It never fails to amaze me how many people are willing to condemn things based on hearsay evidence. Now that the new Harry Potter book is imminent, I’m sure we’ll see a lot of angst arising from folks who’ve never opened any of Rowling’s books, but fear the story anyway.
In this particular case, the gentleman goes so far as to admit he’s never actually seen or experienced Second Life, but the idea that people would spend real money on virtual clothes, houses, and other objects scares him. Ostensibly because there are real people who could benefit from that money having been spent to feed, clothe, and house them.
This guy is almost certainly a complete hypocrite. People in Second Life are spending money to entertain themselves. Buying a virtual ball gown is no more frivolous (or scary) than buying a new outfit for your Build-a-Bear. Spending a few dollars on a skydiving kit in Second Life is no more wasteful than renting a DVD from Blockbuster on your way home from work. This guy’s (probably unintentional) message is essentially that all income not directly required for your physical well being should be given to the less fortunate. Now, that’s a noble message. A message Jesus himself would probably support. But it’s also a financial state in which almost no one in the U.S. or Canada lives – most likely including Mr. Janz.