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Online Virtual World Mimics Sci-Fi

Second Life, the wildly popular 3-D virtual world website with more than 347,000 residents (and counting), is attracting corporations as well as people. CNet News is the latest corporation to open a permanent presence in this virtual world; their "building" is modeled after their San Francisco office.

If you need help, businesses exist in Second Life that will help you with clothing or other unique looks. These businesses, which are run by other participants in the game, can provide you with whatever you need in the metaverse - Second Life has a fully functional economy based on Linden dollars. How much is that in real money? The Second Life economy supports millions of US dollars in transactions every month.

As Hiro approaches the Street, he sees two young couples, probably using their parents' computers for a double date in the Metaverse, climbing down out of Port Zero, which is the local port of entry and monorail stop. He is not seeing real people, of course. This is all a part of the moving illustration drawn by his computer according to specifications coming down the fiber-optic cable. The people are pieces of software called avatars. They are the audiovisual bodies that people use to communicate with each other in the Metaverse. Hiro's avatar is now on the Street, too... (Read more about Neal Stephenson's Metaverse)

(This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission from Technovelgy.com