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Avatars can attend and participate in educational classes, political town halls, live comedy shows, DJ performances and entrepreneurial endeavors. A study released this month by the Visa-owned research group Play Span found that almost one third of the general gaming population uses real money in virtual games as game dollars can be bought with real dollars (230 Lindens in Second Life translates to 1 USD plus a 30 cent fee; one Ray in Utherverse roughty translates to 7 cents, although the actual cost shifts based on the world's market prices).Other gamers make a living in businesses created on MMORPGs. The French watchdog organization Familles de France filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against Linden Lab, the creator of the MMOPPG Second Life, opposing the adult content of the site.According to a 2007 study, one in three MMORPG players have found themselves attracted to another player.Of the 912 MMORPG players from 45 different countries who were polled, 42 percent of female and 26 percent of male players admitted that they were attracted to other players they met as avatars.In September, they decided to take things to the next level and see each others' faces for the first time.Sean and Meta, 37 and 38, respectively, met as avatars.But the Riselings and many other couples have found that their avatar attraction extended far beyond the computer screen."We turned on our cameras on Skype because our daughters wanted to meet each other," Meta told The Huffington Post.
Pushed together by mutual friends, the two instantly hit it off and a few dances (plus a couple rounds of body shots) later, they went home together.
"A lot of the people on Av Match are looking for online partners only in the site, and many are looking only for friends," Mosel told Huff Post.
"Others are looking for real life partners." While some members post only their avatars -- a perfected image of an often-idealized self -- others post pictures of their offline selves and make it clear that they see dating on Second Life as equivalent to dating in real life.
Even though Meta had intended to keep things casual -- she was in the midst of ending a 16-year marriage -- it soon became clear that this was not your average one-night stand.
Over the next few weeks, they would go to amusement parks, take walks along the beach, tour architecturally-interesting houses and stay up through the night talking.