Ailin Gräf is basically the second life boss who was the first person to become a second life millionaire. Her interviews are fairly hard to find. Found this one in German and translated:
mm.de: How long have you been living in Second Life?
Chung: I’ve been here for almost three years. Before that, I was in other virtual worlds: Asheron’s Call first, then Shadowbane and Star Wars Galaxies. In those online fantasy games, we avatars often fought very brutal wars - yet for the most part, players were much nicer to each other than they are here.
mm.de: That means there is psychological warfare in Second Life?
Chung: There are no wars with weapons in Second Life. But there is a lot of intrigue and things that also happen in real life - only sometimes even more unrestrained. Status, power and prestige are very important here. Also vanity, envy and self-promotion. In the game Shadowbane such things are solved with a war and afterwards laughing together with the other players. In Second Life, unfortunately, such a playful outlet is missing.
mm.de: It doesn’t sound like you still enjoy life here. Why are you still in Second Life?
Chung: The glass is half full, isn’t it? At some point, you develop a thick skin and more or less ignore these aspects. I find this comparison interesting, though, because you usually expect conflict in a “brutal war game world” rather than a “peaceful social world.”
mm.de: Was envy also a reason for the virtual phallic attack during a press conference?
Chung: Yes, this attack served to attract attention. These people are known for all kinds of idiotic things, including sexual attacks in Second Life. Actually, I would have liked to ignore it, but the incident went viral in the media and on the Internet. Someone calculated that Google, through its subsidiary YouTube, earned half a million dollars from the advertising revenue generated by these videos.
mm.de: How did you come up with the idea of making money in Second Life by trading land and real estate?
Chung: Initially, my goal was not to make money. For the first three months, I was just having fun: making fashion and earning Linden dollars for charity. I think it’s very important to live in Second Life for a while before building a business. At some point I bought land for business and sold it for profit. Together with my husband I looked closely at the concept, analyzed it and traded more and more land.
Hostesses and party DJs included
mm.de: By your own account, you have already earned more than a million dollars in Second Life. Is the money still in your virtual account, or have you already converted it?
Celebrity Avatar Chung: “At first, I didn’t want to make money”
Celebrity avatar Chung: “In the beginning I didn’t want to make money”.
Chung: A part is already transferred into real dollars. The money exists only theoretically at first - but the goodwill of computer companies like SAP or Microsoft is also abstract, after all. At least I know what you pay for virtual land today.
mm.de: Could you exchange all of your Second Life assets into U.S. dollars in one fell swoop, or would the country’s “economy” not be able to handle that?
Chung: It wouldn’t be a problem for Second Life at all. My entire land holdings are worth less than the revenue growth Second Life generates in three to four weeks. In the absolute worst case scenario, Linden Lab would add a few weeks of fewer simulators, virtual land. But barring the fact that I could sell everything in less than 14 days, of course I’m not going to do that.
Chung: If, for example, a company wants to fill a Second Life property with its own buildings, it can have a concept drawn up for the island, the land or the property - either by us, a management consultancy or a marketing agency. Then we develop an area: landscape, buildings and all kinds of things that the customer wants.
We also provide the support and staff, such as hostesses, vendors, party DJs and so on. At the moment we offer this service for Second Life and IMVU. That’s a 3D instant messenger with avatars, which is easier to use than Second Life. But I’m not a millionaire there yet, so the media haven’t written about it yet (winks virtually).
mm.de: How many employees do you have?
Chung: Right now, we have about 50 employees. Within the last year, ACS has emerged and grown tremendously. Twelve months ago, there were only two of us and there were the players in Second Life as freelancers. At that time, there was no real development team that could have built something like the tower we’re sitting in right now.
“Second Life will be everywhere”
mm.de: Your husband was born in Germany, and you lived here for a long time. Why did you build the company in China and not in Germany?
Interview with Chung in Second Life: “A place that is not constantly being developed will no longer be visited”
Interview with Chung in Second Life: “A place that is not constantly developed will no longer be visited”
Chung: There is more than one reason for this. The company needs to be competitive in the international market. In Germany, unfortunately, there are many regulations and slow approval procedures. Everything is very expensive - whether office, lawyer or employees. My husband and I asked many people and compared locations. For our company, it was just much better to start in China.
mm.de: How much does it cost a company to have its website designed by ACS?
Chung: Normally, an appearance costs 5000 to 10,000 US dollars. With this price, we are unbeatable and also very well booked. We are currently looking for 30 new employees in Wuhan.
mm.de: How high are sales and profits?
Chung: I don’t want to say. But I can reveal that we are profitable and have a growth of more than 10 percent per month.
mm.de: Can you advise “first” life companies to use Second Life as a marketing platform?
Chung: Of course, the hype around the game is particularly high at the moment. But there are many cases where it makes sense to use Second Life as a platform. A company should try to interact with the inhabitants. However, most of them don’t achieve that. I particularly warn against so-called one-off campaigns, where an appearance is developed in Second Life and then nothing is changed. But it doesn’t work like that, because in Second Life, if a site isn’t constantly changed, it won’t be visited again. That’s why it’s important to develop the site further and offer something new every month - a product, a game or an attraction.
mm.de: What does the future of Second Life look like in your eyes - and what role will Anshe play in it?
Chung: Second Life - or something better than Second Life - will eventually become so realistic that human perception will no longer be able to distinguish it from reality. It will be everywhere and more present in normal everyday life than the Internet is today.
For my future, I hope I can help many people to be creative in the virtual world and have fun or build a good business together with the other inhabitants. In any case, my future will not only be in the virtual world.