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Love and Romance in Second Life

(Yes, and sex, too.) Even though our characters are just animated pixels on screens, it is indeed possible and even likely that you will form emotional attachments to some of the “people” you encounter there. You can even get “married” (partnered, in SL terms). Hell, SL had same-sex marriage long before the rest of the United States.

I Know What You’re Thinking

Aisling, how can you act out love scenes in SL? How can you have sex? Well, by now I’m sure you’ve discovered Poseballs. They can be used for any number of things, including dancing, hugging, kissing, and even making love.

There is also furniture with built-in poses you can use (be sure to turn off any AO you may be using).

But Remember!

There is a real live person behind every avatar, a person with real feelings and emotions. Keep that in mind when you form relationships or attachments. In short, don’t be a douchebag. It’s the Golden Rule, people: treat everyone the way you would want to be treated in real life.

And there are even places explicitly designed to foster love and romance. Frank’s Place Jazz Club is one of the more popular places. It’s a formal setting, and it has a dress code. But don’t worry: they’ll provide you with a free tuxedo or ball gown if you need it.

Wonderful Dreams is another popular spot. Lush gardens and other beautiful scenery abound.

To find more places, open a Search window and enter the term Romance.

The ‘Verse, and Companions

Based on Joss Whedon’s Firefly series and his movie Serenity, there are several groups dedicated to keeping alive the legends of the Browncoats.

Among these are Companion guilds and houses. My friend Emma is about to enter training to become a Registered Companion.

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Emma Florentino

As you can see, Emma’s not human, although she is humanoid. When she completes here training, she will be everything you would expect from a bona fide Companion from the Firefly ‘Verse.

Well, that’s enough to get you started. Remember, your Second Life is only limited by your imagination!

Until nest time,

Aisling signature

Did Someone Say “Adventure”?

Second Life is about more than taking pictures. While it’s fun to explore scenic vistas, there are also adventures to be had along the way. Entering “Adventure” in the Search box reveals dozens of possibilities. And rather than being free-form play, these areas have rules you must follow.

Some rules are fairly simple. For example, if you’re in an adventure set in medieval times, you might be required to wear appropriate dress for the time period. Many of these places make the clothing available for free, so you won’t have to spend any money.

Others are more complex, and require a more serious commitment, such as going to their web site and filling out a questionnaire in which you describe your character and give it a backstory. They can be quite similar to World of Warcraft in that respect, except you’re playing within the SL environment.

One way to start to learn roleplaying is to go to Firestorm Social, find the Teleport board, and teleport (TP) to the Sci-Fi Portal.

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That’s what my friend Gwen (GwendolynHammond) did and found herself on the deck of a USS Enterprise-class starship:

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The Realm of Avalon

Gwen’s quite the adventurer, and also sent me these pictures from Avalon:

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Avalon’s one of those in-depth roleplaying adventures that requires a commitment Start by going to the web page  and click on the link for the RPG Project. That will explain the basics of the game and the history of Avalon. Oh—inside the castle courtyard there are several costumes you can get for free.

As the web page describes it,

The “Avalon Tales” project started in the beginning of 2007 with the interactive role play adventure quest line. The first of these was the “Catacombs of Avalon”. The virtual 3D environment of Second Life® was ideal for setting up the project and to create a suitable ambience for the adventure. The game system is a mix between a point-and-click adventure, a few arcade jump-and-run elements and an RPG/RTS PvE boss battle engine.

Gwen says she’s going to join up and play the game. She’ll report back here later.

NEXT UP:

Romance and love in Second Life.

Love,

Aisling signature

A Few Scenic Places to Explore

Now that you’ve got your avatar looking the way you like it (or nearly so), it’s time to do some exploring. One way to do that is to use the DESTINATIONS window on your log-in screen. Another way is to log in and open the Destinations window from your home page:

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That’s it marked with the red arrow. Click on it to bring up the window. From there you can scroll through the various categories until you find something interesting, and then teleport to it.

Places I’ve Found

There’s nothing special about these locations; I just found them to be quite photogenic. Here they are, in no particular order:

The Corlevoli Forest:

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It’s a lovely spot for just walking, exploring, or taking pictures. Be sure to come back several times, as the lighting changes from hour to hour. (NOTE: A “day” in Second Life is 4 hours in real time.)

Japan Tempura Island

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Lovely at any time of the year, this spot also features Tai Chi lessons and a ballroom. I’ve even spotted a deer or two in the forest!

