Cornell University Johnson at Cornell University

Newsmakers

Virtual banks go bust

television Professor Robert Bloomfield leading a panel discussion in Second Life (via his avatar) following Linden Labs' regulation of Second Life banks, effectively shutting them down.
Photo courtesy of SLCN.TV and Metaversed.com

The economy of Second Life was dealt a serious blow in January when Linden Labs, creator of the virtual world, closed down its banking institutions. Professor of accounting Robert Bloomfield, who has been researching the economies of virtual worlds, including Second Life, published several articles on the virtual world's financial crisis in the real-world press. In one article, "Second Chance for Second Life," published in Technology Review (1/11/08), he suggests giving Second Life participants a chance to determine whether the virtual world's internal regulations will succeed. Dozens of articles have quoted Bloomfield, including: "Cheer up Ben, your economy isn't as bad as this one," published in the Wall Street Journal (1/23/08) and "Virtual bank's Second Life scheme raises real concerns," which appeared in the Los Angeles Times (1/22/08).

Bloomfield hosts a weekly show on the Second Life Cable Network, "Metanomics," in which he interviews experts and CEOs about various factors affecting virtual world economies.

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