So I logged in… I even read the boards… I spent 2 minutes zooming around shouting “I can flyyyyyyy!” What do I do next???
The first thing to say about Second Life is that it isn’t a game in the traditional sense. It doesn’t have any set objectives that you have to meet to level up. Each person entering does so for their own reasons and the objectives are your to set.
The first thing to remember is that although it’s a virtual world with what appear to be “cartoon people” there are real people behind them — and the same rules of manners and behavior exist. Always think about whether or not you would behave a certain way in real life before doing it in-world:
• Don’t stand too close to people you are talking to.
It just makes them feel uncomfortable.
• Read profiles before sending an IM.
This gives so much information — and may even request no IMs.
• If you don’t receive a reply from someone, don’t assume that’s negative.
You don’t know what else they are doing. They may not even speak the same language.
• Don’t send people unannounced teleport requests.
• Don’t quiz people on their real life information.
Does this really matter when getting to know someone on a virtual world?
If it comes up later and you are interested, great! If not, let it go.
All new avatars into Second Life are supplied with sets of avatars you can use, however, most people choose to look outside their library folders — and in your first weeks here this is where the Freebie shops can help you. You can get everything from skins, shapes and hair to clothing and shoes and then mix it all up to create your unique look. When you are ready to move onto spending some precious Lindens there are any number of shops to help you achieve whatever look you are after — from Gothic to Neko or Furry.
The currency in Second Life is Linden dollars. You will find ways to get small amounts in your first weeks from money trees or by entering club contests. You can also choose to buy them through the Lindex exchange, or use some of the handy DX Exchange terminals. As you get older, you can always explore the SL job market!
Many jobs are available within SL, but generally employers like you to be at least 30 days old. It also helps if your avatar is well put together, as this will demonstrate your experience. Just as in real life, earnings will be according to skills. If you just want a basic job for a few Lindens, maybe club hosting or dancing is for you. Or you could look into building or scripting classes. Generally you will earn enough to spend. Only expect to make big bucks if you invest major time and effort into creating saleable products and invest money into marketing and selling these.
Once you buy or earn those Lindens, you might want to invest the in renting your own private space. You can get anything from houses to skyboxes or even a castle if your budget stretches that far. Most tenancies are on a weekly basis and include certain allowances for furniture. Renting a house can be a nice way of getting into a community and meeting fellow residents — ultimately gaining you friends.
Most people entering SL are doing so to form some kind of relationship — whether it be as friends or partners. The best way to make friends is to hang around groups of people and join in their conversation. Get to know people in the same way you would in real life. don’t badger people with unsolicited friend requests — this generally annoys them. You should expect it to take a little while to get people on your contacts list — but then you will find these people stay friends with you all the way through your SL.
This is by far the best thing about SL — so many ways to have fun! From clubbing to horse riding or even bungee jumping off Big Ben! Search is your friend here — and if you find a club or sim you like — join their group. You will get notices of events happening and there may even be an active group chat so you can get to know others that have the same interest as you.
Do you love Star Trek? Are you a pirate or fairy at heart? A fan of the Gorean Novels? You can “live” it in Second Life! This is in area were you will have to do a fair amount of research and preparation before jumping in. Most role play sims have specific rules and expectations. Many will provide information notecards and freebies on how to get started and some even provide classes for newcomers to help them acclimate themselves to the new “world” or RP. It is important to note that this is an area where online safety can be a concern. Most RP communities have strict online safety standards and they should be read and adhered to.
The moral of the story is — your Second Life is what you choose it to be and what you make it.
So, get out there and enjoy it!
by Evie Falconer
edited by Jami Titanium