Even the banks in the virtual world Second Life have fallen victim to the global economic crisis, with the game's creator now intervening to prevent a financial meltdown after one virtual bank collapsed.
Linden Labs is introducing regulations that prevent the payment of ludicrous interest rates in an attempt to stabilise the economy of Second Life – but its moves may have backfired as virtual users have initiated a run on banks to recover their money while they still can.
Although the money in Second Life is also virtual it can be exchanged for real money – and many users have got their eye on the real-worl profits they can make from selling their virtual money. There have been reports of gamers cashing in their Second Life dollars to become real-world millionaires.
Next week (22 January), new regulations will prevent Second Life banks from offering interest or any other return on investment without a government registration certificate of financial institution charter.