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Sex is the business of Amsterdam, with streetwalker avatars soliciting business. They hang around near the train station.
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We weren't able to find out who the buyer is; he goes by nedstede2769 on eBay, where his 3-year-old account has no feedback. Alderman said he didn't want to give the buyer's name without checking first.
Alderman's company, Eros LLC, specializes in adult business on the Internet, with 90% of its business in Second Life. He said Eros sold Amsterdam so it could concentrate on building a new, much larger sex business in the game. While Amsterdam is open to anyone logged on to the game, the new business will be available only to adults.
"I felt Amsterdam should be open to the public as it's an SL icon," said Alderman.
We interviewed Alderman in-game last week over instant message, through his avatar, "Stroker Serpentine." We did a quick follow-up interview by cell phone early Monday afternoon, after the sale.
Stroker Serpentine: Eros is partnering with several adult industry concerns to develop a verified, mature playground.
Stroker Serpentine: At the risk of dating myself...remember "Westworld" ??
Stroker Serpentine: Yul Brenner
InformationWeek: LOL. Where nothing can go wrong. Go wrong. Go wrong.
Stroker Serpentine: lol..exactly!!
Stroker Serpentine: Well we consider it a mix of "Westworld", "DisneyWorld" and the "Playboy Mansion"
Stroker Serpentine grins
Amsterdam is one of the most popular sites in Second Life. It's a detailed reproduction of several streets in the real-world city, including a canal, parked Cooper Mini cars, a streetcar, and bicycles. Other features: a large, European-style public square, canal with canal boats, train station and train, and hundreds of shops. The overwhelming majority of the shops in Second Life's Amsterdam sell sexual merchandise. And avatars posing as streetwalkers hang around near the train station, openly soliciting cybersex-for-pay with any avatar who stands still for a few minutes and many walking through.
Most newcomers to Second Life visit Amsterdam early on, because of both the titillation factor and its attractive, detailed design.
The site is also a popular venue for in-game events such as live music concerts, said Daniel Huebner, director of community affairs for Second Life developers Linden Lab.
"It's a nice, high-end locale in Second Life," he said. "It's not filled with a lot of random content, it's cohesive and immersive. It was created as a single vision, something that the other content in Second Life occasionally lacks."
Alderman and associates built Amsterdam using high-resolution photos of the actual city. "It was the first of its kind in SL to be constructed that way. Many developers use the process now," he said.