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SECOND LIFE INFO

What IS Second Life, anyway?
SL Policies & TOS (Because I believe in full disclosure)
Quickstart PDF (Quick reference for common things you do in SL)
System Requirements (Pay attention folks, they aren't kidding about them!)

Obligatory Statement:
Second Life™ SL™ and Linden Lab™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Linden Research, Incorporated. No copyright infringement is intended or implied. No affiliation save as a user of the Second Life™ virtual world is claimed.

BUT IT'S JUST A GAME, WHY IS THIS SECTION HERE?

Second Life is a training ground for our imaginations. Are you up to the challenge?

Second Life is:

  • Not a game - but you can play games in it
  • Not an MMO - although it's certainly Massive, Multiplayer and Online
  • Not a chat room - although you can chat with people all over the world
  • Not a business platform - although people and companies (such as IBM) do run business applications or PR outlets in SL
  • Not the web - although it's connected to it and shares many features

It's a virtual world, things can happen in it that would never happen in RL. People can use it as a form of therapy, exploring some of their past issues and learning to deal with them more effectively. People who are deaf can talk to people (via keyboard) on an equal basis. People who are wheelchair bound, or have other pain or movement problems in RL can walk, run and even dance in Second Life - for hours if they want. Antisocial people can socialize on THEIR terms (i.e., when they've had it with people for a while, they can just log off and take a break.)

This section is here because over the last few years, a significant portion of the online vampire community has been dipping their toes into Second Life and discovering how much fun it can be (and, in some cases, how long it's been since they last upgraded their computers...) Some of us have gotten involved in DJ work, some in clothing design, and so on.

And, there's even real vampire community outreach centers available in Second Life now.

OH REALLY? WHERE?

Here's a list - though you'll need an active Second Life account - and viewer - to actually visit these links:

The Sanguinarius.Org Community Center can be found in the Netherfield region:
(New location as of May, 2010 - hopefully the LAST move for a while...)

 

Taleisin Llewellyn's Liber Obscurum can be found in the Athan region:

 

House Rosa's Sanctuary can be found in the Belleville region (New in 2011):

 

 

SOUNDS GREAT, SO HOW DO I GET STARTED?

Well, first you need to sign up for a Second Life account. You can do that [here].

Once you sign up, you're given the option to download what's called a viewer. This is special software designed to access and display the virtual world of Second Life.

By default, you will be offered the [official viewer client], however you may find this has an unacceptable amount of lag or crashes, or you hate the interface. (Most people gripe about the interface, so you won't be alone!)

You do have other options available!

Since the viewer was made "Open Source" sometime in 2007, there are a variety of third-party versions to choose from - you can start with the [Third Party Viewer Official Directory] page which has brief notations of each, and a link to that viewer's home page.

Once you're in Second Life, I *very* highly recommend going through the orientation center at Caledon Oxbridge so that you're familiar with how Second Life works. It is THE best orientation center on the grid that I've seen. (Plus you can get some nifty freebies there that you can't get anywhere else...) You can reach the Caledon Oxbridge region via this SLURL link for older or third party viewers or this SL Maps link for viewers using the 2.x codebase

My personal viewer choices out of the third-party viewers (TPVs) available are:

COOL VL VIEWER

Henri has been working on TPV coding for at least 3 years now. Cool has some rock solid stability, but not necessarily all the nifty neato features some of the other third party viewers have. It's also reasonably fast, and very stable.

Cool is available on Windows, Linux and Mac, and you can get it over here, as well as read the blog. Minor annoyance: site uses frames.

Support
Cool has a forum where you can ask questions and report bugs.

IMPRUDENCE VIEWER

Imprudence (with a name change coming in the sometime-future) is a third party viewer that focuses on stable features. There's some nifty neato features (like auto-reply to IM's) in it that are very handy, but overall, it just plain WORKS on a wide variety of new and older systems.

Imprudence is available on Windows, Linux and Mac, and you can get it over here, as well as read the blog.

Support
Imprudence has a forum and questions are usually answered within a reasonable time frame. Beta/Experimental versions are put out mostly weekly (which may be hit or miss as they try new fixes) but the current production version is always available too if you find the idea of using betas too risky.

RAINBOW VIEWER
Ideal For users with older machines, or who multitask with several programs on a regular basis.

Rainbow hasn't been in active development since 2010, but is still VERY usable in Second Life - especially so if you have an older machine, or if you usually have several semi-intensive programs running all the time.

Rainbow is not in the third-party viewer directory, but it doesn't mean the program is any less functional - the coder just has a disagreement with the newest third-party viewer policies implemented by Linden Lab, hence the reason it's not in the directory nor in currently in active developement.

Rainbow may be downloaded from Boy Lane's blog, and is available for Windows and Mac

And you'll need the earlier v1.23.5 SL client viewer as the base; you can get the Windows and Mac versions off the SL Wiki old versions page.

Support
Best method of support seems to be to leave a note on Boy Lane's blog.

 

 

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