Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Second Life

John Marine | 12/13/2017 01:38:00 AM | | | | |
@SecondLife is a very popular virtual world. I joined #SecondLife to see what I can do in activities and in assets. SL is not exactly a game- it is a world outside of the real world where you can do almost anything. You are free to be you with all kinds of goods and activities to engage yourself with. You can engage in real-life experiences you may never get to experience in real life. You can dress yourself up in literally millions of clothing and avatar options. Besides entertainment, it is offered as a promotional tool, an educational tool, and much more. This blog post offers my own sort of look at Second Life.






Second Life at a Glance


Get to know Second Life.

Second Life Linden Labs
^ from: (Twitter) - Second Life- where you can live in your own world but also exist in the most popular and successful virtual world. It is no game, no social media platform, and no massively multiplayer realm.

Second Life (or SL for short) was created in 2003 by Linden Labs, based in San Francisco, California, USA. It has been developed extensively over the years as it remains one of the best online simulations of any kind. A way to think of Second Life is kind of like "The Sims," only more realistic and not as lighthearted. You can engage in activities and live lives outside of the real world in Second Life. So to say Second Life is a "game" is pretty much untrue. Second Life allows you to live a life outside of the real world. You even can express yourself in many ways you probably would not or could not do in real life. Various promotional content is offered here also. You can be part of causes and even gain an education from material offered here. People use Second Life for much more than entertainment.


Living in Second Life.

As I mentioned before, Second Life is not a game. It isn't even a social networking medium. It is instead executed literally as a world outside of our own. It is not a game because there are no goals or storyline. You aren't on Second Life to defeat a monster or save the world from disaster. You are instead in to live and interact with the world. There are even events that take place on certain days at certain times of day. As the name suggests, you are living a second life outside of the one we all live in.

Not every location in Second Life is a fun destination. People actually use Second Life for educational purposes as well. Some places have educational content you can access. I even once visited a location that was this lavish museum including beautifully-modeled 3D items and fabulous artwork. A lot of places can be quite intensive on the 3D modeling front. So you may need some places to keep loading to see them in all of their detail.

You can join Groups and even find work. You can even seek friends and love in Second Life. There is so much to do and many ways to interact with others. So take full advantage of these things and have an awesome time in Second Life!


Maturity.

Where you can go and what you can do depends on your Maturity settings. Most people usually have their Second Life set at General (G) or even General and Moderate (M). Some people have their Maturity settings at General (G), Moderate (M), and Adult (A). You need to be 18 years of age or older to access Adult content. Being at GMA will likely give you all there is to Second Life to access. Be warned that a lot of content may not be suitable for all audiences. And even some of the General or Moderate material may not be completely wholesome to all audiences. Visit carefully.


Property.

You do not have to be a vagabond in Second Life. With enough currency, you can be able to own land or rent land. Rates for land or houses vary based on the location. If you are a Second Life Premium member, you can get perks such as your own house for not a whole lot of money. But for the rest of us, you're best served trying to find property to rent if you want your own pad in Second Life. Such locations have payment rates for weeks. Make sure you have enough L$ to pay the landlord... or you may have to find a new place to call your own!


Currency.

The currency of Second Life is Linden Dollars (L$). It is needed to access some services and purchase some goods in Second Life. You can earn L$ by taking part in certain games and activities in Second Life. Alternatively, you can pay others in L$ or receive L$ from users- just like you can give and receive money in PayPal. Some places take donations of L$. You can voluntarily donate to places in L$ through certain amounts specified or from how much you want to donate. Donations are always appreciated, but just like with my own work, are completely voluntary (meaning you don't have to do it if you don't want to).


Events.

Events in Second Life happen every day, all the time. These range from entertainment activities, to educational classes, to seminars given at certain times. Get involved with the events if you get a chance. Some events may require certain things of you. For example, some locations and events may require you to wear formal clothing for your avatar. You may also have to be of a certain age to participate in certain locations.


Modding.

Material made for Second Life is all created by devoted and talented users worldwide. Making textures and meshes for all kinds of objects and places is what makes Second Life amazing. Most of your favorite 2D and 3D programs will serve you well in producing content for Second Life. In fact, I have developed interest in making Second Life material.

You can look up many different tutorials on YouTube as well as on Second Life's Wiki page.


Rules.

