Virtual Worlds In A Nutshell
The elevator pitch answer is ‘They’re online 3D virtual representations of worlds you can imagine and experience, both real and fantasy.
You enter and explore them through your computer. You can travel anywhere you like in the world, or in your imagination instantly!
You can meet new friends throughout the world, have fun solving puzzles and problems, learn about other cultures including the UK, and improve your computer skills.’
… *’Ping* – this is your floor, end of elevator pitch!
So Who can Join?
It’s free for everyone aged 16+
Sign up for an account here:
Download the software here:
Now for the detailed explanation
These may seem like strange questions to be asked by someone who has already joined the game, but I still get asked them all the time.
New Users log in and ask ‘what is this’, ‘what do I do here’, ‘how do I play this’ and ‘how do I win’. Most think of it as a game, where you progress through several levels to reach a goal.
One thing for sure – it’s not that!
The simple answer is – it’s not a game, not in the way that you know it – one you can win by following a set path like everyone else.
There’s no prescription, no ‘one rule for everyone’, it’s free form fun, creativity, entertainment and work.
Virtual World Overview
The best description of Virtual Worlds and Second Life (more usually called SL by it’s ‘players’) is an enhanced 3D chat room where you interact with other people, join in activities and listen and watch things that interest you.
There are no set rules other than those that people negotiate between themselves.
You make the game up yourself as you go along. One way it’s like a game is – if you make a mess of it, you can wipe the board and start over again.
However, most people don’t do this. You invest so much into the SL character (called an Avatar) you create, you are more likely to carry on than start again.
People can’t get away from themselves in Second Life either, so people often make the same mistakes again and again. That’s life!
You can play games in SL, ‘micro games’ such as Greedy Greedy, a board game with dice.
There are also role play scenarios, clubs, and groups to join which form game options too, and communities to join, such as Vampire clans.
You can role play real lives too, become a virtual millionaire, or a superstar wrestler if you put enough effort into it.
This 3D chat room allows people to play a part, build a family, become an entrepreneur and even make money by selling products and services.
The ‘stickiness’ to SL is the bond people form between each other through the virtual world and the human psyche need to belong.