Second Life is a 3-D virtual world that's entirely built and owned by its residents. It's incredibly vast, lots of fun to be in and very, very addictive.
Since going live in 2003, Second Life has been enormously popular and the developers Linden Labs claim that over 5 million people worldwide now happily call it home. To get started with Second Life, you have to sign-up for an account which is quick and simple. You have to choose a first and last name (which in the end, I had to select from a pre-defined list as it wouldn't accept my suggestion for some reason) and what you'd like your Avatar to look like. Confirm your e-mail and you're ready to go.
The great thing is Second Life is that it is free to use which means you can basically wander about and chat to people as much as you want. However, after signing up, you are offered the chance to upgrade to the Premium version which gives you your own 3D house, Virtual Currency to spend and access to adult 18+ areas as long as you are over 18 of course.
From the moment you enter the World, you'll be overwhelmed by the sheer number of possibilities and worlds on offer. To get you started, there's a mini 6-step course which allows you to master the basics like walking, sitting and yes, flying. You also learn to chat to people via a simple IM chat client although some worlds also support voice chats. I heartily recommend the Quick Start guide though which opens in your browser to help you get to grips with the game more easily than walking around randomly is doing it the hard way.
The sheer size of Second Life is amazing. You're surrounded by not only thousands of virtual worlds but also people eager to shat to you. You can teleport yourself to a new world simply by clicking on it on a map. The unique thing is, because residents retain the legal rights to their digital creations, they can buy, sell and trade with other residents although this is only possible in the Premium version. The developers claim the Marketplace currently supports millions of US dollars in monthly transactions which is handled with the in-world unit-of-trade, the Linden dollar, which can be converted to US dollars at several online Linden Dollar exchanges.
Although some users complain that Second Life can be sluggish, I had absolutely no problems. However, it does require some serious hardware and the developers recommend at least 1GB of RAM and a high-end processor for best results. However, it did log me off automatically saying that "demand was particularly strong in my area" so be aware that the servers may not be stable.
Second Life is an amazing accomplishment. If you're willing to invest the time needed to master the basics, you'll soon get sucked into Second Life's virtual world of unending possibilities.
- Crash and Performance Fixes
- SH-1618[c] [PUBLIC_JIRA_USERS] Lighting and shadows crash ATI macs
- SH-1691[c] [crashhunters] Crash at LLVolumeImplFlexible::doFlexibleUpdate() [secondlife-bin llflexibleobject.cpp]
- Add LLRegionSayTo() LSL function
- Introduce logging or alerts to inform the user that the new cache configuration values will not take effect until the viewer is restarted
- Increase the maximum cache size
- [UI] Add a functional and correct 'Clear Cache' button
- Bug Fixes
- EXP-755[c] [PUBLIC] 'Search' and 'World Map' links in Sidebar are unclickable
- EXP-826[c] Help -> About Secondlife Info is corrupted
- EXP-829[c] Text Box Alignment bug
- VWR-19562[c] Adding Clear cache button, like 1.23 version!
- VWR-25862[c] Fix calls to LLDir::deleteFilesInDir() in viewer texture cache, VFS, and object caches, as well as the call to clear the user's cache directory
- VWR-26082[c] Viewer 2.7.2 Release reports itself as a Beta
- Fix viewer so it can support multiple instances if a SLURL is passed in
- Missing LSL tooltip strings for llRegionSayTo and llGetEnv
- Using the Reset button to set the cache location back to the default does not clear the old cache on viewer restart
- Texture cache size reported incorrectly during initialization
- Turning off Voice Chat in Basic mode reverts changes made in Sound Device selection; turning setting back on results in drop downs not being populated
- Add a WARNING to comment for BrowserEnableJSObject and set to not persist between sessions
- Re-enable deferred rendering on ATI Macs
- Translation and Localization Updates
- VWR-19315[c] Viewer 2, Italian language - Upload Animation window layout is broken, dropdown menus leak out
- STORM-1307[c] [VWR-20840] (Spanish) [CHANGE FAILED] F1 Help window title should have been changed to "BUSCAR EN LA AYUDA"
- VWR-20668[c] (Spanish) [TYPO] Bottom bar menu. Visión button: Panóramica should be Panorámica
- VWR-20689[c] (Spanish) [TRUNCATION: SHORTEN] [TYPO] Yo > Preferencias > Gráficos > Avanzado. "Nº máximo de avatares no impos"
- VWR-20691[c] (Spanish) [TYPO] Avanzado > Realzando y visibilidad
- VWR-20803[c] (Spanish) [ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION] Yo > Preferencias > Sonido y Media. "Multimedia ... Activada" should be "Multimedia ... Activados"
- VWR-24126[c] (Spanish) [STRING IN ENG] Login screen:
- VWR-24127[c] (Spanish) [MEANING] In Build window, Edit tab: "Moverse" must be "Mover".
- VWR-24130[c] (Spanish) [MEANING] In Build window > Land tab, bad translation: "Inscribirse" must be "Unir"
- VWR-25397[c] Spanish [MEANING] "Teleportarme" soulh be "Teleportar" in menu of a resident in Chat window
- Source and Build Changes
- EXP-869[c] Mac viewer should build without requiring settings modifications