I have been playing a lot of Second Life lately. I recommend it. It’s free for 7 days, so you can see if you’ll like it before you spend any money. You can get a basic membership which costs $9.95 for life. All you have to do to maintain it is to log in at least once a month. I have a Premium membership, which gives me a few more options, but I played basic for a while and there isn’t much you can’t do.
If you do decide to try it out, I only ask two things; one: use me as your referrer, I’m ‘Your Sunshine’ in SecondLife, and two, find me and say hi.
Oh, and it probably wouldn’t hurt to ask me about how Linden Labs (the company who makes/runs SL) will pay you to play SL, effectively paying you more the more you play. I’ll explain it in-game, but here’s a glimpse of how some people are doing it:
If you are a property owner (requires a Premium account), the amount of time people spend on your land is measured and called ‘dwell’ – the people with the most dwell (as measured in a couple of different ways) get paid actual cash money. (As opposed to many ways they pay you in-game currency, Linden bucks or L$, which is easily exchanged for cash.) So if you build a dance club and get people to come dance by having contests or theme nights or just good music, you get paid for hanging out online in a virtual world with your friends and new friends.