Category Archives: Uncategorized

Participate in a St. Patrick’s Day parade

Monday, March 17, 2008

I attended a St. Paddy’s Day parade in an SL version of Dublin (see pic) because I am dipping my toe into socializing now that I am not a complete dweeb who runs into everything and can’t dress.

Of course in honor of St. Paddy’s Day I had to come up with a whole new outfit, complete with a huge ponytail of green hair, a black mini, green and white striped tights, and a tight green shirt, finished with green mary janes. Then, 5 minutes before the parade was to start, I had misgivings and changed into a green ball gown.

The parade was well attended by SL standards. I’ll explain. Any time you get more than 40 people in a region, you have something known as lag, especially if people are dressed to the nines and have their bagpipes out. We would struggle to walk through the air which had become as thick as molasses, on our way to the bleachers on the side of the road, and then suddenly break free and pass our destination, only to find ourselves suddenly back where we started and walking in place. It’s totally disorienting and really irritating, but there isn’t much that can be done at the moment. It’s a function of the love of bling.

They had created many spots to stop and watch, so I flew overhead and selected the spot at the bend of the road with the bleachers. I took a seat near the top. The parade itself was…unimpressive. Lots of green. Bagpipes playing. Someone handed out jig bracelets which caused us to dance little jigs to the parade music. It was more fun than a normal parade because we didn’t have to go outside.

Afterwards, there was a dance in the park and most of us were flying 20 feet in the air. Why? Because it’s Second Life and we can, of course.

Try these five things if you are new to Second Life

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I finally got a friend to sign on to Second Life so I wouldn’t be so lonely, and now I feel obligated to speed her initiation by pointing her to some really good sources for how to live in Second Life. I share them with you all as well, in case they are helpful.

1. Check out this article on Second Life from BusinessWeek. This was written in early 2006, but it’s still relevant. The author got an avatar for the purpose of seeing what the big deal is. He learned that SL is so complex that there’s no way to actually know everything that you can do in SL. I agree!

2. Look for Flickr’s slide shows on Second Life. These SL residents have created whole photo albums and uploaded their pictures to them. You can get a really good idea of what people do in Second Life by flipping through these slide shows.

3. Create a photo album on Flickr for your adventures on Second Life. Learning to take pictures has been really fun. If you do this, be sure to read up on “pose balls” – they help you arrange yourself for a photo.

4. Try out the online commerce system. I found out that you can buy land, hair, clothes, complete avatars, furniture, animations, jewelry, toys, dogs, cars, and even sex parts. You can do this “in-world” in thousands of shops, or you can go to eBay or OnRez or another of the regular Internet commerce sites. I went to OnRez and succeeded in figuring out how to buy new hair. My hair is a cool basic cut and it comes in 40 colors, which I can change anytime! Right now it’s plum. Goes great with my green eyes.

5. Learn about SL fashion. Fashion is really important on SL because you can make and buy an infinite variety of clothing. You can also make some silly mistakes while learning the ropes on fashion. I ran across this Second Life fashion blog and laughed a lot. I had already made several of the errors! They’ve photographed the offending avatars and put black bars over their eyes to protect their identites! LOL.

So what’s the big deal about Second Life, anyway?

I got into Second Life in 2007, out of curiosity about what might be in there. I don’t think I had any idea what it would be like, and every few months, I must again reevaluate my assessment of the environment.

The point of this blog is to talk about the learning opportunities open to you in this 3D virtual world. You can meet and learn from other people in here. It’s really all about the people, which is a nice way to use the Internet, if you think about it.

First, the basics. Second Life (SL) is a 3D virtual world that allows chatting, animations, creation of objects, and use of vast amounts of virtual space. All in your one “real life (RL)” computer on a smallish desk in the corner. It’s a compact and non-messy way to learn stuff and interact with others. No glue, no project tables, no display shelves as with model airplanes, jigsaw puzzles, or scrapbooking. It’s a social venue, a free commerce zone for virtual goods and services, a meeting place, and a zone for unstructured play time.

Second Life is NOT a game or a dating service, although you may occasionally find both of those items within the world. In general, there is no winning and losing, and you get out of it what you make of it. It is also not the only 3D virtual world out there. In fact, more than 100 of them exist. Do check out as many as you have the patience to investigate, as I am certain there are wonderful things happening at each.

If you are new to Second Life, perhaps you should ask yourself,  “What do I want to get out of this experience?” Because once you get past the irritatingly long learning curve on how to move and customize your avatar, you are going to be dumped into a world with about 50,000 other avatars at any one time.

Common Second Life residents include:

  • Casual visitors to SL, just checking out the climate or coming on to hang with friends or family
  • Artists who make 3D art and find ways to display it to the public (and hopefully sell it)
  • Architects who make 3D buildings and other types of objects, often with scripts added which give them extra functionality (and hopefully sell them)
  • Entrepreneurs who find hot-selling content and arrange to resell it
  • Venue owners, hosts and hostesses, DJs and live musicians in dance clubs which operate on tips and related merchandise
  • Existing brincks-and-mortar businesses using the space as a new way to reach the public, such as the journal Science, which has an island and does live scholarly paper presentations.
  • Organizations (for-profit or nonprofit) which see the value of 3D space for meetings between participants that are physically far apart.
  • The general public in SL which consists of dancers, meeting participants, lecture attendees, shoppers, daters, socializers, learners and more.