Second Life, a massively multiplayer online community in which players can participate in many lifelike activities including buying and selling uniquely created items from other players, tends to foster in-game versions of real world professions and pursuits. Players act as clothing designers, journalists, furniture manufacturers, real estate agents--and, now, accountants. CNET News.com spoke with Arlene Ciroula, chief operating officer of real world accounting firm KAWG&F, who plans to bring her company's accounting and business consultancy services to business operators within the world of Second Life. To start, she's even accepting payment in the form of the game world's Linden dollars currency, which can be cashed out for real world currency at a fluctuating exchange rate.
A Second Accountant for Your Second Life
"The idea is that as I began to learn more about 'Second Life' and saw how the business community had established itself, it will undoubtedly just continue to grow, and the community is unserved," Ciroula said. "No one is serving this community with accounting, business consulting, strategic planning or budget forecasting services."
Ciroula said she believes there are many similarities between advising a business in real life and in "Second Life."
"There's the classic, 'I'm small, how do I get over certain humps, so I can get bigger?'" Ciroula said. "'How do I know when it's time to hire someone?'"
Going beyond her own company's immediate goals, Ciroula also hopes to create a Second Life chamber of commerce to represent other in-game businesses.