Virtual World Business And Development Information

Anshe’s Checkered Past

Posted by SIM on January 16, 2007

Anshe’s kinky past revealed
January 17, 2007

Anshe Chung, the Second Life real-estate magnate, who has become the poster girl of the virtual business world, got her start as an exotic masseuse, who used to run classes in virtual lovemaking.

Anshe is the online persona – or avatar – of former language teacher Ailin Graef who, with her husband, Guntram Graef, have created a booming business inside the Second Life virtual world.

In November, Anshe announced that she had accumulated computer-generated assets worth the equivalent of more than $US1 million (in real money), making her – according to her press release – the world’s first virtual world millionaire.

The claims of the avatar’s past have come to light after a series of attempts by her company, Anshe Chung Studios, to cajole blogs and websites into removing images and video of a recent attack on her by hackers backfired.

According to a post in the Valleywag blog today, Anshe worked as a “black mistress” and as an “escort” out of a place inside Second Life known as the Cannabis Cathedral.

According to Valleywag, escort services in Second Life “involve going to a restricted area, and watching sexy or kinky 3D animations, while the escort talks dirty”.

“It’s a combination of porn and sex chat. Escorts never typically meet their clients, and many customers go for the novelty or amusement, rather than sexual gratification,” according to the post.

These claims are not just rumour and innuendo. There are several interviews with Anshe before she became famous outside Second Life where she admits to her past.

In a November 2005 report in Fortune magazine, Anshe told reporter Roger Parloff: “I started … as a private entertainer, somebody people who are bored or lonely could seek out for company.”

In a January 2005 interview with Walter Spaight in the Second Life Herald, a blog that covers events in the virtual world, Anshe refers to her activities in “fashion design and private entertainment”.

And, in a November 2004 question-and-answer session with another Second Life celebrity called Cristiano Midnight, there is this following exchange:

CM: You used to teach a class on virtual lovemaking. What are your views on avatar sex in SL, and the whole sexual nature of SL?

AC: Oh, well, it is fun 🙂 But I wouldn’t say that SL has a sexual nature. I think there are many people who chose not to explore this option. What strikes me as funny is that in most other online worlds they encourage you to become a killer while they rigorously “protect” you from most natural thing in the world.

Valleyway also points to a document posted on a Second Life forum called Second Citizen, which purports to be a screen grab from Second Life of an advertisement put out by Anshe in her earlier incarnation spruiking her services.

“If you are nice and generous to me like a real gentleman or lady I can be your private entertainer. I will be delighted to make you happy in many ways performing for you, providing you company during your travels or a tender massage in your home :-),” the ad reads.

“I am a material girl with a money fetish – this means I get very kinky if you give me a nice gift. I don’t know why. It kinda happens. Just a reaction of my body getting very hot. Maybe because I feel you show me special appreciation. So many boys want to make love and have nice words, but not so many boys really give up something they cherrish. This is why I ask for a little tip when you meet me :-)”

The ad lists a variety of services and prices. They range from “PG”-rated services – such as conversation and massage – costing 500 Linden dollars an hour to “M”-rated services – such as “love” and “black mistress” starting from 1000 Linden dollars an hour.

(Linden dollars are the in-world currency, so named because a company called Linden Lab owns Second Life. The currency is fully convertible into $US at the current exchange rate of $267 Lindens to $US1.)

A link to the forum post containing the ad as well as some of blogs posts which refer to Anshe Chung’s past have been removed from her official Wikipedia entry over the past month.

In the logs that track all changes to Wikipedia, the editor who made the changes claimed that some of the inclusions were an “unverifiable smear”.

In recent weeks, Guntram Graef, the chief executive of Anshe Chung Studios, has been trying to smother images and video of an attack by hackers who sabotaged a recent appearance by Anshe inside Second Life.

In December, Anshe was holding a Q&S session in an auditorium inside Second Life owned by the technology publisher CNET when the hackers – known as griefers because they cause grief – unleased a phalanx of flying phalluses.

The tool that cause the disruption was what is called a self-replicating script. It creates multiple copied objects, which can eventually overwhelm the virtual space, causing the server in which the environment is housed to crash.

Anshe Chung Studios also lobbied YouTube, the video sharing site owned by Google, to remove two videos that contained footage of the attack.
The Graefs claimed to own copyright over the images of Anshe Chung and that the videos (and images taken from the videos) were unlawful under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

After receiving an email from a lawyer from the US-based Electronic Frontier Foundation that the videos fell under the “fair use” provisions of the act, the complaint was withdrawn and at least one of the videos was restored.

Earlier this week, Guntram Graef told CNET that the DMCA complaint was a “mistake” and that he “didn’t realise that some people would misunderstand this as a censorship attempt, which it definitely was not”.

CNET reported, however, that YouTube had changed its reasoning for deleting the video, saying that it had been removed for a “terms of service violation”.

Several copies of one of the videos – the one taken by the griefers – have reappeared on YouTube and on Google Videos.

A video of the attack taken by this reporter, which was earlier removed by YouTube and then restored after the copyright claim was dropped, does not work. YouTube has not responded to questions as to whether this is a technical malfunction or a deliberate one.

In an interview with CNET published today, Guntram Graef says the images and video are “clearly defaming and constitute a sexual assault”.

“I think everybody at Anshe Chung Studios believes in how important it is that the press can report on events and facts without censorship,” he told CNET’s Daniel Terdiman. “This does not mean that it is appropriate to distribute pornographic material that people created to harm a woman.”

Second Life is a virtual world where players own the intellectual copyright over anything they create inside the platform.

Although there are more than 2 million members, only about 10 per cent of them are active.

Anshe Chung Studios is based in the Chinese city of Wuhan and employs a staff of about 30. The company’s main revenue come from property development and real estate inside Second Life.

Anshe Chung Studios buys lands from Linden Lab, develops and subdivides it then sells or rents property to other in-world players.


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