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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

THE SIM'S STORY, CHAPTER 2

(Being an ongoing account of one simulator's history, from its appearance in the world to the community that emerges from it. Chapter 1 here.)

Last Friday, I took a morning jog out to Tenjin, to have a look at the land that was up for auction. In the days before then, at least three patches of the simulator had gone up on the block, the first being a 2048 square meter region just off the highway, most of which stretched out into the water. Bidding started at L$2,048, and stayed at about that level for the first few days. In the last couple hours before closing, however, three residents launched into a bidding war-- and rental rights went for L$9,510 (about US$38).

After getting the exact coordinates, I hopped off the highway, and took a few screenshots of the first area of Tenjin to be acquired by a resident.

However, this wasn't the only area of Tenjin to go up for auction, last week.

An area of 672 square meters, located entirely in the water, went unbidded on for days. Until hours before closing, that is, when three residents bid up the property from L$672 to L$1,310. (About US$5, for some land beneath the sea.)

Meanwhile, on the Northern edge of Tenjin, a tiny island (most of which is submerged) was auctioned for US dollars, and jumped, thirty bids and seven competitors later, from an opening bid of US$8.00 to a winning bid of US$99.50. (Again, with the most ferocious competition happening on the last day of the auction-- actually, the last hour. I'm sensing a pattern here.)

So in the second week of its existence, and the first week when part of it was put up for bidding, Tenjin has three lease holders. In the coming weeks, I hope to talk with these early pioneers, and if they're inclined to speak for the record, find out what they intend to make of their place in the world.

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