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The Wired Guide to Second Life

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the alternate-reality-journalism dept.


With the announcement that Wired and other news organizations will now be reporting from Second Life, they've put up an article on the Wired property and have created a Guide to the larger Second Life world. From the guide: "Today, Second Life is second home to half a million people, and everyone from Duran Duran and Wells Fargo Bank to the Department of Homeland Security has funded real estate here. The national currency of Linden dollars is freely convertible to US dollars (and the exchange rate is quite favorable at the moment!), and an increasing number of residents are ditching their jobs back on Earth to make their living entirely within Second Life's economy. But this exotic realm can seem bewildering and strange to first-time visitors (affectionately known as "noobs" in the native parlance). Let Wired be your guide."

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Seriously? (2, Interesting)

tekkguy (1006917) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492087)

People are leaving their real-life jobs for Second Life?

Wasn't that article earlier about WoW screwing up lives? Did I mis-read it?

Re:Seriously? (2, Insightful)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492221)

If spending all day on WoW results in you losing your job, with the bad consequences of having no job then that is a PROBLEM.
If spending all day on Second Life *IS* your job, with the good consequences of a paying job then that is *NOT* a problem.

Well, it isn't any more of a problem than being a workaholic in any other career. If you never 'come home' you may lose your wife/girlfriend.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Brothernone (928252) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492243)

No, the WoW players have neglected themselves to the point that they have passed on to their second life.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492507)

This isn't exactly a game. It's "commercial internet", where money talks.

I don't think addiction is going to be a problem here, unless you're an MBA frustrated with the slow pace of corporate ladder climbing.

Re:Seriously? (1)

another_fanboy (987962) | more than 7 years ago | (#16500325)

Wasn't that article earlier about WoW screwing up lives?

I'm looking forward to the day I can play WoW in Second Life, ruining my life in that world as well as the 'real' one.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Kirmeo (909604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16504965)

In all of this talk about Second Life, nobody has mentioned [] . Its a little more structured than Second Life. They have a PG-13 restriction on content. The only thing stopping you from cursing someone out or other griefing is the threat of being banned by their abuse team.

Easy guide to Second Life (4, Funny)

eison (56778) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492195)

1. Don't bother

There, you're all set now.

Re:Easy guide to Second Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16492433)

I tried it. The graphics suck bigtime. Looks like something out of the early 90's.

second life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16492203)

for people who have no first life to begin with.

Whats going on? (2, Informative)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492207)

Whats going on with Secondlife lately? They seem to be all over the news. Has "web 2.0" (cough hack) really got the news outlets buzzing this bad?

What's the deal with SL? (2, Interesting)

JordanL (886154) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492211)

Seriously... there's been at least five SL articles in the alst three days... all over a virtual world?

Re:What's the deal with SL? (1)

Project2501a (801271) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499333)

It's called "Marketing" and "Public Relations" . I live in Greece but i can hear the cash register all the way over here.

Explaning corps setting up shop in (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492231)

1) Jerk-off employee doesn't want to have to do real work but enjoys flying around Second Life.

2) Said Jerk-off sells company on idea of having a 'branch office' in second life.

3) Jerk-off's bosses, trying to be forward thinking like they were when they put company's pension in back in 98, approve Jerk-off as manager of second life.

4) Jerk-off's life goal of getting paid to do nothing comes to fruition.

Re:Explaning corps setting up shop in (1)

jdray (645332) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492747)

I think you mean:

1) Get bored with life
2) Get account in Second Life
3) ???
4) Profit!!

Re:Explaning corps setting up shop in (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#16494293)

yeah, but I filled in the step 3 there without using a cliche

Sad (3, Insightful)

tont0r (868535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492235)

So let me get this straight. I'm supposed to play this 'game' where i do shit i would normally do in the real world? bah.

Re:Sad (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 7 years ago | (#16496779)

I hope you don't need to shop for functional private parts in real life.

Re:Sad (1)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16500217)

Go tell that to Maxis [] .

And what happens... (5, Insightful)

tarun713 (782737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492247)

And what happens when the game stops being supported, or they change the game in ways where you can't make your living anymore? Suddenly all those skills you have in game mean nothing, and you're stuck. Do people actually have long term plans, or what?

Re:And what happens... (2, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492349)

The average SL businessman's long-term plan involves screaming a lot and threatening class-action suits, if their reactions to server crashes, 'grey goo' attacks or spam are any indication. The ones that are actually making serious money probably have a good chunk of their profits sitting in a real-world bank or investments that aren't tied to the fate of a single small company.

Re:And what happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16492557)

And what happens when the game stops being supported, or they change the game in ways where you can't make your living anymore?

Damn. That really does sound just like real (first) life. Maybe there's something in this after all.

Re:And what happens... (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 7 years ago | (#16500247)

And that's different from the real world how?

Just saying. Speaking from the U.S. and all.

The only advice you need in SL... (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492347)

Buy low. Sell high.

The Game of Second Life? (3, Insightful)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 7 years ago | (#16492627)

In all these articles I've never seen anything about an actual "Game" within Second Life. Even the SL site vaguely mentions users creating games for other users. What the hell is there to do besides build and trade stuff? Are there any RPG areas? Can I work with my daughter on developing a graphical MUD like mini game within SL? I want the functionality of the old BBS Door game Cyberspace, for a buggy piece of crap it was open ended and fun.

Jonah HEX

Re:The Game of Second Life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16493563)

Supposedly you could, in theory, but the tech is a bit limited. And land/cpu-time costs real-life money.

