As we near the world of ubiquitous computing and as the concept of Cyberspace makes about as much sense as "Left Arm Space", we become further mired in the social, legal, institutional and political aspects of on-line life. The increasing tax implications of earnings from virtual worlds is clear by the increase in news stories about it.
As I noted yesterday, Reuters has opened a bureau in the on-line world of Second Life. Meaning that actions happening within a virtual world are now seen as important enough to broadcast to the physical world.
Both of these events show that actions within a digital world have ramifications in the physical world to the point that there is no intrinsic difference. People now can wake up in the morning, go to work in Second Life, make money, shut off Second Life and go have lunch with that money.
Second Life therefore has become a fully integrated part of someone's day. There is no more a cyberspace for that than there is a bossspace for work. You could say "I'm going to bossspace" and it might even be pretty accurate - but work is part of what everyone does every day.
Clearly this extends beyond money. While day traders certainly work all day in a digital environment, the social aspects of worlds like Second Life are not present. You wouldn't have a Reuters bureau for Ameritrade.
Social or even professional meetings occur there. Romances, business arrangements, legal battles all come up. And you can list the same for World of Warcraft and other online environments.
The insertion of a Reuters office into Second Life is just another brick removed from the imaginary wall separating our physical and virtual lives.
Created using Windows Live Writer at the Gray Hill Harbor Offices in Seattle.