Snow Crashed

Somedays I feel like I have woken up in a Neal Stephenson novelThe following is not science fiction:

The poster child for profitable Second Life businesses is Ailin Graef–better known by her avatar’s name, Anshe Chung–and
Anshe Chung Studios, the business she
runs with her husband, Guntram Graef.

Originally, the two ran the company from Germany, but at the beginning of
this year, they set up shop in Wuhan, a large city in China, and are now
employing more than 30 people full-time at, she says, better than local average

Last month, Ailin Graef issued a press release announcing that the company’s
total holdings, comprised mainly of virtual land in Second Life, were
worth more than a million real-life dollars. For those who aren’t familiar with
the  complex economies of virtual worlds, such a claim may seem incomprehensible.

But for anyone who has spent significant time in Second Life, the
number seems all too possible, given Chung’s dominance of the land market there.

On Monday, Graef visited Second Life for a
discussion about her business, how best to set up businesses in Second
and the nature of competition there.

Unfortunately, as the interview was commencing, the event was attacked by a
"griefer," someone intent on disrupting the proceedings. The griefer managed to
assault the CNET theater for 15 minutes with–well, there’s no way to say this
delicately–animated flying penises.

It’s not clear why the griefer attacked, but Anshe Chung is controversial to
some Second Life residents for reasons such as inflexibility on land
pricing, the signs she has placed in many areas of the virtual world that are
visible to anyone flying overhead, and her ability to get many residents to sell
their land to her.


Comments for this post are closed