I decided to hop into Second Life from Linden Labs, a place where the motto is “Your World. Your Imagination.” It has been around for a number of years now and people have been flocking to it in droves. Here are a few statistics according to their website at the time of this post:
- Total Residents: 2,670,923
- Logged In Last 60 Days: 855,063
- Online Now: 23,025
That’s a lot of people. Let’s put it into perspective: the town in North Carolina that I’m living in has about 12-15,000 residents. There are more people online at Second Life than there are people in my real life town. To say that it was interesting is an understatement. Is it my cup of tea? Probably not. It was, however, a pretty fascinating experience.
(Click images below for a larger picture)
As you can see, this virtual world is filled with a lot of bunnies. Yes, there are men, too, but they tend to be less interesting. I felt like I was walking across a college campus filled with bunnies. It is worthy to note, though, that I didn’t see any fat or chubby people. There were some furries and strangely dressed people but, for the most part, everyone was slender or athletically built. Granted, it is ‘Your World. Your Imagination’, but is there really something wrong with representing yourself realisticly? Meh. Probably not going to happen. After going through the motions of logging into Second Life you are dropped into an area where you are taught the basics of the world. It is a pretty decent tutorial that shows you how to look around, grab objects, interact with others and more. It is especially handy when you are taught how to control the camera and perform a 360 degree view of a person or object.
A few possibly NSFW images follow after the jump. I guess it depends on your work, of course.
I’ve played a few first person shooters in my time so it was a little disorienting moving around at first. My fingers kept moving around the keyboard looking to switch weapons as I walked about. Two nice things that the people at Linden Labs have given you is the ability to fly around and, if you know where you want to go, the ability to teleport to a new location. Also, you can’t drown (can you tell I tried walking under water??) and falling from great heights isn’t going to kill you (I’ll admit it – my landings suck). I was lucky during my first foray into Second Life to meet people who were willing to talk and befriend me. And then I was off again.
Several of the places that I went to were centered on commerce. Mostly stores which sold clothes, tattoos, music, sex toys and packaged sex. Yep. You are born into Second Life with a gender but, if you’re a guy, you have to buy your genitals. Oh, boy. I remember reading the other day from “The ins and outs of a Second sex Life” (NSFW image – boobies!) at the Register “Whatever brings you to SL, you’ll soon find that sex is everywhere.”
Personally, I’m not into the whole cybersex thing. Not via chat, not via web cam, and not by some avatars snogging about on my monitor. Hey, if that’s your thing then by all means enjoy yourself.
And therein lies my problem with Second Life. I spend so much time in front of my computer during the day that I start to get sick of looking at it when I get home. Wonder why I haven’t been updating any of my blog sites recently? I am starting to grow a healthy aversion to my keyboard and the evil, glowing monitors in front of me. I hear of people finding interesting things to do at Second Life and at other virtual communities but I just can’t seem to get myself into the swing of it. Does this mean I’m about to go mountain climbing, run a marathon or do something to reaffirm that I’m a living breathing human? Probably not.
Maybe I should play World of Warcraft or Guild Wars instead. Or maybe I’ll just go outside and take a walk with my dogs instead.