The Reclusive Billionaire Behind EBay Has Lived For Years In Second Life As A Segway-Riding Black Guy

New York Magazine recently ran a long, fascinating profile of billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. He’s the man behind the internet’s most popular auction site, and also First Look Media, the new publishing group that has attracted the likes of Glenn Greenwald.

But buried in the profile was the fact that Omidyar spent years living as a recluse, interacting with his business contacts using the virtual online world Second Life.

He has an avatar named Kitto Mandala; a tall, tattooed black man with no hair.

It might sound weird, but this is Second Life. The entire point of the virtual platform is to let people do strange and wonderful things they cannot in real life. You can be anyone you want in Second Life, there is no point in being “yourself” (you can do that in real life).

Gawker has discovered that Omidyar has kept a Flickr profile filled with photos of his online avatar.

Omidyar also posted a collection of images showing his online avatar using a range of what appears to be bondage equipment in a mature-rated dungeon named “OutrĂ©.”

Omidyar shared images of his online avatar as it/he attended talks and events within Second Life.

He is an investor in Linden Labs, the company behind the popular virtual world. New York magazine reports that “hardly anyone” in the game knew that Kitto Mandala was actually a billionaire.

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