Megabyte Millionaire

Jon Jacobs wants to make a fortune. His business: virtual real estate.

Jacobs directs his avatar in front of a large screen inside Club NeverDie. On the screen is a picture of Jacobs from Hey DJ sporting Elvis-like sideburns. The avatar stands in front of the man, like the puppet before the puppeteer.

"This is the future," Jacobs says.

Suddenly three people send messages to Jacobs at once. Someone has been inside Club NeverDie killing other players. In Entropia, avatars can die and are re-created without losing any items. The person isn't doing any lasting damage. He's just being annoying or, as Jacobs puts it, "a fucking idiot."

In Entropia, gamers can hunt down monstrous creatures for 
real cash
In Entropia, gamers can hunt down monstrous creatures for real cash
As in real life, buildings and people/avatars vary in 
appearance throughout Entropia Universe
As in real life, buildings and people/avatars vary in appearance throughout Entropia Universe
After Jacobs's girlfriend Tina Leiu passed away, this virtual 
memorial was constructed inside Entropia
After Jacobs's girlfriend Tina Leiu passed away, this virtual memorial was constructed inside Entropia
Normally Club NeverDie is popular for its in-game dance 
parties
Normally Club NeverDie is popular for its in-game dance parties
Jon Jacobs and Cheri London were married virtually inside Club NeverDie
Jon Jacobs and Cheri London were married virtually inside Club NeverDie
In Entropia, Jon "NeverDie" Jacobs has invested in more 
than just real estate. On July 20, he paid 100,000 PED, or 
$10,000, at auction for a rare item known as the Unique 
Green Atrox Queen Egg. It's a large egg with a thick 
vibrating shell. Jacobs isn't sure whether the egg will 
produce a never-before-seen exotic animal or add 
something entirely new to the game. "Maybe it won't do 
anything at all," Jacobs admits. But the egg has, of 
course, generated buzz for Jacobs's virtual club.  On an 
online forum, Entropia gamers speculate about the egg's 
contents. Joked one Entropia player: "Why don't we just 
make a nice, big omelet?"
In Entropia, Jon "NeverDie" Jacobs has invested in more than just real estate. On July 20, he paid 100,000 PED, or $10,000, at auction for a rare item known as the Unique Green Atrox Queen Egg. It's a large egg with a thick vibrating shell. Jacobs isn't sure whether the egg will produce a never-before-seen exotic animal or add something entirely new to the game. "Maybe it won't do anything at all," Jacobs admits. But the egg has, of course, generated buzz for Jacobs's virtual club. On an online forum, Entropia gamers speculate about the egg's contents. Joked one Entropia player: "Why don't we just make a nice, big omelet?"
The club's walls are decorated  with pictures of Jacobs and his fashionable avatar
The club's walls are decorated with pictures of Jacobs and his fashionable avatar

Jacobs brushes off the incident. But 30 minutes later, it spirals out of control. A player who was killed in Club NeverDie paid to place an advertisement in the game-wide bulletin system: "Ubers (high-level players) kill people in bio-domes. Don't waste 40 PED."

Jacobs, frustrated, throws his hands in the air and slams them down on the desk.

"You get idiots doing this: He comes up here. Somebody kills him, so he uses the advertising system to try to damage the business," Jacobs says. "The same thing happens in real life. I could be running a club, somebody gets stabbed, and then the papers are saying, 'Don't go to Club Space.' I've got the same problem. At least here, no one really got hurt."

Jacobs spends the rest of the afternoon talking to the players and posting messages on the forums. It's work.

This isn't a game. It's a business.

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