WEARING a spaghetti-strap top,Guest Posting with her flowing hair tied in a ponytail, Anshe Chung looks more like a model rather than a real estate mogul.
A millionaire who started with a capital of less than US$10 ($15), she develops properties that she either sells or rents to clients all over the world.
Her latest development is called Plush Market, a high-tech multi-purpose building situated next to a beach.
During a press tour, she reveals: ‘This will become an office and meeting tower for company and citizen meetings, press conferences, and demonstrations.’
Earlier, Anshe, who has appeared on the cover of BusinessWeek magazine, hosted a press conference to announce that her business had made her her first million.
You might think that making US$1 million dealing in real estate is how to delete mahzooz account no big deal, but Anshe’s case is special – she’s not a real person. She exists only in the virtual world of Second Life, a 3-D online computer game environment where people from all over the globe join to socialise, hang out and do business. The properties she develops are virtual as well.
But the money she makes for her creator, China-born teacher Ailin Graef, is very real. The Financial Times estimates that her virtual business generates US$2.5 m ($4m) in real-world annual revenues.
Mrs Graef was born in Hubei, China, but moved to Germany in the mid-1990s with her husband, Guntram, to teach languages.
She started creating her digital empire when she joined the Second Life world in 2004 as Anshe Chung, after paying US$9.95 as a sign-up fee.
At first, the avid player of online games was happy to just wander the virtual world making friends.
Soon, she started to earn extra cash by ‘tutoring’ novice Second Life players in the finer points of virtual living.
She also put her computer skills to work by creating animation programmes that allow avatars – the 3-D characters in the virtual world – to do special movements like dance or stand on their heads.
Then, she set up a virtual shop and sold these animations to others for Linden Dollars (L$), the currency of Second Life. Linden Dollars are convertible to US dollars at the rate of about L$270 to US$1.
She soon expanded her creations to include custom-designed virtual buildings, landscapes and even entire islands.
Mrs Graef, who hosted a press conference inside a virtual Chinese teahouse in Second Life, said: ‘I must admit that at first, I thought it was just an interesting experiment with a small community. At some stage, something special happened…Things became very real here – friendships, doing things together with others, ‘living’ here and, well, doing business.’