Monday, February 1, 2010

Career Change

I´m considering changing career, quit my job and dedicate myself fully to virtual worlds. What are the risks? How long until vws are used by the masses. Why does my horoscope not give me any answers? Thank you tiger.

Thank you for your question, my friend. Changing careers always entails risks. One must deal with learning new skills, and usually with completely starting over, at the bottom of the totem pole as it were. Trading in a meatspace career for one in the metaverse is not something I would recommend, at this time. Unless you are already among the fortunate few who have managed to earn a living wage via virtual commerce the probability of doing so is quite small. The vast majority of Second Life(R) entrepreneurs either operate at a loss or manage to just break even.

The last economic report released by "the Lab" (
2009 End of Year Second Life Economy Wrap up
) indicates that the Second Life economy is growing; but, it still has a long way to go before it becomes a part of every day life. The most telling number, in this tiger's opinion, is that for repeat log-ins, meaning those users who actually return. At the peak in December of 2009 that number was only 769,000. While still a record high it is hardly what one would classify as global domination. As a measure of success, "the Lab" offers a figure for the amount of lindens traded for US dollars and then transferred to Paypal. They call this the Gross Resident Earnings which they peg at US$55 million for 2009. Sounds like a lot; but, that equates to only about $71.50 for each of those repeat log-ins. Naturally, these earnings are not evenly spread. Only around 50 accounts earned more than US$100,000 in 2009 with the top 25 pulling in about US$12 million. That leaves only US$43 million, spread among everyone else.

In my estimation we are still many years away from full adaptation of virtual worlds, perhaps even a decade or more. Besides the economic realities, the wide acceptance of virtuality has many obstacles to overcome. Chief among them is the perception of virtual worlds as merely a game, or as little more than a vehicle for nerds to realize their sexual fantasies. There is also an issue of utility and convenience. Until there is a compelling reason to NEED a virtual world and a relatively easy way to access one, there will be no mass adoption.

Your horoscope does give you answers, my friend. Like any oracle, however, they are often cryptic and usually only understood after the fact. Or, they may not pertain to the question you had in mind.

Ask a tiger.

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