24 January 2007

Valleywag Goes Downhill


When I first came across Valleywag's rather narrow-minded attack on Anshe Chung recently, I assumed this was just the kind of editorial misjudgement that happens when publications aim to go beyond the usual pap served up by mainstream titles. As an ex-editor and ex-publisher, I can forgive this kind of thing.

But upon reading this subsequent story, entitled "Virtual world's supposed economy is 'a pyramid scheme'", I'm forced to conclude that Valleywag is simply desperate for attention and thinks that choosing a high-profile victim for its attacks will garner it some traffic (and it's correct, of course: after all, even I'm giving it some).

You can get the gist of the piece from the following:

What you're left with is lots of people putting USD in, and a small group taking those USD out, leaving the rest with no financial claims on anything - just an imaginatively sexy avatar.

Oh, yes, silly me: that's what Second Life's all about, isn't it? Putting money in to get money out. Forget about all that creativity or community stuff: after all, that's just reducible to an "imaginatively sexy avatar", right? (Via Slashdot)

Update: The Man in this sphere has spoken, and all is clear:

It's not a con game. It's a village-sized market. In fact it's a tourist attraction-type village: the big numbers of the people you see are one-time visitors. Newcomers are arriving in droves. Land speculation is rampant. But it's not thick; it's tiny. Not a ponzi scheme: a little mini gold rush.

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