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Lucky You, Tattoo!!

by AshleyDuncan on April 23rd, 2008

On Sunday April 20,2008 I conducted an interview with a business owner in Second Life.  Below is the transcript from that interview.  I spoke with Cathy Ryder from Ink Blots which is a tattoo parlor located in Second Life on the Luck of the Irish sim.  The interview turned out to be very informative.  I learned that the accounting for a business in Second life is done by the actual website itself.  The area of Second Life that controls of the accounting for the businesses are called the Linden Labs.  Linden is the monetary unit used in Second Life, right now it is about 260 Linden to the US dollar.  The  business owners receive their financial statements from the website.  The website tracts all of the purchases and keeps track of the owners inventory. It’s actually very beneficial to have the website performing the accounting for the owner.  Linden Labs keeps track of all transactions, receives cash from the consumer, delivers the good to the consumer,  and pays the owners the appropriate amount of Linden .  It’s a true exception to the rule of separating operations.  While the possibility for fraud is still possible, it is highly decreased because of the reduced possibility for human error or human deception. 


One of the issues she brought up with the website performing all the tasks is that the owner is at the complete mercy of the website.  If the website malfunctions the owner looses all of its business that it would have had in that time span.  One instance in particular that was discussed during the interview was the fact that sometimes the server is overloaded and cannot process  the Linden properly.  Cathy has seen some businesses in Second Life actually go out of business as a result of this issue.  So it is defiantly something that Second Life needs to address and try to improve. 


Another possible  problem that may occur in Second Life can be associated with all aspects of the internet.  With having all of the transactions occurring between virtual users and accounting transactions being sent virtually there is a very real possibility of hacking.  There are always layers of security to protect against hacking, like encryption, firewalls, intrusion detection devices, incident response procedures, and audits by external specialist, but the possibility still lingers. 


Cathy’s business is extremely profitable.  She pays nothing to generate her tattoos, they are created in Photoshop and she uploads them to the site.  One of the expenses in her business is that it cost 10 Linden to upload a picture.  She stated out doing the tattoos for fun and it turned out she was really good so she decided to try her luck at running a business in Second Life. 


If I could go back and ask Cathy more questions I would definitely be interested to know exactly what things are listed on the sheets that Linden Lab provides to the business owners.    I would also like to know how often the sheets are provided to them, weekly, bi-weekly, etc.  All of the information I obtained during the interview was very informational and helpful.  Before this class I was not even aware Second Life existed.  Now i have a character(that now has a tattoo!!)  in a virtual reality world that i can take anywhere i want, anytime i want and  be whoever i want, and i have to admit im a little hooked.  Second Life seems to be popping up everywhere I look now, Just the other day I was reading an article on how Al Qaeda has been linked to Second Life.   I think that it is a wonderful learning tool when utilized properly as Dr. Hornik has fully demonstrated and hope that i continue seeing thses types of tools used in my future education courses.


  1. AshleyDuncan permalink

    Transcript coming soon!

  2. I’ve heard so many things about Second Life – especially the business elements of the community – but haven’t started using it yet. I have been curious about whether the Linden was going to float like other currencies – or is it fixed to the US dollar permanently?

  3. does anybody on Second Life offer tattoo removal yet? i wonder if laser hair removal and other procedures have made it into the v-reality world

  4. Its a nice design of tattoo. mostly people are fond of tattoo on there body.
    Thanks for such an informative post and your time to post this

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