Thursday, January 11, 2007
Second Life FAQ
1. What is Second Life?
Second Life is a 3D digital world imagined, created and owned by its Residents.
Yes and no. While the Second Life interface and display are similar to most popular massively multiplayer online role playing games (or MMORPGs), there are two key, unique differences:
- Creativity: 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.
- Ownership: Instead of paying a monthly subscription fee, Residents can obtain their first Basic account for FREE. Additional Basic accounts cost a one-time flat fee of just $9.95. If you choose to own land to live, work and build on, you pay a monthly lease fee based on the amount of land you own. You also own anything you create—residents retain IP rights over their in-world creations.
Second Life is the size of a small city, with thousands of servers (called simulators) and a Resident population of over 2,501,684 (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. There are even a fair number who make part or all of their real world living by being a creator in Second Life, more on that below. For further background, browse through these links of in-world footage, blogs, and fansites:
4. How much does Second Life cost?
A single Basic account is FREE. Additional Basic accounts cost a $9.95 one-time fee. Premium accounts (required for owning land) start at $9.95/month and up. See Pricing for details.
Yes. Leasing rates start from $9.95/month for a 512 square meter parcel of land. See Land for more information.
6. What computer hardware do I need for Second Life?
Please see our System Requirements page.
7. Can I try Second Life for free before I buy?
Yes! Your first Basic account is absolutely FREE, and includes unlimited access to Second Life's tools, events and communities. Additional Basic and Premium accounts cost $9.95 and will require payment information. You must be 18 years or older to join Second Life.
8. How do I get Second Life currency? What if I run out of it?
You'll be given a small weekly stipend of L$ (Second Life's official currency) 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 currency from the LindeX Currency Exchange, or from other third party websites. Some of these operators offer convenient in-world "ATM" machines to facilitate transactions. Try searching for ATMs in-world!
Not at all. Building is easy, using built-in tools. And there are lots of daily Resident-run classes and tutorials to help you learn.
10. How do I find my way around Second Life?
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. The Live Help function (in the pull-down Help menu) puts you in touch with a group of knowledgeable veteran Residents, 24/7—a great resource for technical questions, and advice on what to do next.
Outside the Second Life world, there are official discussion Forums, available to members at www.secondlife.com. These cover a wide range of subjects, including upcoming projects in search of talented volunteers, and classified ads for buyers in search of sellers (and vice versa.) Several dozen Resident-run fansites, commercial websites and blogs also provide these services, and New World Notes (http://nwn.blogs.com/) is a great weekly news resource on current events, controversies, and the latest in Resident creativity.
Yes. There are dozens of first-person shooters, strategy games, puzzle and adventure games, even casino, board, and puzzle games. Resident Pirate Cotton has created a constantly-updated guide to these here.
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, especially in the official free-fire zones of Jessie and Rausch. (Weapons and combat vehicles are available for sale throughout Second Life.)
12. Can I start my own business in Second Life?
Yes. 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.
13. Why would I want to own land?
Owning 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. Think of it as your home away from home!
14. What is the ongoing cost of owning land?
To own land you must sign up for the $9.95 per month Premium membership. You'll be able to purchase a 512 square meter plot of land before any land maintenance fees kick-in. See Land Pricing for more details.
15. I think I'd like to own more than 512 square meters, how does that happen?
You can own as much land as you choose. Change the amount of land you own and your monthly fee will adjust accordingly. See Virtual Land: Cost.
16. I have a special project I want to do. How do I get enough space for it?
You can consider purchasing more land, either 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 own and use land.
17. I've heard I can own an island in Second Life. Is that true?
Yes. 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. Click here for more information.
18. Will my firewall prevent me from accessing Second Life?
Second Life needs to connect to ports 443/TCP, 12035/UDP, 12036/UDP, and 13000-13050/UDP. You should configure your firewall to allow outbound traffic on those ports, and related inbound traffic.
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