Hypatia Callisto asks a great question: “So, what are scarce resources in a virtual world?”
I quite agree with her answers (go take a look, and while you’re at it, read her recent series of excellent posts on current events in the metaverse).
There is something I would add to her list, something that makes me rather sad, but nonetheless I think it’s true: Imagination is a scarce resource in a virtual world. Virtual worlds are not unique in this. Oh, sure, we can all put together nice outfits, and have occasional flashes of creativity. But the deep, innovative, world-changing (virtual or “real”) imagination isn’t all that common. And much like the elements on Hypatia’s list, imagination is being disproportionately squeezed by Linden Research, Inc.’s floundering around with their poor business planning (and, as is becoming clearer, with their poor coding decisions).