How About a Trip to Africa?

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A genuine Zulu hut, no less. Just watch out for the elephants! Or if you prefer, how about a side trip to the

Drakensberg Mountains

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Lots of choice scenery to explore and photograph. Wildlife, too.

From there, it’s just another short hop to

Ancient Egypt

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Visit the harbor on the Nile.

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Explore the ancient temples, or shop for clothing and souvenirs in the souk.

The Sky’s The Limit!

As with everything else in SL, your adventures are only limited by your imagination. So get out there and have fun!

Aisling signature

What’s The Point?

Good question, and one I get asked all the time by new folks in SL. Here’s the answer:

THERE IS NO POINT.

What’s the point to life? SL has no goals, no aim, no purpose except the ones you set for your self. Why not ask what’s the purpose of Facebook? Of Twitter? Of any social media? It’s whatever you choose to make of it.

Like other social media, SL is a way to meet new people, to keep in touch with new friends from all over the world. But unlike other social media, SL allows you to actually do something with your life.

Let’s say you’d like a new sports car, something fast, sleek, and outrageously expensive. In your real life (what we call your first life), unless you’re fabulously wealthy, you’re just out of luck. But if you want one in SL, why not build your own?

Everything you see in SL was made by SL users. Even your avatar, the body you wear, was made by someone in SL. Your hair, shape, skin, eyes, clothes—you name it, and someone in SL made it. But here’s the important thing: you can learn to do it as well!

Hop on over to Caledon Oxbridge Gateway, or Builder’s Brewery for tips, lessons, and resources. For an even more detailed series of self-paced lessons, try the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives.

These are but three of the resources available for learning how to build. Now I’m going to teach you how to find more.

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See the magnifying glass on the side of your Viewer screen? Click on it to open the search window. You can see I’ve already entered the word “tutorials” as my Search term. Click the Search button, and see the results.

As you can see, there are over 250 tutorials, but by changing the Search term to “building tutorials, I was able to reduce the results to 52 hits, a much more manageable size.

And that, by the way, was your lesson on Searching in SL. Pretty nifty, huh?

Primitives in Second Life

While it’s true that you can indeed find—and even join—primitive tribes in SL, what I’m talking about now are primitive shapes, or what we call prims. Prims are the basic building blocks of everything in  SL. Which, incidentally, why there’s an earlier link to the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives. That’s where you can learn everything you need to know about prims, from the ones that are built in to your viewer, to how to modify, reshape, recolor, combine them. In other words, how to build anything you can imagine.

And that, my friends, is it for now. Coming next: beautiful places to explore in SL, and how to teleport to get to them.

Ta!

Aisling signature

Customizing Your Avatar. or, How I Got to be Me

I wasn’t always the ravishing beauty I am today. Far from it. But with a few tricks (and a ton of freebies), I remolded myself into the fiery-haired beauty I am today.

This is how I looked when I began my journey:

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Which may be exactly the way some of you look even now. Pretty dull, huh? Well, let’s fix that right now, shall we? After all, you don’t want to look like everybody else, do you?

The places to start are:

The Free Dove Fashion. It’s been in business for over 11 years, and is your one-stop shopping spot for clothes, skins (your skin determines your appearance), makeup, and so much more. Sadly, they no longer carry shapes. For customizable shapes, head on over to:

New Resident Island, which also has clothing, hair, skins, shapes and, most importantly, a fully modifiable shape. To find it, look for this doorway, walk into the shop, turn left and walk through the curtain. The shape will be against the wall to your immediate right.

NCI Kuula – New Citizens Incorporated – Help/Classes/Freebies is another great source of freebies. In addition, there are usually one or two people available to answer any and all questions you may have about SL. Check the calendar for training classes.

One of my favorite places for classes is Caledon Oxbridge Gateway – New Resident Help. Take a class and learn how to make a skirt.

LONDON CITY, which claims to be “The most popular destination on the SL grid.” Here you’ll find friends, freebies, dancing, and so much more.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/London%20City/87/169/24

Yasum Design is another great place for high-quality clothing, skins, and shapes.

Freebies Warehouse – Clothes and Fitting Rooms, plus other things you never knew you needed.

Second Life Marketplace

Second Life Marketplace isn’t located in-world. That is, you don’t have to launch the SL Viewer to shop there. You access it via your web browser. There are thousands of items for sale, as well as many nice freebies. I’ll devote an entire post to it.

Until next time!