Shopaholics get their fix in cyberspace

there.com avatarItching to spend? Go shopping online -- and we don't mean on an e-commerce site.

The New York Times reports that consumers formerly known as shopaholics are acting out their old retail lust in cyberspace -- outfitting their Second Life, There or IMVU avatars in the latest Jimmy Choo stilettos and Gucci bags.Spokespeople from the virtual world confirm that 'spending' is up -- and the members doing it say they've had to cut back on their fashion budgets in real life, so dressing their avatars to the nines is an outlet for their urge to splurge. And if you've any doubt that virtual world buffs are serious about fashion, consider one of Second Life's most popular "television shows," "Fabulous Fashion With Angie Mornington." Every week, 15,000 avatars -- and thus, human viewers -- sit down to watch the character Mornington dish on the latest trends.

There is a catch to all of this (two catches, if you feel that watching a 2-D cartoon figure wearing the clothes you want isn't exactly satisfying). Cyberspace shopping isn't free. As the story points out, 10,000 Linden bucks in Second Life cost $40 -- roughly the price of a cute new top you could actually wear in the real world.
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