America’s Army was always announced as a “game” sponsored by the US Army to find out leadership trends in youths. So, LL could have been comissioned to do a similar thing, but focused upon political and economical vocational discovery, and not “team” leadership in a warfare environment.
Linden Lab hardly seems to make huge amounts of profit and grows slowly. It is also seriously attracting attention from the non-gaming community – perhaps even more so, since Second Life hardly has the necessary elements to be considered a “game” (although it is definitely entertaining). This could point to “other sources of income” that we simply don’t know anything about – again, pointing to US governmental funding for specific purposes.
The game was targeted towards adults. Most game platforms prefer to target the “console generation”, ie. late teenagers and young adults. The Teen Grid was a recent addition – LL survived very well without it. So it seems that an adult, mature audience was the key to LL’s success. Also, although there certainly are many worthwhile exceptions, the bridges between SL and real life are built mostly by residents in the 30-50 age span. Are they the intended audience of LL?
Of course, after a few more weeks in-world, the conspiracy theory slowly faded into the mists of irrealism and I started to enjoy myself too much to still believe in those things.