Second Life and Other Online Games

The Online video game community has grown at a steady pace in recent years. Many people log on to the online world for many reasons. Some, to take a break from the daily drag to enjoy online games such as World of Warcraft, Star wars online & others, (playing wizards, hunters,etc) for hours as a way of relaxation & also competition. Some come online to try their hand at running and operating their own virtual business or to find friendship or even romance. Many have even furthered these budding relationships offline. One of the best known and popular online communities is Second Life.

Second life overview.

On Second Life you can create an avatar, buy land & meet new friends. There is no charge to create a Second Life account or for making use of the world for any period of time. A premium membership ( US$9.95 / mo, US$ 22.50 / mo, or US$ 72/ yr) extends access to an increased level of technical support, and also pays an automatic stipend of L $ 300/ week into your avatar’s account. You can make your avatar any way you choose ( human,animal, vampire, etc) or you can make your avatar look as you do in real life, The avatar is fully customizable. You can create your own avatar shape, skins, and clothes or you can buy these things and other items from other residents who operate virtual shops inworld.

Education and training in SL.

In Second Life you can do many things while inworld, there are Sims that focus on role playing, some are virtual clubs where many residents meet and socialize and some are virtual schools that teaches residents on many different subjects. There are schools ingame on anything from building to scripting to even clothing design and avatar skin creation. There are also other schools dedicated to hosting and djing.

There are also actual real world Universities that use the second Life platform to hold virtual classes online as well as many corporations using the virtual community as a way to hold meetings and even train their employees. Some companies even have their own private Sims just for this purpose.

Second life & The corporate world

Outside of actual universities carrying some of their classrooms and courses over into the virtual world of Second Life, there are many businesses that has decided to follow the trend and use virtual world platforms like second life to either promote some of their merchandise or as a training Simulation for their employees. Companies such as News networks such as CNN, Reuters, & others have seen the advantages & possibilities to broaden their influence and appeal by venturing into the virtual world.

Hollywood has even appeared to be following suit in the past few months by hosting virtual talk shows, complete with a Sim which looks like complete replicas of an actual studio and there were television shows such as CSI: NY, which has done a show using the Second Life platform. So as you can see, Second life offers different things for different people, it’s all what you decide to make of it.

Finding employment in Second Life.

There are also opportunities to earn Lindens ( the game currency inworld) for those don’t want to charge their credit card to buy lindens. One way to earn lindens is through applying for a job inworld. there’s a couple of ways you can do it. You can register at a job agency inworld( yes, they do have some of those places inworld,lol) or you can look in the search engine in game under classifieds to se who’s hiring. But the most common way I’ve seen it done was Simply to visits Sims and inquire about employment from one of the employees or the owner.

If they’re hiring, you’ll get sent a note card application and once you fill it out & reviewed, you’ll be hired. There are many are many jobs you can do inworld, some of the most popular i’ve seen inworld are Dancer, host/hostess, DJ, model. But there are other jobs inworld. Some residents even do freelance work to earn lindens.

Starting your own virtual business in world

Another way residents earn lindens inworld is through opening up your own store and selling the items ( clothes, skins, scripts, hair, etc) that you created for a set price (which ofcourse you can determine). It’s a great way to earn lindens & also residual real world income as well since ingame currency can be exchanged for real currency. There are many residents who have used some of the skills that they have learned either ingame or outside of it, to earn extra income and some focuses totally on to their virtual business as a primary source of income.

To be able to sell your merchendise, you can buy land and build or buy a building to use as your storefront (tier fees apply for land purchase, plus you’ll have to upgrade your account to premium before you can buy land) or as I’ve seen many store owners do, rent a space either at a virtual club Sim or a virtual mall from the Sim owner. many owners encourage it because it not only brings more traffic to their Sims, but also it helps with the maintenance of the Sim( teir fees). It also helps the store owner due to the fact of not having to pay tier fees and many times ( if the store generates good traffic) their sales can more than cover their space rental fees.

Sim ownership

Overall, the best way ( and if you have some extra money to invest on it) is land ownership inworld. There are quite a few Sim owners who operate their own Sims & many buy the Sims to rent out portions of it for residents to build on or live. Some Sim owners create on their land and open their own business. Such as one business owner i met who ran her very own virtual wedding chapel and even bought more land to use as residential rental property.

As you can see, Sim owner ship can generate quite a bit of real world income,(with the only downside being teir fees) Many residents have made $1,000’s dollars by owning and running their own Sims. Some Sims are owned not by one person, but a group of residents for a certain purpose, such as role playing or even just to have their own Sim that they can work on.

SL Do’s & Don’ts

In Second Life you will meet many different people from around the world, as such (like in most online virtual worlds) there is a general code of conduct.

Some of the things that are looked down upon in Sl or are considered rude is:

1. Spamming whether in IM,groups or main- is generally considered annoying and many group owners and Sim owners ban or eject the offending person from their Sim or group.

2. assaults or attacks with prim weapons outside of rp/combat Sims are also very offensive and can result in you being reported and possibly have your account banned by Linden Labs. i know the temptation of wanting to play with that kew bow or rifle you just bought may be tempting, but only use it in combat Sims or rp Sims where the use of weapons are allowed.

3. Ageplay. This go without saying, creating and playing a child avi is fine,BUT creating a child avi for more seedy purposes ( and you know what I mean by seedy) is illegal and can give you a bad reputation on SL, not to mentioned being reported and permanently banned from Second Life altogether. As I stated before, you can play a child avi, but you can only have your child avi in PG rated Sims.

4. Do not create scripts that causes Sims to crash. In the past there was a rash of problems with pranksters who made scripts that would replicate and overload the server. The people that were responsible were banned. So i know it may sound like fun and it would be funny to make say a giant pink hippo with a fart sound and have it replicate itself all over the Sim, but it could land you in hot water.

5. Offensive language and hate speech is definitely a no no. Forming groups to promote hate will get your account permanently banned. Offensive language can get your account suspended for a few days or longer depending on the situation & how many times you’ve been reported about the matter.

6.Copybot & getting copybot items from other avaters are reportable as well. the former could get your account banned and the latter, you could get reported and depending on if the Lindens( the ones who enforce the rules in SL) deems it warranted, you may get banned as well.

7. No under aged players are allowed in the main grid. Anyone found to be underage will get their account permanently banned. if you’re at least 13 years old but not 18, there is a serer that Linden labs made just for you. It’s called Teen Second Life. These are some of the rules inside SL, of course they’re constantly changing and updating them.

There are plenty of opportunities to meet new people and even become part of groups. many of the resident inworld are friendly and very helpful. There are also many ways you can communicate with other residents. you can chat with another resident in main chat or for privacy you can chat with a resident in Instant IM and there is also a group chat feature for those only inside your group to receive important messages from other members of your group.

The other aspects of second Life is it’s community forums on the website which discuss topics such as inworld issues, employment and other topics. There are many things i could cover about Second Life, but these are just some of the basics. i highly recommend you give it a try, you never know.. you might become addicted like I did, lol.