made in the virtual world of Second Life.