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My Second Life: Digital Currencies, Bitcoin, and Gaming


last yearBusy4 min read

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Flashback (slightly dramatized but not too exaggerated):

In the sweltry Indian summer of 2009, I am sitting in my room wondering how to go about my day. I am bored. A friend sends me an SMS (are you old enough to remember SMS? :D ) and asks me if I had heard of the game Second Life. I hadn’t. But I am a gamer and I am bored and that text had the word “game” in it. So I go online and check it out because that’s what gamers do!

And before I knew it I was hooked.

I realized SL was more like a virtual world that you could participate in, in an avatar form with random strangers. I know that sounds all too familiar now but back then it was pretty new to me.

SL also had a concept I had never heard of before: an in-game digital currency that could be used by residents of SL and businesses inside SL as a means of exchange. Their currency was called Linden Dollars, named after SL’s development team Linden Labs.

The fact that Second Life had no set game objectives and you were free to roam the open world, meet strangers, form relationships, and even earn Linden Dollars to buy goods and services inside the game was quite compelling.

I was part of the Second Life world on and off for a little over 2 years. I had an in-game girlfriend. I had an in-game best friend. I was an in-game DJ. I also gave some not-so-insightful quantum computing lectures from time to time.

It was inside SL in early 2010 when I first heard of bitcoin from one of my in-game friends. Guess what I did next? No, I didn’t buy thousands of bitcoins for a killer price. I ignored it and bought absolutely nothing (insert very sad smiley).

It wasn’t until late 2012 when I heard of bitcoin again after passing out of college and landing a plush (and boring) job at IBM from one of my colleagues. And it wasn’t until May, 2013, when I finally attended a bitcoin meetup in Bangalore and got involved in the crypto world.

And before I knew it I was hooked.

I have followed all the amazing new tech developments in this space since then and like I briefly mentioned in my introductory post, by mid-2017 I had decided that I am getting into the tech and content/media side of crypto now.

Present day:

The gaming industry has always earned a bad rep from mainstream media and several public figures yet it is bigger than plenty of tech industries combined. I believe there are multiple reasons for that but two of the most pertinent ones are:

  • Games are fun.
  • Games are useful.


As a self-professed nerd I have to say that games have always helped me stay ahead of the crowd when it comes to understanding futuristic tech like virtual reality and artificial intelligence. I know I missed out on crypto investment despite having heard of bitcoins inside a game as early as 2010 but as far as I am concerned the fact that I HEARD about bitcoin as early as 2010 holds some value on my mental leaderboard (it’s a gamer thing :D ).

But I am not complaining because my second life has only just begun. I am excited to go on this journey together with Steemians, gamers, bitcoiners, altcoiners, techies, nerds et al.

Let us remember the spirit of crypto, let’s strive towards financial freedom for all, and let’s play the game of life in all fairness:

“In the end, what separates a man from a slave? Money? Power? No. A man chooses. A slave obeys.” — Andrew Ryan, BioShock.

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