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Sunday, February 08, 2009


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My SL spending is about 1/2 my TV bill and I rarely watch that. I hear that to bowl weekly on a league is about $20, plus food and drinks. It is all relative... the cost of entertainment. I also create here, consider it my art. What would I pay in RL for supplies, plus the mess?

Morris Vig

My inworld activity changed as a result of personal motivations, not the RL economy. Sure, I'm paying less tier, but that was long before the housing bubble burst and the stock market tanked.

As for the inworld economy, I'll suggest that much (but not all) of the troubles were caused by changes in the SL economy - read: Linden choices, most specifically the void sim mess. Lowered confidence in the Lindens, combined with the resulting growth of OpenSim, doesn't exactly make SL a place where one would want to bet on their inworld economic fortunes.

To their credit, the Lindens appear to have figured this fact out (losing all of those islands at once is a blunt force object to even the most stubborn of people) and are taking some steps. I'm not sure they're the best steps, but they are pursuing a direction...

Doubledown Tandino

Perhaps a recession has hit SL, but at the same time, it's finally putting more appropriate values onto inworld products and services.

Virtual land values are starting to "get real".. people are starting to realize to only own/rent (own the land/rent from Linden Lab) or rent (from another SLer)... not, rent disguised as own.

The products being purchased are either needed or are unique. People are buying less and spending less, but after 5+ years, don't you think most people have what they want by now?

Services will always retain their worth. People always need things done, and when you can do those things, you're in business. Services can usually always be negotiated too.

So, yes, there is a recession in one aspect, but in another, people are still buying and spending all the time


Not sure what this actually proves but look how much some (foolish?) person just paid for a 512m parcel of mainland - remembering of course that, for the closing price to get this high, there had to be at least 2 people willing to pay this kind of money!

I'll try to also post the link in the URL box - if that works click my name to see it...


Franklin Lubitsch

My SL spending is still going strong, for two reasons: 1, I have never spent more than I can afford,and 2, I make enough income in world to offset at least a part of what I charge on my CC.

It's a matter of budgeting, and I wonder how many people actually do that?

CyFishy Traveler

My response to the auction Jovin posted--"Damn, and I thought I paid too much for MY 512m plot!"

How has the recession affected my Second Life? Well, I rendered my Lindens into cash instead of the other way around for the first time ever. On the other hand, I've been channeling my New Fun Toy impulses into Second Life shopping sprees, since that's a bit cheaper than physical ones.


yes but for me it is in a good way. In the RL I work in a recession proof job. My SL world costs have stayed the same but things in the RL related to it have gotten cheaper like PC parts.

Morris Vig

One other thing: With the escapist quality of SL at a reasonably low price, shouldn't SL/virtual worlds be considered counter-cyclical? I mean, it's easier to spend $100 and have some shopping/landowning power in SL for a few months as opposed to less than the cost of one night's hotel on vacation - or a plane ticket. If Netflix is booming in this recession, why wouldn't SL?

If you look at it through that lens, the Linden's gaffes are all the more profound. They should be ROLLING in the dough right now.

Bixyl Shuftan

No, I still have my job in RL, and in SL most of the things going on about me haven't had much to do with the recession. A while back, two good friends did have to sell their sim for a time, though.

Todd Borst

SL spending is so insignificant in comparison to everything else. I would tend to agree that any slowdown, at least in January, is more likely caused by the unfavorable land policy and unstable servers.

Amara Parmelee

I own a few sims, normal prim sims. There's been a huge decline in sales. It was boosted temporarily by the openspace hike (people were downgrading as fast as they could), but it's slowed to a complete halt now.

People are looking carefully at what they invest here and why. Priority for putting food on the table is more important than maintaining your perfect SL home by the beach. It was to be expected. Then again, being in the SL real estate business is difficult within itself. It's been struggling already with several unexpected moves from Linden Lab, but I believe most expected this recession to hit hard.

