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I have played Second life now for about a month my fiancée for 2. During that time we have seen a lot of changes go into effect, not all for the good. Second Life was billed as a meta-verse where people could come, meet new people, start businesses and make money. Second Life, to my understanding, was started as a social experiment. It has grown to a huge base of players from all over the world. The first change that I had noticed, based on reading the official Linden Blog, was the change in the weekly stipend of lindens that Linden Labs was giving to people.

For people that are not addicted to the game that is Second Life, lindens are in fortune cookie slot game currency. Free members were being given a stipend as well as paid members. Also at this time free members were allowed to own land. Linden Labs changed all that, free members were no longer given the right to own land or to get a stipend. Paid members were still allowed to own land; however their stipend was reduced to $300L per week. I am unaware of what repercussions this caused in Second Life, as I was not a player at this time.

Members that did own land were being rewarded by getting what was known as dwell. According to Linden it was being given to encourage building. Dwell was being paid based on the number of people that spent more than 5 minutes on your land the top 10% of landowners were also given US dollars. Dwell encouraged land owners to have "camping". Camping was a way for new players to earn lindens without having to spend any. As of June 13, 2007 Linden Labs said that Dwell was no longer needed in order to stimulate the economy.

What this caused was a decrease in camping spots for new players. It has become harder and harder to find a good camp spot. So the alternative was to go to casinos, or clubs to earn money. Eyebrows were raised, but a lot of people didn't even notice the change. As of yesterday all casinos in game are now being banned. According to the official Linden Blog, all games of chance are now banned from Second Life. Here is an excerpt from that blog.

"Several months ago we discussed the issue of gambling in Second Life (R) in a blog post, and at that time we let you know that we would no longer accept any classified ads, place listings, or event listings that appear to relate to simulated casino activity. While Linden Lab does not offer an online gambling service, Linden Lab and Second Life Residents must comply with state and federal laws applicable to regulated online gambling, even when both operators and players of the games reside outside of the US.

And, because there are a variety of conflicting gambling regulations around the world we have chosen to restrict gambling in Second Life as described in a revised policy which is posted in the Knowledge Base under "Policy Regarding Wagering in Second Life". As you review this new policy, please remember that Resident compliance with real world laws has always been an integral part of our Terms of Service. We appreciate your cooperation with this policy, and your understanding that we believe this action is in the best interest of providing a successful Second Life service.

Because this is an evolving area of law, we may continue to adjust and clarify this policy as we receive feedback from the community and from legal authorities, or as new regulations, industry practices and technology solutions come into effect." ". As I write this article, there are protests going on all over Second Life. Residents have banned together to protest the loss of casinos. Whether they are casino owners or simply players everyone is affected.

Unfortunately in this writer's opinion, they won't do much good. Linden Labs is a US based company so US laws apply. What I believe after speaking to a casino owner is it is more they will not be compensated for the losses that they are facing. Linden labs did say that games of skill are still allowed. However the reality is that most casino owners are suffering from losses and can't afford to spend more money at this time to buy skill machines.

Or they are unsure of spending more money to set something else up only to find that banned in a couple of months also. Some of these owners have thousands of real money invested into their casinos. The losses they are facing are enormous. It is no wonder that they are protesting.