In the Second Life economy, more than $600,000 changes hands every day. Now the virtual world is about to play host to a BBC show about that economy and how people have made real money from it.
Second Life's in-game currency, called Linden dollars, can be earned in a variety of ways. Some people, for example, hold down virtual jobs on the site while others sell unique clothing styles. Linden dollars also can be exchanged for cold, hard cash on the company's own version of the stock exchange. One Second Life virtual-real-estate agent recently claimed to have become the game's first real-life millionaire.
The possibility of making real money from virtual creations is the subject of the latest episode of the BBC show The Money Programme, which is scheduled for broadcast on Friday. The episode features reporter Max Flint, who explores moneymaking options in a variety of online worlds--including Second Life and Lord of the Rings Online. The show will also be the first by the BBC to be broadcast simultaneously on traditional TV and within Second Life itself.
The Money Programme was first broadcast in 1966, and is a popular finance and business affairs TV show in the U.K., broadcast on the BBC2 channel. Its guests have included Britain's prime minister, Tony Blair, Virgin Group entrepreneur Richard Branson, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
This episode of The Money Programme can be seen at the Rivers Run Red Cinema in Second Life (coordinates 200, 123, 45) at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. British Summer Time.
Emma Boyes reported for GameSpot UK.