Going, going, gone. Amsterdam sold for $50,000. Ok it's not the real-life city, but the virtual one created in Second Life which was auctioned off this week on eBay. One of the landmark businesses in Second Life, 'Amsterdam' is modeled on the city's red light district and specializes in adult content.
The previous owner, whose avatar is called "Stroker Serpentine", says he sold the iconic virtual destination "to focus on a new, bigger adult business". Little is known about the city's new custodian, except that he is -- perhaps appropriately -- from the Netherlands.
Amsterdam is one of the most popular sites in Second Life. It's a detailed reproduction of several streets in the real-world city, including a canal, parked Cooper Mini cars, a streetcar, and bicycles. Other features: a large, European-style public square, canal with canal boats, train station and train, and hundreds of shops. The overwhelming majority of the shops in Second Life's Amsterdam sell sexual merchandise. And avatars posing as streetwalkers hang around near the train station, openly soliciting cybersex-for-pay with any avatar who stands still for a few minutes and many walking through.
Most newcomers to Second Life visit Amsterdam early on, because of both the titillation factor and its attractive, detailed design.
In actual fact, newcomers visit Amsterdam because it's continually featured in the 'most popular places' list, creating a virtuous circle. Once users do visit, they'll find it one of the most 'laggy' places in the virtual world, due to the high amount of rendering required.