As the exaggerated hype around Second Life has continued to grow, quite a few people have started pointing out that the most prominent activities in Second Life aren't the highbrow talks given by famous people, or various economic or social experiments, but like so many popular internet spaces: vices rule the day. Especially popular is gambling -- though, you almost never hear about that when the press writes up their latest gushing piece about some big celebrity showing up in Second Life or a big company opening a virtual building there. Yet, it's one of the more popular activities there -- perhaps even more since the US government began its big crackdown on online gambling, forcing financial firms not to do business with online gambling operations. However, how will they manage that when the currency is not US dollars and the medium covers a lot more than just gambling? As Rob Hof notes over at Business Week, you can lose real money gambling in Second Life -- and it doesn't seem like there's an easy way for the government to stop it directly. Of course, because Second Life decided to bring real world laws into their virtual world, it may only be a matter of time until we hear that the Feds have set up shop in Second Life as well, in order to crack down on such things... It's going to be a blast to watch the jurisdictional battles that show up when governments start trying to enforce laws within Second Life.
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