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Monday, October 16, 2006

News service Reuters joins the virtual world

What is the virtual world coming to? The news service Reuters is joining the ranks of corporations vying for space on Second Life, a virtual world that is growing by leaps and bounds. Being new to the virtual world rat race myself, I am only getting familiar with the various sites out there. The way I understand it, like Entropia, the world I joined over a month ago, Second Life has online currency that can be traded in for real life dollars. Recently, an ousted player filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania against the creators of SL, citing that the creators had interfered with a virtual land deal he had orchestrated, costing him thousands of dollars. He's asking for restitution and re-instatement. A lot of brouhaha over a virtual game.

But plenty of folks are taking these games seriously. Even the tax collectors who are just now noting the thriving economy where hundreds of thousands of dollars are changing hands. Some tax laws do apply - those players who cash out their online assets into real life money have to report this as income to the IRS. Still, the taxing concerns are not sure how to approach the online realty and assets that never leave the virtual world. But they are delving into the possibility of implementing some tax laws to cover this (get real).

Anyway, many corporations, ever looking for new markets, are vying for space on Second Life. Now even the serious news service Reuters is jumping into the SL fray, and has opened a news bureau in the virtual world. Starting Wednesday, Reuters will begin publishing text, photo and video news from the outside world for Second Life members and news of Second Life for real world readers who visit a Reuters news site.

At the rate these virtual worlds are merging into real world economy and culture, it won't be long before we're all wired in 3D.

Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 10/16/2006 01:34:00 PM Permanent Link     | | Home


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