I came across this article on Business Week about Anshe Chung. She’s is the world’s first virtual millionaire. You see, Anshe isn’t real. She’s a made up person in the game Second Life. Anshe Chung is the Second Life account of Ailin Graef. She issued the following press release after Miss Chung achieved her millionaire status.
Anshe Chung has become the first online personality to achieve a net worth exceeding one million US dollars from profits entirely earned inside a virtual world.
Recently featured on the cover of Business Week Magazine, Anshe Chung is a resident in the virtual world Second Life. Inside Second Life, Anshe buys and develops virtual real-estate in an official currency, known as Linden Dollars, which is convertible to US Dollars. There is also a liquid market in virtual real estate, making it possible to assess the value of her total holdings using publicly available statistics.
The fortune Anshe Chung commands in Second Life includes virtual real estate that is equivalent to 36 square kilometers of land – this property is supported by 550 servers or land “simulators”. In addition to her virtual real estate holdings, Anshe has “cash” holdings of several million Linden Dollars, several virtual shopping malls, virtual store chains, and she has established several virtual brands in Second Life. She also has significant virtual stock market investments in Second Life companies.
Anshe Chung’s achievement is all the more remarkable because the fortune was developed over a period of two and a half years from an initial investment of $9.95 for a Second Life account by Anshe’s creator, Ailin Graef. Anshe/Ailin achieved her fortune by beginning with small scale purchases of virtual real estate which she then subdivided and developed with landscaping and themed architectural builds for rental and resale.
The valuation of the virtual land holdings is based on property value statistics published by Linden Lab and current simulator prices. Based on these statistics a valuation of one million dollars in virtual assets is conservative, and the actual value may be significantly higher.
Ailin Graef has been able to turn Anshe’s online life into a real life business call Anshe Chung Studios. Anshe Chung Studios has offices in Wuhan, China and is currently seeking to expand its workforce from 25 to 50.