Anshe Chung seems to have come out of her shell now that she has issue a press release stating that she’s become the first virtual world millionaire. Not only do we learn of her real name, but we actually get to see a real-life photo of her and her office in Wuhan, China.
Here are some key points from about her:
- Second Life’s Anshe Chung is actually Ailin Graef in real life.
- In 32 months, she’s turned US$9.95 into virtual assets worth around US$1 million (when $L274.5 = $US1).
- Her virtual real estate that is equivalent to 36 square kilometers of land.
- This property is supported by 550 servers or land “simulators”.
- Originally from China, Ailin Graef moved to Germany with her husband, Guntram Graef, in the mid-1990s
- She took up a job teaching Chinese, English, and German.
Anshe is just one of many others earning an income in virtual environments. A more extreme case involves gold farming in other online games. You can learn more about Chinese Gold Farmers from this great video documentary by Ge Jin.
Since Second Life has been getting tremendous media exposure already, this story once again adds more legitimacy to serious forms of gaming (or fun forms of work). Expect to see more people entering Second Life hoping to make a quick buck, possibly to a point of committing cybercrimes. Given Linden Lab’s mostly hands-off policy to making policies for their virtual world, perhaps a grassroots-level police force will be required soon.
In any case, should you want to know more, Anshe Chung will be holding a press conference in Mengjing @ Second Life on Tuesday 28th November at 9 am PST.
YouMeiIT: Virtual Property Queen is Second Life’s First Millionare in US Dollars
BusinessWeek: Second Life’s First Millionaire
The Sydney Morning Herald: Virtual property queen says thanks a million
CNN Money: No, Second Life is not overhyped