Second Life’s virtual money can become real-life cash

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Dana Moore sells rain. He sells a lot of it, for about a buck per reusable storm.

“I don’t know why people love buying rainstorms,” he said, watching his product drizzle last week, “but they do seem to like them a lot.”

The attraction isn’t rain, per se, but Moore’s rain, which can deluge swaths of land on command. The rain falls not in Bowie, where he lives with his wife of 37 years, but in the virtual world of Second Life, the Web portal where he also markets snow, clocks, University of Maryland basketball T-shirts, Duke basketball T-shirts (grudgingly), two-story Tudor-style homes, pinup posters from the 1930s and the sounds of barking dogs.

In the physical world, Moore, 62, writes software for a subsidiary of defense contractor Raytheon. In the virtual world, he is one of thousands of entrepreneurs selling products — for genuine American dollars — that add a remarkably profitable dose of reality to Second Life’s fantasy world.

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