There is a psychological weight to the ownership of virtual goods. With a collection comes a sense of achievement, a sense of propriety to the platform. it is harder to drop it all and move to another grid. An emotional attachment, the memories. The hunts and freebies.

The big question is ownership. Is it really your stuff you bought? There is a native american thought that ownership applies only to things you can carry away. Can you carry away your inventory? or does it belong to Linden Labs? Can you really own something virtual?

I am doing research for an art project on this idea and would love to hear from you guys, the VW culture.

This summer I intend to “sell” virtual land in New York City. On the same spot where Manhatttan is believed to have been bought for beads will be an Inwood field of voices much like the one in SL last year using augmented reality to bring the objects and sounds in to rl. I’d like to include some sound bites on land ownership from SL’rs. check out the website for info on how you can participate. http://arsactual.com

In my research its become clear that the Native had far different ideas about land than the european settlers. This same clash can be applied to the current state of affairs between residents and management of sl. Are they gonna march the artists off to reservations and turn the place in to a mall? Only keep the ones who are selling stuff?

is the culture of consumerism binding a yoke around the artists neck? The established gallery system holds out the carrot of exorbitant sales figures luring young starry eyed slackers through a 4 yr program with dreams of celebrity and sloth. Why pay for the Mona Lisa when you can get a reproduction which will look better, last longer, and not jack up your insurance? What are you paying for? A piece of the cross? an artifact of history?

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