My SL spending hasn't completely changed. I'm more critical of what I buy though, ie quality, color, whether I really need to buy it now or later on. In RL, I've always been this way, so the recession hasn't affected me much. I won't spend unnecessarily on shoes for example in RL, but for about $4, I could get several pairs in SL. It's the same as getting a bus pass.

Torrid Luna

Yes. I have been earning my living completely from building and scripting SL stuff for companies (and had RL jobs for up to 3 other avatars) for more than 2 years now, but recently there is not much interest in that sort of activity.

Just got another job proposal today, hope it works out well.


Not really. What is affecting how much I put into SL now is any perceived return, whether it be entertainment or monetary, balanced against my RL which always comes first.


While my RL is quite secure, my SL business has experienced quite a drop in sales. Traffic is down a bit, but spending is down much more. Fortunately, the drop has not been sufficient to put me under, and I have even recently expanded my shop to twice it's previous size.

Nevertheless, sales are indeed down significantly lately. This means that not only do I not have as much money coming out to RL, but more importantly I do not have as much money to spend in-world. I suspect that many in-world business owners have slowed their spending habits in the same way, thus creating a bit of a chain reaction throughout many businesses.

My advice to business owners: keep your expenses as low as possible, and wait it out.


For our non-profit Global Kids, I think we are potentially more affected by changes to the Teen Grid than the recession.

Our principal funder is continuing to support our work in virtual worlds, thank goodness. I know other non-profits have not fared so well.

I personally think I will be spending about as much of my worktime in-world as last year, perhaps even more. Our youth machinima program is continuing into the coming year. We will likely be organizing several high-profile events on the Main Grid. However others on our staff will likely be spending much less time in SL, with their projects wrapping up.

Tillery Woodhen

I recently got laid off from my RL job. And since I was the main tier contributor to my little community, I've had to reach out and ask for help in paying for the tier rather than let the settlement collapse. Luckily, others in the Firefly RP community (recently profiled on here) have stepped up to the plate.

Seven Shikami

The 7Seas Fishing Game's been taking off like a rocket ever since January 1st. A lot of people are coming back (and needing rod upgrades), and we're selling more and more stuff each week.

The reason I clicked "yes" is because the working theory is that instead of having a night on the town or buying some expensive toy, people are staying in and fishing. In the end, it's good cheap fun compared to other ways you can spend your time and money.

Microtransactions aren't recession-proof, but if you remove the barriers to them like Linden Lab has done, they do become a much more viable alternative when you're trying to get the most bang for your buck.

Loki Eliot

I used to pay for my islands tier with what i made from my clothing range and top up with money from real world.

Now the way people shop in SL has changed and i lost my job in real world.

my tier is payed by the fans who visit my land, so i now make clothes and gadgets for them to have at a very reduced price in the hope they will donate towards the tier.

The price hikes on homesteads did not help at all, because it means having to raise more and more.

Qwis Greenwood

I answered 'no'. I live modestly within SL, and my SL job is enough to pay rent, allow me to buy the occasional cute/fun/interesting item, and tip artists and venues that I enjoy. And the job is rather secure.

In RL, my company had everyone take a 20% pay cut in hopes of staying afloat and we're keeping our fingers crossed that we don't lose our jobs. I need the escape of SL.

Arcadia Codesmith

Two of the three adults in my household found themselves unemployed on the same day. Our RL tier (mortgage) is insured for six months; after that, it will become impossible to keep the house. The loss of health insurance is a life-threatening consequence for one of my housemates. My job could evaporate at any time.

That's why I'm downgrading my two premium accounts -- $20 a month isn't much, but if you are very creative and not too picky, it's a week's worth of food.

It is so gratifying that some people are not feeling any pinch at all. It gives us something to look up to as we sink further and further into the quagmire.

Sunshine Kukulcan

1) Severely curtailed spending inworld
2) Since sale of XStreet and OnRez to LL, baibai speculating on Linden economy for me
3) Paying old tier rate on our sim, but if that increases, we sell and downgrade accounts.

Charles2 McCaw

I don't think the recession has had an effect upon my activity in SecondLife. Other factors are more important, including the emerging sense that virtual worlds are a key to Web 3.0. This, of course, is much bigger than just Second Life, though it remains the major pioneer and innovator in the field.

