Game Lets Players Get a Life

Real world not doing it for you? Thanks to a new online computer game, you can get another life.

Second Life, a recently developed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (search), provides a virtual world in which members can invent new personalities, or "avatars," and do almost anything: walk around, drink beer, drive, go on dates and even sky-dive.

Russell Sipe, 54, a writer and publisher in the real world, is in Second Life the writer and humorist Mark Twain (search).

"People come up to me in Second Life and they say, 'Oh, it's so nice to meet Mark Twain,'" Sipe said. "I say, 'Thank you, I appreciate that. But you know I haven't written anything for over 100 years.'"

Click on the video box to the right to watch a full report by FOX News' Anita Vogel.

More than 67,000 people have gotten a second life. Some snatch up real estate, design homes or clothing or buy and sell goods.

While the merchandise is fake, the money avatars make is 100 percent real.

"Second Life really, if anything, has no limits. You can do just about anything," said creator Philip Rosedale, CEO of Linden Lab (search), which launched Virtual Life in 2003. "Some of the businesses people are creating are becoming six-figure, real-world incomes for them."

Rosedale, whose Second Life avatar is known simply as "Philip Linden," invented a virtual currency called Linden Dollars, which can be exchanged for real money through the Lindex Virtual Currency Exchange.

As with other MMPORGs, such as Sony's fantasy-world-based EverQuest, members spend millions of actual dollars sprucing up their online lives. Second Life avatars may soon even be getting virtual telemarketing calls.

Becoming a resident of Second Life is free unless you want to own property or add a second avatar, both of which require a monthly service charge.

Skeptics wonder why Second Lifers aren't spending more time in their actual lives, which also boast 3-D, interactive environments populated by people.

Of course, in the real world, people can't fly.