Second Life millionaire is Chinese

Let me show you an apartment
Second Life is a popular virtual reality game. According to Red Herring, Second Life has more than 1.6 million users, who "generate more than $650,000 each day through the sale of digital goods, a virtual economy that has made it possible for many to make a living solely through the creation and sale of virtual goods."

Red Herring also says that Second Life now has its first virtual millionaire, a dealer in virtual real estate. You will not be surprised to find out that she is a Chinese woman.

Hubei-born Ailin Graef, known in Second Life as Anshe Chung, runs her virtual real estate agency, Anshe Chung Studios, with her husband Guntram Graef. They offer land and houses in places like Dreamland Asia, the Mainland, Gothica, and Furries.

The Red Herring article is here, Anshe Chung's real estate agency is here, and you can read some controversy amongst Wikipedia contributors about whether Anshe Chung should be included in the encyclopedia here (or here for readers in China).

Which brings us to science fiction writer William Gibson, who coined the word 'cyberspace' and whose novels have been describing virtual worlds since the 1980s. His blog is here.

There are currently 5 Comments for Second Life millionaire is Chinese.

Comments on Second Life millionaire is Chinese

Anshe Chung also banned "PR Flacks" from Dreamland, somewhat famously.


As a PR flack, I, of course, take umbrage. Fortunately since I think second life is complete wank (apparently alone among PR people, who are otherwise hyperventilating about Second Life), it's only a little umbrage.

[[Edited make link direct -- JDM]]

You missed the core of the story, Danwei!

She's a virtual millionaire because she has a team of cheap programmers in Wuhan producing content.

So she isn't a "real estate millionaire" --- she gets large bits of land, develops it with the "content" her migrant workers create, cuts it up, and sells it.

She's a "real estate development" millionaire -- using exactly the same ingredients as all the others of her ilk in China -- except she's doing it online.

It's only real estate if you choose to buy into the Linden metaphor. Anshe Chung's got a successful dot-com startup with a stable of programmers designing custom, specialized web-apps, a company that happens to represent itself as a particular avatar in an particular online forum. The twist comes in how those apps are deployed, but beyond the whole "virtual real estate" metaphor, I don't see any particular similarities between Anshe Chung and brick-and-mortar developers.

Hi :-)

Will, the Dreamland community (not me or ACS) decided to ban black sheep dishonest PR people from their continent.

Joel, I think what is special is that I was actually roleplay in something that first I have think was one game. Just like I have roleplay in other game world and become "rich" there, except in worlds before I have not exchange for real money. I am not like the goldfarming business people or marketing companies who make some avatar just as the tool to earn money.

Only much much later I have really begin hire people in real life and setup one real company. At that time I already had achieve high net value before I even hire one person in Hubei. You are right of course that meanwhile the company is not only realtor company but real estate development and service company :-)

William Gibson was important, but the Second Life concept was really invented in Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. I hope he returns to the future soon.

China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives