Second Lives takes us on a revelatory journey through the electronic looking glass, investigates one of the most bizarre phenomena of the twenty-first century: virtual lives.
Each week, thirty-five million to fifty million people worldwide abandon reality for virtual worlds. They create a virtual body, work virtual jobs, and make virtual friends and family. And as online communities like SecondLife, EverQuest, and MySpace attract more members, the lines between the real and the imaginary become blurry. After all, in these virtual realities, you can build houses, make and sell works of art, earn real money, and get married and divorced. On web sites like eBay, people sell virtual clothes and rent virtual property for real cash, for a total of nearly $800 million worth each year.