Nexus Burbclave

It feels like I'm spending less time in world and the time that I do spend in world is focused far more heavily on coding or other aspects of business maintenance rather than socializing and exploring. It seems like fear is a big motivator these days, and there is plenty of it to go around. I've heard the best explanation of this sentiment to date on NPR. Something to the effect of "7% of Americans are currently unemployed, but the other 93% are convinced that they are next"

SeanMcPherson Senior

I've actually increased my spending in SL for a few reasons; My RL job is something that I'm lucky enough is 'fairly' recession proof, and as such I'm making it a goal to tip more to in-world artists and musicians, and to promote the incubator project I developed at the end of the last year. Donating space/time/money to a worthy cause is one way to deal with "survivor's guilt" in a bad economy.


I paid over 200 USD learning SL economics and product quality. Now as an older av, am very picky about purchases, and more than willing to pass on that hard earned wisdom to newbies. The glory days of retailing in SL and RL are flat over, as in the You Tube video "when you could s*** in a box and sell it", and I really feel LL acquisition of SLX was to grab a piece of the action, read sales tax, to compensate for falling land tier revenues. There are only a few basic RL av needs, and SL creators have saturated the market in fulfilling them. Us older avs are also a lot better educated in DIY scripting and building, so the peak consumer demographic I would suppose drops dramatically after the second rez day. My needs have decreased in proportion to increased SL skill levels, and to blame spending decrease on the world recession misses the direction SL economic evolution is taking, of less shopping.

Gwyneth Llewelyn

I answered "no" because there was not a "yes, positively" answer :)

I consider myself one of the very few optimists about everything. Being self-employed, it means that my personal financial situation is always very dependent on the "ups and downs" of the economy. Well... surprising to me, 2009 started to positively *boom* in all possible senses of the word!

There might be a reasonable explanation for this. Companies used to buy million-dollar-ads on TV and specialised magazines might have had their budgets cut by, say, a tenth. Now they have to make do with what they got, and still reach out. So they become more innovative and less conservative in where they spend. Second Life, in spite of everything, is *cheap*, reaches out to millions, and is still trendy and catchy enough to be taken seriously. So by the end of the year, I was looking forward to enough projects to get me going until the end of 2012, if all goes well — more then enough to "weather the storm" of the alleged financial crisis and navigate into the clear waters of normalcy.

In-world, I cannot say that there has been any difference at all. I sell pretty much the same as I always did, ie. basically very little. And I still spend everything I've got — which is very little again :) Quality of content is improving, and no, there is no limit to how many clothes, shoes, skins, and hair you can have :) Like many who answered here, I frown upon "lesser quality products", and non-sculptie shoes, no matter how delightful they were in 2007, are simply *out* ;) That means renovating all the wardrobe... again.

Just because I'm insanely lucky and an unrelentful optimist, and think that the major drive towards the crisis is the media constantly reminding us how bad things are, I naturally empathise with anyone who lost their jobs recently, or saw their salaries cut. But I remind you of something I heard on the radio today, a businessman who, in face of a GNP contraction of 2.1% just said: "this doesn't mean that all companies are facing problems. They aren't. Most are doing well enough. Only a few — perhaps one in a hundred — was just terribly badly managed or was totally unable to get new customers and had to shut down their operations." In a sense, this reminds me of the dot-com days, but expanded to the whole of the economy, and not just one sector of it: during a phase of growing economy, everybody's idea, everybody's company, no matter how silly the product or how badly managed, survives. When the economy shrinks, only the best survive. Thankfully for *most of us* (sadly not all!), *most* companies are well managed. Some tell-tale signs are in order: if you boss changes car every six months and spends half the year sun-tanning in the Caribbean, that's a sure sign that the company won't survive a financial crisis. If they spend more paying lawyers than employees, that's another sign. If they believe they'll increase sales by 1% with a multi-million-ad campaign on TV (that nobody sees anyway), they're out of touch with reality and no wonder they're firing people now...

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