Here's a news flash from the Geek Gestalt blog on CNET News.com:
According to a report out Tuesday from Virtual Worlds Management, the trade group that puts on the Virtual World conferences, a total of $184 million was invested in such businesses in the first quarter of 2008.
That is $184 million that could be alleviating a global hunger crisis, providing affordable housing to the victims of predatory lending practices, or doing anything to make sure that ten years from now our environment will still be life-supporting. Yes, I know this money is invested on the basis of what it is likely to return; but what does it profit one to gain an abundant ROI and forfeit the world that supports one's life-style? Do these investors think they will be able to live in their virtual worlds after our only real one has gone down the tubes? Once again our sense of reality has turned out to be our most endangered species!