Thursday, September 13, 2007

Entering Second Life

Well, I'd promised Dr. A I'd blog a bit about Second Life, so I'll make an attempt.

First of all, it's very strange to be doing this from my real life blog. I have a Blogger account name for my avatar, but the blog is blank.

And pink.


Plus, in general I like to keep my Second Life and real life kind of separate. They're going to overlap some, of course. I mean, it's not as if I can be in-world and ignore the children or cats, so the meld kind of just happens for me to some extent.

Note: My husband, however, has incredible skills in this area (although to be fair, he did manage to tear himself off-world yesterday and scoop the litter boxes before I came home, God bless him). It must be some component of that compartmentalization ability guys have?

Anyway regarding the overlap, some of you might have noticed a new commentor, Tycho Beresford, who may appear more familiar with me than most new commentors. That would be because, well, when you've been in a virtual bar in virtual Dublin dancing several nights away with dozens of other avatars bearing rave sticks and other assorted accessories? You kind of get to know each other. He was interested in the etymology of my avatar's last name, and my blog came up during his search. Oops.

So after much thought, you'll notice I edited that post so my Second Life name doesn't appear anymore. Tycho finding me is one thing. Some of the whack jobs out there in the real world who are also in-world? Quite another story.

But Tycho's good peoples.

Moving along now, as I've mentioned here before, sometimes work gets slow. Really, very, painfully slow. As in screaming "move clock, MOVE!" slow. So to occupy time after I've exhausted all the official time-killing duties like cleaning, dusting, sweeping, and so forth, I generally cruise the 'net.

Well, one day I came across an article about Second Life. The concept of a virtual 3-D world intrigued me. I volunteered with an online service provider for five years in a live text-chat environment, and the Second Life interface appeared to be the next step up the evolutionary ladder.

This is nothing like AOL, y'all.

Well, except for the lag. But to dance there? I can live with it.

This was taken by Tycho at Fibber Magee's Nightclub in SL Dublin. I'm the one in the red shirt. And that stomach isn't half bad for a girl who's gone through forty-one-and-a-half weeks of pregnancy twice, eh?


More pictures as Tycho's kindness or my initiative permits.


Dr. A said...

Hmmm. Interesting...

Mauigirl said...

Cool, looks more realistic than I expected! Oh heck, Amanda, I know sooner or later I'm going to go can I resist being able to party at a pub in Dublin?

If I get on this Second Life thing and get addicted I'm going to blame you! ;-)

Stan said...

You know, after I read about Second Life on your blog, I decided to check it out a couple of weeks back.

Well, that thing is confusing. The only two ways to make money is to either sit on a bench for hours (or dance), or pay real dollars.

It's very unclear where the people hang out. I kind of get lost all the time in some empty towns.

What's fun in Second Life? I looooove the idea of a virtual 3-D world...but what's the point, ultimately? To own land? Make money? What is it?

Philip. said...

I must admit to have never tries second life.

Must give it a go sometime :-)

Amanda said...

I have some pictures of the 9/11 Memorial in SL to post today.

I never knew a virtual memorial could make me tear up. I was wrong.

I'll get 'em up once I get the bills out here.

And y'all, I'll let you know what the fun stuff is in SL as well :)

Scott said...

Oh, I am scared for you! That sounds to be more addictive and time consuming than a methamphetamine obsession! I hope you can continue caring for your kids and cats!

patientanonymous said...

Yeah, you've still got me curious about it too...

But a) it's almost like blogging is addictive enough


b) will I just give it up like most things a typical unmotivated ADD'er does?

And money? You have to make money?!
How will I make money? Become a virtual prostitute HAHAHA!

Tycho Beresford said...

I tried SL once and got bored, tried again a few months later and happened upon a live performance by a very good jazz pianist. I kept going back online to listen to him, and each time I went back I was finding more and more to keep me there.

Regarding money, as you can see in the picture there are all sorts of different clothes people are wearing along with shoes, hair styles, skin colors and jewelry not to mention the buildings, floors, signs on the walls, lights, etc. Everything in the world was created by the people there. Some things are given away, most are sold. In addition to objects there are land sales and banking and a stock market - many, many ways to make money. The reference to sitting on a bench, called camping, is a strategy store owners use to increase traffic to their stores. They pay people small amounts to just hang out. The more people hanging out at a store, the more popular it seems and the more people go there to shop. If you've lucky you can make the equivalent of 5 cents per hour camping, so I prefer putting a few bucks from PayPal into my SL account. I've built up a fairly full wardrobe so my main expense nowadays is tipping the DJs.

I don't own land, but am thinking of building (or buying) a houseboat and just paying docking fees. That will let me move around and see different areas. I can't decide if I want a helicopter landing pad on the back or a hot-tub; having both would mean a good-sized boat which would be expensive and make it difficult to find dock space. I have a freebie surfboard I haven't tried yet, but did test-drive a jet-ski over the weekend.

There is just so much to see and do. Not everything there is for everybody, but anyone can find something they like. There are many organizations that provide help to new people; New Citizens Incorporated helped me (search for “NCI” in-world.) Or just ask around, most people are glad to help newbies. Give it a try!

AtYourCervix said...

I admit, you got me curious about Second Life. So curious that I signed up and started playing with it. I've done all of the tutorials so far. BUT - does it always lag so s-l-o-w-l-y? I mean, my goodness. I have broadband, so it should run much smoother than what it does!

Amanda said...

AYC, LOL! Well, the lag can be partially due to your video card. Another thing you can do to help with the lag is to reduce your draw distance (i.e., how far things off are before they don't "rezz up").

Go to Edit > Preferences and click on the "Graphics" tab. Near the middle of the box you'll see a little window with "draw distance" and some numbers beside that. As you're likely in rather busy areas as a newbie, you will want to reduce it to 96 or so.... or perhaps even 64 in extremely crowded sims.

And PA, ROFL on the job thing! Well, one thing you can do is buy the Linden Dollars (L$). There's an option for that at the SL website and other places as well. It's an actual currency exchange,so the number of L$ to $ varies from around 250:1 to 300:1... or at least those are the ranges I've experienced thus far.

There are other jobs available other than sitting on benches. Some of the bars and pubs have hosts, hostesses, DJ's... it's an amazing world out there.

And I love it :)