Hey, it happens all the time in Second Life. From my brief visit there, it seemed like a giant cyber sex playground, and linden dollars can be cashed in for real money. There are tons of prostitutes there.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time in SL, even owning land there a few times, but I can’t really get into it, since as you said, it is chock full of gross idiots, harping sex 24/7. Other than that, it’s money. It’s just so tacky. Still, once or twice a year I log in just to look around, but it’s a huge turnoff.
WoW however, is awesome.
Yeah.. I play on there.. On there in the other window, in fact.
There’s a lot of folks who basically said “hey! We can make *real* money here!” and so have therefore turned to every possible commercial venture known to mankind and then some.
Since you are selling copies of an existing prototype, your productions costs are pretty much the time and effort required to make the widget.
Not everybody is skilled at making things, so many simply take a basic female avatar, tart it up a bit, and go at (using scripted posing methods) with anyone willing to pay for the privilege. Given that every perversion known to mankind, including those utterly impossible or which would have you torn to bits by an angry mob are safe and easily replicated, there is some *wierd* stuff out there.
Then you have people using the sims as actual advertising space, flogging whatever meatspace business they’ve been paid to. The big money-maker *used* to be gambling, but that was mostly draining money from idiots: No regulation whatsoever.. go ahead and tinker that game’s odds however you like. Unfortunately, since the virtual money can be ‘cashed in’, it meant that they had to shut things down. There were also some virtual banks that some people felt violated international banking law..
This isn’t to say that *all* of SL is money-mad.. There are some *lovely* areas around. I’m very fond of The Future, which has mathematically-inspired sculptures that are gloriously well-done.. Scenery can be awesome and inspiring. The things people build can be amazing and creative.. Sadly, not everyone who builds *should* build.. You get sick of the ‘plywood’ of unfinished creations. There’s a lot of groups, special interests, and non-profit groups, and if you’ve an interest, you’ll find several folks who like it.
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=73bppgi&s=0 <—my (virtual) digs. It’s about fifty meters off the ground. Note the open ‘sandbox’ building area in the lower background. This is an open area where anyone can build, one of the better ones in the area. You’ll note the signs on the purple thing telling people, in essence, to be nice to one another.. The little specks down there are actually various people.Beyond that is an area currently in development, though much of the terrain has been sculpted. They are setting up a skating rink to the left of that.