I get frustrated hearing people talk about how Second Life isn’t entertaining, or it’s only useful for advertising to “freaks,” “furries, ageplay perverts and prank-loving adolescents.” I finally decided to put together a list of things to do in Second Life, as a resource for people curious about the game, and also as something I can point to next time I read one of those misguided attacks.I don’t really blame the people who think there’s nothing to do in Second Life. One of the areas where Second Life is weakest is in introducing newcomers to the world. The user interface is confusing, and, worse, once you’ve got that mastered, it’s hard to figure out what to do. The newbie is confronted with an array of cybersex areas, online casinos, and sleazy make-money-fast schemes. But once you get past that initial barrier, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Second Life.
David and I logged into Second Life a few nights ago (my first time ever, his second) to look around after watching the recent episode of CSI that featured the online world. We’re clearly newcomers; still wearing pretty lame default outfits, trying to tweak details of appearance, and spending a lot of time “inworld” trying to figure out what to do, how to get around, and what’s worth seeing and what’s worth ignoring.
I actually spent an enjoyable hour or two last night exploring the Anglican Cathedral, and currently I seem to be in the Botanical Gardens as a default area. I got into several blingity-bling areas selling bits of virtual stuff to wear or carry around or build stuff with and was totally put off by the merch-mindedness of some areas. Also, I’ve probably set myself up to get spammed, because I tried to take a survey to make inworld “money,” but got bored after 20 minutes of “you’re almost done, here’s the next 20 pages of the advertising/spammy survey to click on.
I definitely don’t like the shopping areas… I’m not a shopper in real life, and although my Second Life self is a lot easier to fit for clothes and accessories, I won’t become a fashionista real soon. Although black leather dress boots would be pretty cool to have…
Right, right. Even though I did pick up a couple of cute things in the freebie place I visited before. I had to escape to someplace without flashy-blinky weirdness.
Interacting with people has been interesting; I mostly feel comfortable saying hello and chatting with female avatars, and avoid the hunky male avatars unless the conversation is general.
Unless, of course, the avatar is the one that belongs to my husband David, and then interacting is just fine.
We even found a pretty Japanese garden, complete with music and private hot tub/onsen. And had fun at some place callled Meteora, where NOAA has weather balloons and hurricane hunter-jets you can ride. And flying is pretty fun, once you start to get the hang of it.
David’s kind of frustrated, but I’m interested enough to keep looking around. I had a kind of funny experience earlier this evening: I took a gondola for a ride in the Botanical Gardens, and as I went along, I saw someone was walking along under the water, so I said “Need a ride?” and he jumped into the boat. Picturesque, but spoiled because he asked if I had a “stash” in the boat, made some vaguely piratical comments, and jumped out without a word.
Maybe I’ll take David for a ride, though. That would be fun.
[tags]Second Life, Anglican, virtual[/tags]