Benchmark Capital and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar are investing (see second item in this link) to help expand an online virtual world (created by Linden Lab) that has attracted 15,000 paying subscribers who create their own characters, homes and interactions.

Linden Lab is based in San Francisco, and yes, it’s easy to lose perspective on things here — housing prices the way they are. But this is getting a bit much: Following is a blurb from a VentureWire article (you may need subscription): All users pay a $9.95 sign-up fee, and many users are small landowners who pay $10 a month for land. The article continues: “Users pay an average of $100 per acre of virtual land during Linden’s auctions. Besides buying and building up territories, users can make goods — such as cars, clothing or jewelry — and sell them. Through eBay’s PayPal and other online commerce, Second Life subscribers buy and sell over $1 million of virtual goods and services, Linden reports.”

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