Friday, December 5, 2008

Second Life

You know, about a month ago I heard a story on the radio about some software called "Second Life". The software itself is a rather small client program (about 25Mg) that installs on a persons computer. I run it on my laptop without a problem. Second Life, most commonly referred to as SL is a virtual world hosted by Linden Labs. My first knowledge of Second Life came from the story that was on the radio. A couple were getting a divorce because the husbands "Avatar" (the body you use to move around in Second Life) was having an affair. Think about that. Pixels on a screen were having an affair. This seemed like the most asinine reason I had ever heard of to get a divorce. Well, let me tell you about my experience with Second Life (SL).

When I first logged on after crating my free account, I arrived in an area where most other "Noobs" arrive. A Noob is a new person, an usually very easy to spot. I had the default clothing and skins. Of course I was allowed to tweak my Avatar to somewhat resemble me, but it was no award winner. After a rather short time of learning the necessary controls and settings, I was ready to explore Second Life (SL). I quickly found a couple of other people who had just arrived and were discussing what and where to go. For about two hours we hung out exploring this new world.

The next day I decided to log on again and see what more there was to find. Let me remind you, the people that you meet are actual people. They are people with real thoughts and real emotions.This was a hard concept for me to grasp in the first few days of my Second Life.

Of course, me being a guy, I decided to check out the local bars and go-go clubs. These are very very realistic. In actuality, they can be considered real. The strippers on stage are people who see you walk in, and they greet you. The owner is normally somewhere to be found in the establishment, and you may speak to them if you have any complaints or comments. On about my second or third day, things got interesting. I started finding hip-hop clubs, rock clubs, reggae clubs. Its all there. I even met a nice woman who was kind enough to spend about four hours with me, showing me around. We started out dancing at a club. In order of events in one day we: went sky diving, scuba diving, on a balloon ride touring Africa, to an amusement park with water rides and go-karts. All of this stuff is very very realistic, especially when you are with someone in Second Life (SL). The photo below is me at one of the many clubs, yes, that is a live big screen showing a video behind me. You will be suprised howmany things are so real in Second life (SL).

On my fourth day, I met a woman there. We have managed to go Ball Room Dancing, shopping and many other things. I found out quickly how easy it is to form a real relationship with someone in Second Life (SL). After all, you are hanging out with a real person, with real feelings. If you tell them a lie, and then forget it, it comes back to haunt you. If you insult them, it hurts their feelings. If you say kind things, it makes them feel good. Just like Real Life (RL). Well, needles to say, me and this wonderful lady, are now a couple in Second Life (SL). We share a virtual home together, a place where I know I can be for her when I log on. Yes, you even have homes, apartments and condos in Second Life (SL). However, just like in Real Life (RL), you need money, money is called "lindens" in Second Life (SL). To earn it, you either get a job, or spend time sitting on camping chairs or benches, which pay anywhere from 1$L every 5 minutes to 1$L every 60 minutes. This can take a lot of your time, and is best done over night when you can just set your Avatar somewhere and let it collect. The other option is to deposit real money into Second Life (SL). Seeming as how I don't think that is a good idea, I prefer the camping method. No matter what method you choose, you will find that you will want to spend money to look good. You will want to buy clothes, more realistic skin for your Avatar, new shoes, jewelry, glasses, all the stuff that you would want in Real Life (RL). After tweaking and buying, my Avatar has a face, body and walk which I find myself trying to emulate in real life. My real life self is no comparison.

Once you have been in Second Life (SL) for more than a few days, you will find yourself coming back more, and more, and more. And hey! If you start dating someone there, you will have a ball. I know I do.

This is dedicated to PC, you know who you are.

Thanks for making my Second Life (SL) so real!!!

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