Virtual Worlds Inching Into Mainstream Consciousness

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Last Monday’s Washington Post article talking about making money by coding and selling Second Life products doesn’t provide any surprises for anyone familiar with virtual worlds. The most interesting thing about it was its placement – the front page. When articles about virtual worlds and gaming have historically been relegated to the Style section or some other back page, this article, which talked about a guy who sells virtual rain and “markets snow, clocks, University of Maryland basketball T-shirts, Duke basketball T-shirts (grudgingly), two-story Tudor-style homes, pinup posters from the 1930s and the sounds of barking dogs” in his spare time, made headlines. Although the article glosses over the learning curve associated with producing virtual goods, articles like this can lead to an upsurge in public attention to and adoption of virtual worlds.