Just like in real life, there are various rules to make sure you don't step out of line. Many environments have a zero tolerance policy regarding various forms of violence. Second Life has weapons you can equip your avatar with. Many places also have zero tolerance regarding heckling and bullying people on Second Life. Besides violence, a number of locations also have rules regarding wearing clothes. Nudity is disallowed in a some zones and in some locations. Your account can be suspended or terminated if you get reported.


Questioning Virtual Worlds?

Many people would question why we have a virtual world and why would there be so much attention to detail for such a realm? Well, Second Life isn't much more a virtual world as any other virtual world for any game or other sort of interactive media. Second Life is as much as medium of expression as the real world.


Can your computer handle Second Life? Make sure your computer meets the general requirements before playing. You otherwise may not be able to properly participate in the many different activities in the program. Allow me to offer some thoughts now on Second Life. My first impressions are coming up next...




Second Life: First Impressions


Here is a section where I explain some of my original thoughts on Second Life.

The first thing to hit me about Second Life is not so much this virtual world, but how the various areas are implemented. You nearly swear you are in a sophisticated browser instead of being part of some pre-made world. Places you visit seem more like 3D websites rather than some pre-made world. To that point, you note some locations have items such as files you can access or embedded videos you can watch. In fact, when you visit the Social Island (mostly the main hub of Second Life), you will find yourself seeing different embedded YouTube videos that you can access for more help on items. You can actually use these embedded videos and not have to worry about using a separate browser or anything. Second Life does have its own internal browser for things like the Marketplace and for searching for anything within Second Life. So you don't need to have another browser open, unless you want to have one open to look up certain things about Second Life.

Prior to Second Life, the only real environment similar to SL that I have engaged in was PlayStation Home on the PlayStation 3. I had a terrible time meeting new people, and I didn't exactly enjoy customizing many things in that program. PS Home even was slow to access often times. So when I did Second Life, it was a much better experience than almost anything I did on PS Home.

Now on to a few more impressions and thoughts.




My Second Life Experience So Far


Here are my own experiences so far.


Avatars and Outfits.

I mostly have enjoyed dressing up avatars in Second Life. I have an avatar with three different outfits going by name:

Male - a male model I've created.
I started off with a male model in Second Life. As usual, I try to make someone who is a representation of myself along with an idea of my own personality.

Female - a female model I've created.
I am essentially the same way with my female model, only I try to express feminine style as I see fit. So to this end, I try to dress up my female outfit with my own fashion cues and thoughts.

Androgynous (later called "Genderless") - a model with masculine and feminine features, but is technically genderless.
I feel this is perhaps the best platform to express fashion style. Androgyny is either masculine with feminine touches or feminine with masculine touches. I try to find a delicate balance between feminine style and masculine charm. Let's face it- there is a unique appeal to a male with feminine charm. So I emphasize feminine looks while still having somewhat of masculine charm. There are a lot more feminine touches to this outfit but with some kind of reminder this is a male model. So honestly, this outfit can either be seen as a combination of masculine and feminine, or just simply not supposed to be either completely male or female.

Experimental (also called "Sandbox") - a test model for trying various clothing and model combinations.
If I want to make complete avatars or sample clothing options, I will use my Experimental character to try out these concepts. I have interests in designing clothes and other items in Second Life. I will therefore use this model to test out different items.


Shopping.

I am cheap, so I try to take advantage of free goods. The first freebies I came across were with the New Resident Island. Just some mere basics were enough to get me going. I eventually learned how to buy clothing and put them on. Later, I became more adept at it and tried coming up with clothing combinations.

I had used a female avatar in Second Life. What I did was use the Female Dressing Room. That was until some Moderator directed me to the Androgynous Dressing Room. I now use that dressing room like my home or for dressing and undressing my avatars. Since I am clearly male and using a feminine avatar, I could possibly have been reported according to that Moderator.

You can purchase items even if they are offered for free. If an item is NOT for free, you will need to gain credits. The currency in Second Life is Linden Dollars (L$). You will need to gain L$ either by earning money in Second Life or buying some with your own money. To know how much Linden Dollars you want to get, you will need to go to Second Life's website.


Chatting.

I haven't done any voice chatting, but I have done regular chatting. Most of whom I've chatted with are mostly newcomer-friendly persons. It has been a very nice experience so far. Haven't yet dealt with any horrible people yet. One person I chatted with even paid me L$ when I mentioned I didn't have enough L$ to upload meshes (uploading meshes into Second Life costs 10 L$)! It was an unexpected, yet appreciated thing!


