Editor's note: This story kicks off our three-part series on virtual real estate worlds. Find out why these worlds are not just games, and what entices people to pay real money for land in cyberspace. (See Part 2: Real estate investors gain ground in virtual worlds and Part 3: The real estate worlds of cyberspace.) Tiered mansions perch atop steep, lushly vegetated cliffs. Piers, like giant outstretched fingers, extend into gentle bay waters, and a modern pyramid towers above the surreal landscape. And here, at the corner of Sansome and Green streets in this San Francisco neighborhood, a nondescript metal plaque set in a stout concrete base denotes the site of a lab where Philo Taylor Farnsworth, the "Genius of Green Street," conceived and constructed a device that would forever cha...
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