Re:The Game of Second Life? (1)

Reapy (688651) | more than 7 years ago | (#16500367)

Tech very limited. Anything physics tends to lag to hell, and scripts sometimes just decide to not work for the fun of it. I seriously wanted to do some interesting stuff in SL but everytime I started looking at it I saw problem after problem, and it really just made me start to think, why don't I just program it in "real life" and email it to my friends or something.

Well one area of SL that I think is interesting and still works are some aLife projects people are working on. Check out the sim Terminous (spelled wrong there) or Svarga for some intersting things people have done.

I really think everyone ought to experience sl once, it is a really intersting idea and it is fun to see the stuff that people make for themselves. It's an interesting look into the person, sort of like being able to go into someones house and look around their room to see what they have hung up on the walls.

After a while it gets boring, but it is definitly worth seeing at least once.

Re:The Game of Second Life? (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16493635)

There is no "actual Game" in Second Life. It is just a world. All there is to do is build and trade stuff. BUT, thousands of people build stuff that you can interact with to play whatever games they have coded. There are thousands of board games, interactive shooters and rpgs, etc. And you can write your own games if you want. Build a hedge maze, stock it with dragons, and set people loose in it.

Still a "game" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16492649)

No matter how much they try to promote it as being all adult and businessy, Slashdot still posts this article in the Games section. Must piss them off.

Re:Still a "game" (1)

Generic Player (1014797) | more than 7 years ago | (#16494289)

That's ok, it pisses off people who think "games" are supposed to be "fun" and "entertaining" too.

quitting your job? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16492769)

So basically, you turn your life over to a company. People spilled blood so that Americans could be free, and these guys go into a world where the "air itself" is owned by some corporation.

Gotta love it.

Stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16493443)

This idea of freely exchangable virtual to real money, in a *game* (And it's just that, stow your overblown buzzwords), is a bad idea. It's only going to bring down legislative hammers, which is the last thing the rest of us (the MMOG industry, the Internet in general) need.

Thus far, online gaming works because there's no tangible legal value in anything; that is, all your gold, all your credits, all your base are belong to the company that owns the game. Someone kills you and steals your Sword +5, -10 vs. Opponents? Those're the breaks. You can't go and sue the person over it.

Only, if Second Life has its way, you will be able to. Allowing virtual assets to have 'real' value will open the floodgates for court-happy folks everywhere to drown our legal system in a deluge of, "OMG THAT GUY GANKED ME YOUR HONOR! I R JUST A POOR NOOB! :("

Activeworlds (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16493451)

Wanna see a thing like secondlife without capitalism and a better atmosphere? Activeworlds. Too bad citizenship costs a bundle.

Re:Activeworlds (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16495375)

Does it run on Mac?

Re:Activeworlds (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16522395)

Not natively. However, it runs [like crap] on wine. <generalization>But you're a Mac user, therefore an artist, therefore you'll be better off with secondlife where you can easily create textures and objects.</generalization> :D

Re:Activeworlds (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16528307)

Actually, I'm a programmer, which is why I didn't get back into the Mac until they had an operating system not built out of snot and head cheese under the pretty user interface.

As opposed to Microsoft who stuck the layer of snot and head cheese in between the good operating system and the applications. :)

Stop with the advertisements already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16495657)

Holy crap I can't take it any more. This isn't news any more, this is a frickin advertising bombardment.

Everywhere, everyone is posting about this crappy "game". It's all a giant Linden marketing concept and Slashdot is fueling it like nothing I have ever seen. How many SL stories have there been in the last few days?!

Re:Stop with the advertisements already! (1)

Tekoneiric (590239) | more than 7 years ago | (#16497197)

It's not really a game. It's a virtual world which has games in it. Yes SL has problems but a lot of people enjoy it. Like anything of this nature, a healthy imagination is required. It also helps to be creative.

Not yet there (2, Informative)

Belgand (14099) | more than 7 years ago | (#16497731)

I honestly wanted to like Second Life. As a sci-fi fan who's been interested in an alternate reality like this for some time I decided that if people are putting the Matrix together, well, better to get in on the ground floor (which is no longer possible of course... that ship sailed a long time ago). Sadly I found it a bit clunky and awkward. Far moreso than I've experienced with any online games. Over a cable modem I found it incredibly laggy and largely futile to try going anywhere. When you do... well, there's not a lot to do unless you've got cash to spend. In this case that cash comes either from giving Linden cash or making something popular enough that you can sell it. So largely unless you have solid graphics talent or plenty of cash it seems pretty easy to get stuck very early on as prices are well above what you can reasonably hope to afford on the miniscule stipend they give you for free. Sure you can get a crap job there, but honestly it never really seemed to be worth it at this stage of development.

Maybe in the future it'll be worthwhile, but at present I'm staying away until they deliver an experience where I can actually walk down the street without it taking 45 minutes to go half a block because of lag and tons and tons of textures taking forever to load.

Re:Not yet there (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16499041)

I honestly wanted to like it, too. But I have different reasons.

I experienced almost no lag every time I've been there. The only time I do is when I go to a place that is extremely heavy on objects and people both. And that has nothing to do with the cable modem. (And it's not true lag, for those that would try to pick that apart.)

My complaint is not that you have to be skilled to create something nice, but that you have to work with the clunky system to do it.

The scripting language is a serious pain in the ass and very very poorly documented. The primitives system is great for crappy looking items, but anything of real complexity is near impossible. (Some people have managed to fake it with clever textures... Kudos to them.)

The avatars look like ass. If you want them not to have funny shadows and skin that looks like they are smeared with 'cake' makeup, you have to create or buy a texture. A decent one should have been included by default. This texture also takes up the 'tattoo' texture, so you have to make your own texture if you want a certain tatt.
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