Fashion.

Second Life has a whole lot of options available to you for dressing up your avatar. Most clothing options involve setting up bases and alphas before applying meshes. Most items are usually on pictures or in some kind of 3D display. You go up to something and either buy it immediately, or you right-click on it and click on "Buy."

I have interest in developing items for Second Life. Needless to say, while I do follow feminine fashion a lot, there seems to be a whole lot of not-so-wholesome feminine fashions. Almost as if designers emphasize super-sexy and not so much chic or even "cute" fashions. I may want to try to change that.


Locations.

Be mindful that Second Life include places both of the entertaining variety and of the serious variety. Not every zone is a fun place, yet you are allowed to have fun and enjoy your time touring these virtual realms.

Most of where I have visited have mostly been places that offer freebies and helpful newcomer-friendly zones. The first big favorite of mine was New Resident Island. You can score some free items to dress up your avatar as well as learn more about Second Life. There were even some helpful individuals on hand to chat with. One of the first dangers of mine was that I had a feminine avatar, and I used the female dressing room. That was until one individual directed me to the Androgynous Dressing Room of New Resident Island. I since have used the Androgynous Dressing Room to dress up my avatar. I even Landmarked and Favorited it. It is sort of my home in Second Life, though I consider myself more a vagabond in Second Life.

Nikita Freebies is a massive zone featuring all kinds of free items. Not everything is free, though. Some items along the walls and not on the clear floors cost L$. You otherwise can find a whole lot of items for customization. Those even include complete avatars and avatar accessories (such as tattoos).

Not all places are pleasant, though. I once visited a Location in Second Life that was a memorial for transgenders who were killed or committed suicide. It was really sad to look at the different transgender types who were killed and remembered. There are a bunch of candles at this memorial site in that location. You could click on those candles to view small eulogies for fallen transgenders. It was just powerful. I also visited a locale in Second Life representing the Transgender Resource Center.

I mentioned there are more serious places you can access. These can be real-life representations of certain educational and promotional locales. One of those was when I visited a Sandbox (a place for testing meshes and other items) created by the University of Texas Health Services Center at Houston. I then visited other locales such as one Place featuring the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, USA; and I also visited one zone resembling the San Francisco Exploratorium. People actually use Second Life for conducting classes people attend. So take in these opportunities if you get a chance. I don't remember it well, but there was even some kind of airport locale that I visited from from Editor's Choice portal from the Social Island.


Recommendation: Use Firestorm!

The Second Life Viewer is good enough for all of your SL tasks. However, Firestorm works better and has more flexibility. Firestorm is an open-source launcher for Second Life and other similar open-world simulations. Only two issues I've endured with Firestorm- I sometimes access a chatting session by simply pressing any of the regular letter keys, and Firestorm can sometimes be slow to open and close (usually closing).

In case you are interested in Firestorm, learn more about it by visiting www.firestormviewer.org.


Now let me tell what I think about Second Life with these upcoming Final Thoughts.




Second Life: Final Thoughts


Second Life means so many tings to so many people. It is not a game, but a virtual world outside of our own. It allows you to express yourself in a realm where you otherwise may not be able to express yourself in reality. It allows you to experience things virtually you may not be able to experience in real life. While visiting places in SL can be great, it also is great for advertising and promotion. The events and happenings range from entertaining ones to educational ones. It is understandable to think of Second Life as a game. But in reality, it is NOT a game. While I never understood the expression "life imitating art," Second Life imitates life. Not everything in Second Life is about entertainment. People use Second Life for educational purposes and even to offer helpful resources for dealing with life issues. It is the most complete virtual world on the market. It is certainly possible to live another life when you try Second Life. I would recommend you try it out if I have convinced you about Second Life. And with some of the different additions to be made in the future, it will get even better.


Video Preview.

This video offers a basic overview of Second Life and what it has to offer. This is what I have discussed all post long:


^ Welcome to Second Life


For More Information...

Visit the official website of Second Life at www.secondlife.com for more information on Second Life. You can visit Second Life's Wiki page for help with modding for SL. And if you want a launcher for Second Life, I recommend Firestorm, which can be procured here: www.firestormviewer.org.


I hope you enjoyed this blog post.





That is it for this blog post about Second Life. Hopefully I have done enough to convince you about Second Life. If you love my blog(s), please Subscribe and Follow in whatever capacity. It would mean a whole lot to me. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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