*laughs* No, I wont be selling you extra copies of Snow Crash (although I do recommend it if you haven't read it). However, I will point you over to the BBC and ask you how far away Second Life is coming when the BBC is purchasing virtual land to, well, let them tell you:
The BBC has staked a claim to a virtual tropical island where it can stage online music festivals and throw exclusive celebrity parties.Certainly feels like the lands Hero immersed into, doesn't it? Second Life has come a long way from an interesting novelty to catching the eyes, and dollars (Lindens?) of people all over. Looking for the next generation MMO, here ya go. Embrace capitalism, make it part of your game, and act like a bank...
The rented island exists in online game Second Life and will hold its first event this weekend with bands including Muse, Razorlight and Gnarls Barkley.
... Or just use it to good PR effect. Go BBC!