Phantasies and Alternate Dimensions (feline_phantasy) wrote,
Phantasies and Alternate Dimensions

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US Virtual Goods Market To Pass $2B In 2011

The US market for virtual goods will reach $2.1 billion in 2011, according to a new research report issued by Inside Network. This number is up from an estimated $1.6 billion in 2010 and $1.1 billion in 2009. This means that the market for virtual goods in the US has effectively doubled over the course of the last two years.

It is obvious that virtual goods are important to people, especially now that RL luxuries are often out of reach. You can have your dream home without a mortgage (well, technically tier is a mortgage, but it's not as henious as RL). You can look and be anyway you want without expensive plastic surgery. You can have virtual pets that don't need 24/7 care, or exotic animals. There is a LOT that you can have in a virtual world that's available IRL only to a rich elite.

This begs the question, then, if our inventories are worth RL dollars. In many cases, we bought currency to buy those goods - and likewise, if the merchant makes good sales, they've cashed out that currency for real-life money.

Companies like Linden Labs say no, it isn't worth RL dollars. Ah, but LL, we spent RL dollars to acquire all that virtual "stuff". Shouldn't we be entitled to a refund if you decide, for one of your many reasons, not to let us use your service any longer?

Considering that virtual stuff is becoming an integral part of people's lives and well-being, I would say the idea of it being worth more than funny money needs to be readdressed.
Tags: second life, virtual reality, virtual worlds

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