Every time there's a violent tragedy, we hear over and over that video games are to blame, leading everyone who has actually touched a joystick (or knows what that is) to automatically roll their eyes. Nope, video games aren't turning us into criminals -- the truth is much weirder.
It turns out that while you're going around innocently shooting zombies or running people over in colorful virtual worlds, other people are abusing the same games to plan actual murders, carry out Ponzi schemes, or finance kinky virtual red-light districts. Don't believe us? Then let us tell you about ...
5Second Life Player Builds $50,000 City for Cybersex
In the game Second Life, players are allowed to create their own content; they can design the body of the avatar they control, its clothing, its movement, its animation, and even the locations where it dwells. Enterprising players sell their work to others, and if you manage to create something thousands of users are willing to pay for, you can even make a living playing the game. It should be obvious at this point that we're talking about cartoon fucking.
You're welcome. -Ed.
Second Life sex is a thriving industry. This is perhaps the only game that lists a steampunk-themed homoerotic sex club and an island devoted to having sex with anthropomorphic cows on its official website as "places of interest." This is possible thanks to the users who spend hours programming the animation for avatars having every conceivable type of sex, since that shit certainly doesn't come with the game. One such user is former plumber Kevin Alderman, who saw a need for a service and filled it with pixelated penises.
Plus one very sad digital wig.
Alderman, using the pseudonym Stroker Serpentine (which sounds like Harry Potter's former teacher who can't go near a school anymore), created hundreds of animations of Second Life avatars performing lewd acts. Thousands of users each paid Alderman the equivalent of $46 in real-world money so they could pretend to have sex within the game, because sometimes chatting one-handed just doesn't cut it anymore.
So successful were these animations that when a teenager in Texas copied them and tried to sell them on his own, Alderman found the kid, brought him to court, and eventually obtained a settlement against him. But Alderman's biggest accomplishment was much more ambitious: He was also the creator of the sex capital of the virtual world, Second Life's Amsterdam. Using high-resolution photos of the real place, Alderman painstakingly recreated the city of Amsterdam, right down to the canals, the train stations, and the hookers.
Remember to use a proxy or you'll catch some malware.
The virtual city is populated by hundreds of shops (most of which specialize in sex toys for Second Life avatars), erotic nightclubs, and, yes, prostitutes soliciting visitors for cybersex. Was it worth all that effort? Well, in 2007, Alderman sold "Amsterdam" to a Dutch investment company for $50,000, because no matter if it's the real or the fake world, boners are always a good investment. So we're gonna go with "Unfortunately, yes."