Another Second Life story from the mainstream media. This time, it’s The New York Times “Home & Garden” section. Seth Kugel writes:

Second Life’s hundreds of thousands of users can teleport at will, transform into dragons and radically change their appearances with a few clicks. They have built cities, created clothing lines and programmed their avatars — the characters that represent them in the three-dimensional space of Second Life — to ride horses, dance and have sex. But in a land where residents can do nearly anything, many seem to be craving more mundane pursuits. After a few months of dancing the night away in clubs, sowing their virtual seed and role-playing as creatures from “The Lord of the Rings,” they are settling down: building virtual houses, planting gardens, shopping for furniture and electronics and decorating. They are getting serious about creating make-believe homes.

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A House That’s Just Unreal

FROM the roof deck of Sherman Ochs’s Mexican-style villa atop a breezy bluff, the entire island of Jalisco, population about 20, spreads out below. It is a picturesque place of palm trees, lush lawns and near-cloudless skies. And, of course, there are the perfect sands around the lagoon, where residents grind their perfect bodies together in an N.C.L., or Naked Conga Line. It is not exactly real, of course: Mr. Ochs is Don Ainsworth, a 57-year-old retired music teacher who lives in Ventura, Calif., and Jalisco is a sim (for simulator), a plot of land in Second Life, the virtual world introduced in 2003 by Linden Lab, a San Francisco company.
But it is not entirely fake, either. Life on Jalisco, where neighborly visits are frequent, resembles that in a real-world community. And many of the residents know who their neighbors are in real life, and sometimes converse with them over Internet telephone connections as they operate their avatars.

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