My Second Life as a Muckraker

Inside the tabloid that rocked the virtual world.
Wired magazine, April 2006

It’s the middle of the night and I’m standing in an empty, starlit field in the virtual world of Second Life. In the distance is a low-polygon-count shopping mall. But at my feet, there’s only pixelated grassland – a simple green texture that repeats to the edges of the computer screen.

Just hours ago, a lavish mansion stood here. It was a custom job built for a player known as BallerMoMo King, whose blinged-out avatar carries a diamond-studded cane and is never without his posse of bodyguards and harem of “MoMo hos.” Baller is one of Second Life’s most notorious gangsters, famous for hiring talented residents to script weapons that can bounce an avatar across the gamespace and bombs that produce enough smoke and fire to occasionally crash a server. It seems Linden Lab, the company that runs Second Life, has had enough. The MoMo mansion – and Baller’s account – has been erased.

Read the complete text at Wired.