April 25, 2006

Second Life

Second life is 3-D virtual world built and owner entirely by its residents. It is one of a new generation of massively multiplayer online real-life games created by San Francisco based Linden labs. The idea behind Second Life is to give its residents or citizens the ability to built, develop and participate in the Second Life economy.

Started in 2003 the Second Life game now has over 100,000 citizens from all around the world. These citizens do all the things they do in real life in the game. From buying and selling land and buildings, to creating and developing objects that can range from cars to spaceships.

In Second Life your persona is represented by an Avatar – something you create and modify as you like. When I set up my Avatar (my name in Second Life is Gorog Senior) I chose to give it long black hair and I was given a ‘Second Life’ t-shirt by one of the residents I bumped into while exploring the world. Most often Avatars are human shaped but there are many Avatars in Second Life that have tails and look like rabbits as well – in a virtual world anything goes.

Like any real world there is a lot to do in Second Life. You can for example buy land (using the online currency called Lindens), build a block of flats and then resell the flats to those who need somewhere to live while online. When Second Life began there was a total of 64 acres of land, now in 2006 there are 20,000.

If you are good with creations you could start a factory that produces cars that you can then sell to others who need transport. There are literally thousands of items for sale – click here. There are categories ranging from Building Components to Scripts – the language of choice in Second Life. If you plan on buying and selling you’ll need to use Linden’s. You’ll get about 300 Linden’s for each US Dollar. As an example a 3-story luxury home will cost you about 6500 Linden, or about $20USD.

A basic account is free and includes access to everything. If you want to own land you’ll need a premium account these plans start at $9.95US per month.