Second-Lifers, start hitting the virtual ATM

I haven’t been a great big fan of Second Life. As I’ve written previously, I find it a creepy environment that distracts from communications that could be conducted more easily, and reliably, using video and audio conferencing tools that don’t require massive recurring credit card charges for play money to create environments in which to meet other people.

Now, as Linden Labs exercises some of its awesome TOS powers to arbitrarily seize the casino properties that its subscribers have bought and paid for, simply because Linden Labs decided (apparently with encouragement from First Life law enforcement authorities) to change the rules of the game. Remember, all you SL millionaires, you consented to give Linden Labs this power to control all aspects of your wealth when you agreed to the TOS.

When I worked on Wall Street, I learned about the concept of the “sovereign ceiling.” I have seen first-hand how governments use their powers to control currency flows — thereby collapsing their own economies as they devalue assets and currencies in the process.

I wonder how long the illusions about the “altruism” behind Second Life will continue? Pay no attention to those terms of service behind the curtain…

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