Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Get a Second Life



Second Life is a virtual online world with a growing population of subscribers (or "residents").
Currently, the community has well over 10,000,000 residents from all over the World.
By providing residents with robust building and scripting tools, they can create a vast array of in-world objects, installations and programs.
They include Animation tools, Audio & Music, Building & Architecture, Clothing & Fashion, Communications Tools, Map, Location Services, Scripting Tools, Search Tools, Textures & Prim Tools, etc.

Although Second Life's interface and display are similar to most popular massively multi-player online role playing games (or MMORPGs), there are two key differences.
First of all, Second Life provides near unlimited freedom to its Residents. This world really is whatever you make it, and your experience is what you want out of it. If you want to hang out with your friends in a garden or nightclub, you can. If you want to go shopping or fight dragons, you can. If you want to start a business, create a game or build a skyscraper you can. It’s up to you.
And you are the legal proprietor of anything you create. Since its early stages, Linden Lab (the producer of Second Life) has allowed its residents to retain full IP rights over their own creations, thereby insuring that their contributions to the community remain truly their own.As a resident you retain full IP rights over any of your in-world creations.

Second LifeSecond Life is the size of a small city, with thousands of servers (called simulators) and a Resident population of over 10,742,897 (and growing). Residents come to the world from over 100 countries with concentrations in North America and the UK.

Demographically, 60% are men, 40% are women and they span in age from 18 - 85. They are gamers, housewives, artists, musicians, programmers, lawyers, firemen, political activists, college students, business owners, active duty military overseas, architects, and medical doctors, to name just a few.

Even if you don't know how to do 3D modeling, Second Life makes building an easy task, using the built-in tools. And there are lots of daily Resident-run classes and tutorials to help you learn.




The Second Life client comes with an updated-daily list of public Events, including games, parties, and contests; the Search window is a veritable traveler’s guide to Second Life—the places to see, the people to meet, and much more.

There are dozens of first-person shooters, strategy games, puzzle and adventure games, even board, and puzzle games.
Several regions of the world have been devoted to role playing, and resemble medieval towns, or futuristic cities. The building and scripting system even enables Residents to create their own version of a MMORPG, including hit points, character stats, and all the other classic elements.
Since gamers are a big part of the Second Life community, friendly games of combat are a regular event.



You can get your own virtual land at Second Life.
Having land in Second Life lets you have an on-going presence in the world, for your home, your business, or whatever other special place you've created. Even when you're not online, your friends or customers can stop by to leave you a message or shop for your latest creation.
To get land you must sign up for the Premium membership. You'll be able to purchase a 512 square meter plot of land before any land maintenance fees kick-in.
However, you can have as much land as you choose. Change the amount of land you have and your monthly fee will adjust accordingly.
You can also consider purchasing more land through the Second Life auctions or from other Residents. Alternatively, you can join with others who are interested in the project to form a group and pool your land holdings. Groups can collectively acquire and use land.



Another option is to get an island in Second Life.
Special island regions are available as a separate purchase. You can choose from several different topologies, control access from the mainland, or even decide to start your own separate community.

When you join the community you are given a small weekly stipend of L$ (Second Life's official unit-of-trade) when you sign up for a Premium account. Plus you can earn L$ by making and selling goods and services, holding events, and playing games.

Residents can buy and sell in-world L$ from the Linden Dollar Exchange, or from other third party websites. Some of these operators offer convenient in-world "ATM" machines to facilitate transactions.



You can even start your own business in Second Life.
Shopping is a big part of the Second Life experience for many Residents. You can buy and sell anything that can be made in-world, from clothes, skins, wigs, jewelry, and custom animations for avatars, to furniture, buildings, weapons, vehicles, games, and more. Once you’re ready to bring your products to the market, it’s simply a matter of buying or sub-renting property, for opening up a shop. There are also Resident-owned malls which charge rental fees, or take a cut of your proceeds. As in the real world, the challenge is to build up a reputation that earns a steady stream of customers.
And as in the real world there's money to be made if you are a successful business person.
Real money, I mean.

My overall impression is that this is quite an awesome stuff. It looks like it is going to become the next big thing in our lives, superseding the Internet itself as we know it.
I love the concept, but I have to say that I have this uneasy feeling that somehow there's something evil in this invention, something that one day will get out of our hands.
Don't know why. It kind of reminds me of the first Terminator movie.
Because the next logical step would be to physically build many of those 3-D human models in the real world. Combine that with the latest advances in artificial intelligence and with the increasing isolation of human beings in today's societies and you'll soon get androids living our lives for us.

2 comments:

dandellion Kimban said...

Well.... before we start let's fix some data....

Currently, the community has well over 10,000,000 residents
It has 10 million registered accounts. That is not the same as active users. Of those 10 millions many are alts, that is secon or third account of the same user. Many are bots, that is computer driven avatars which do easy tasks like searching for land to buy, camping for money or whatever. And don't forget that retention rate in SL is very low.


By providing residents with robust building and scripting tools,

I will just laugh on this and point you to http://metaverse.acidzen.org/2007/the-nightmare-of-building-in-second-life

Second Life is the size of a small city,
Actually, it is much bigger. 50000+ logged residents at the same time (which is around current daily peaks) needs more than a small city. And, then they say that SL is deserted, that there is a lot of empty space. SL is two continents and many islands.

Demographically, 60% are men, 40% are women and they span in age from 18 - 85.
How do you know that? And are those RL or SL genders? Because those can differ. And yes... many residents are younger than 18. They live on their own (teen) grid.

To get land you must sign up for the Premium membership.
Actually no... you can get it via third party... on so-called estate without premium account. Just pay your duties on time and everything is fine.

OK... now we have something to discuss....

My overall impression is that this is quite an awesome stuff. It looks like it is going to become the next big thing in our lives, superseding the Internet itself as we know it.
I love the concept, but I have to say that I have this uneasy feeling that somehow there's something evil in this invention, something that one day will get out of our hands.


That is the common feeling of many new residents. But it is... well... just an impression when one is faced with something new and interesting. Because, SL is new and interesting. But it is hardly the next big thing. and sure it is not the next web (no point of talking about next internet because SL is the part of the internet).
As about bad things that can happen... well they can... but I usually say that those feelings are initiated by watching too many blockbuster movies. There is more danger that one will become internet addicted, will screw up own off-line communication skills and so on...

Rafa Minuesa said...

You are right dandellion.

"It has 10 million registered accounts. That is not the same as active users."
In fact I've hardly seen more than 50.000 avatars logged in at the same time.

"By providing residents with robust building and scripting tools,
I will just laugh on this"
So it's not just me, then, :)

"Demographically, 60% are men, 40% are women and they span in age from 18 - 85.
How do you know that?"
Here are some surveys on SL users:
slsurvey.wordpress.com

"There is more danger that one will become internet addicted, will screw up own off-line communication skills and so on..."
That's a real danger.
I am not addicted yet, but all my virtual friends tell me that I will soon be.
In that questionnaire on how Second Life users are affected by SL in real life you find out, for example, that about 30% of users say that SL is the only thing they find interesting, or about 30% who say that "The first thing I think about when I wake up is SL", or about 20% who say that "In order to be in SL I eat, sleep and/or bathe less.

I've posted some of those impressions at alt.dreams if you care to read them:
Second Dreams
Or perhaps you have already ...

Anyway, I do think is the future Internet. It just needs more processor power.
It doesn't mean that flat web pages will disappear, the same way that Usenet is still alive.

I also think that very soon there would be all sort of electronic appliances that will respond to stimulus triggered from other users connected to you know where ...