Second life is an online interactive virtual world that is constructed by the people that are involved in it. Linden Research Inc (Linden Lab) developed Second Life in 2003. Second Life (abbreviated SL) is a free downloadable client program. Once downloaded and signed in, this program lets the users (called residents) to move about through "Avatars". Avatars are a user's representation of themselves in the form of a three=dimensional computer model. Avatars are used to socialize with others in the Second Life world. Second Life resembles the real world in different ways such as: the use of money (called Linden or L$), economy and real estate, education, adult content, etc.
There are two types of accounts; basic and premium. Basic accounts incur no fee when a user registers with and downloads Second Life. The basic account is limited for the reasons that users do not have the right to own land and do not get a basic allowance. The premium accounts receive special privileges in Second Life. These users receive the right to own land and a weekly allowance of 300 L$ a week. Whether the user is registered as a basic or premium account, the user still gets to explore, shop, build, and access to events.
Second life is full of adventure, attractions, and amusement. The following sections will explain the world of Second Life in more depth and clarity. Enjoy our review and summary of Second life

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Each person from the real world is represented in Second Life in a very personal way. After signing up the next step is creating an Avatar, whose appearance is 100% up to you. There are dozens of details to customize and play with to make your experience as personal as possible and you can always change your appearance to play around with the endless possibilities.
 No two Avatars are alike!
No two Avatars are alike!

The second Life virtual world has its own real working economy were REAL money is made. Through purchasing and selling land, creating and offering services, it is possible to make actual money in Second Life. This is possible because Second life allows users to gain IP rights to all goods and services they create. Users can then offer their products in virtual marketplaces to other Avatars.

The economy in Second Life mimics the financial system in the real world. If you can dream it up, you can make money bringing your ideas to life through Second Life.

These are jobs where you are paid around 3 Linden dollars for every 10 minutes of work. These jobs involve showing up to certain places in second life and performing basic jobs such as pushing a broom or standing on a dance pad at club. The reasoning behind this is to allow people new to second life to have many opportunities to meet other avatars. By having people work these minimum wage jobs in popular areas newcomers to second are guaranteed to have a great experience meeting new people.

Using basic programming skills or computer programs you can create anything you imagine such as homes, vehicles, and even plants. Using Photoshop you can create textures and design clothes for other Avatars to wear. Using programming you can create movements for avatars and objects such as make a slot machine work, or a car fly for example. These 3-d modeling options are fun, endless and can make you real money.

Renting and selling land can make big bucks in Second Life. Anshe Chung is Second Life’s first real world millionaire. She has amassed over $250 million Linden dollars which is over $1 million dollars in real currency. She leases and sells land while developing plots into huge moneymakers. Anyone can follow in Anshe Chung’s footsteps and make big bucks and meet a lot of people along the way.

"Linden Lab's Terms of Service agreement recognizes Residents' right to retain full intellectual property protection for the digital content they create in Second Life, including avatar characters, clothing, scripts, textures, objects and designs. This right is enforceable and applicable both in-world and offline, both for non-profit and commercial ventures. You create it, you own it – and it's yours to do with as you please." (Linden Labs)

The form of currency used in the virtual Second Life World, which can be exchanged at anytime for real money. Linden dollars allow users to buy and sell goods, services, and land.


The developers of Second Life believe the two main ideas they wish to establish in the future is opening up their servers making them open source, and to make it possible for individuals and companies to plug their own servers into that grid. However, the developers wish to release both the open servers and the plug simultaneously, the open source servers will not be operational before you can plug into the separate grids.
Colleges are looking to this future to set up their own grids for virtual campuses where their students are the only ones able to log into the server. They believe that students in Second Life will be able to learn more affectively interacting with their classmates and teachers instead of just reading papers online.

One of the biggest features in Second Life is the fact that it is possible for users to own and edit land. In fact, almost all of the buildings in the game have been built by users. There are several ways that users can go about getting a piece of land. Users can buy land from other users, they can bid for land at auctions, or they can buy an entire island outright. The current going price for an island is $1,675 and it has a monthly upkeep fee of $29, although there is a discount for educators and academic institutions.

Once a user has obtained a piece of land there are many different things that they can do with it. Second Life offers an in-game utility that allows you to edit the objects in your space. Almost total control is given to the owner of a space about the design of it. Objects can be formed from simple shapes and can be skinned with regular JPEG files. Also, scripts can be added on that gives the user's space an added functionality that is not normally seen in the program. The freedom given in this program has been the biggest contributing factor to its continued growth.

Each server instance runs a physics simulation to manage the collisions and interactions of all objects in that region. Objects can be nonphysical and nonmoving, or actively physical and movable, with complex shapes linked together in groups of up to 31 separate primitives. Each player's avatar is treated as a physical object, and walking/flying the avatar into another physical object can push it forward out of the way of the avatar. In the same way, avatars can be pushed by other physical objects and other avatars.
Within Second Life, there are two main methods of text-based communication: local chat, and global instant messaging. Chatting is used for public localized conversations between two or more avatars, and can be "heard" within 20 m. Avatars can also 'shout' within 96 m. IM is used for private conversations, either between two avatars, or between the members of a group. Unlike chatting, IM communication does not depend on the participants being within a certain distance of each other.
The most basic method of moving around is by foot. To travel more rapidly, avatars can also fly up to about 170 m above the terrain without requiring any special equipment, and with scripted attachments there is currently no limit to how high an avatar can fly although after so far the avatar starts to mesh.
Avatars can also ride on just about anything or in vehicles; many vehicles are available—there is a basic go-kart contained in the object library and there are many Resident-made vehicles available freely and for purchase including helicopters, submarines and hot-air balloons.
For instantaneous travel, avatars can teleport directly to a specific location. An avatar can create a personal landmark at their current location, and then teleport back to that location at any time, or give a copy of the landmark to another avatar.

All items in second life are call assets, including:
  • 3D Objects (Primitives)
  • Digital Images (Textures)
    • Used to decorate the 3D Objects
  • Digital Audio Clips
  • Avatar Traits
    • Appearance
    • Skin Textures
  • ETC
All of this asset data has to be stored. In order to do this the data is referenced with a global unique identifier (GUID). A GUID is a 24 character hexadecimal code. These codes are stored on a server known as MySQL. MySQL is an independent server that works jointly with the region simulators. The total asset storage was over 24 terabytes in January of 2007. Second Life has gained a lot of public interest which occasionally causes a strain to the database. The moderators of Second Life (Linden) have been working their hardest to alleviate the long loading times, errors and aggravation caused by this strain.


Recently the software client to get into Second Life has become open source. This means that anyone can now go into the source code and make changes. The client is currently not supported on Windows Vista; although it will work on Windows XP, Mac, and Linux systems. On Windows the client requires an 800 MHz processor and at least 256MB of RAM. On a Mac you are required to have at least a 1 GHz processor and 512MB RAM. Finally, running Linux you are required to have at least an 800 MHz processor and at least 256MB RAM. You are also required to have a newer distribution of Linux. As you can see this program is well supported by older computers.


Getting started in second life is easy. Just download the client software, sign up and begin creating your avatar. Second life is simply amazing because of the user friendly software and the large variety of things you can do. The numerous features include a real economy where real money is made, the ability to design and construct businesses, the ability to buy and sell real estate and the ability to store assets rather easily. Second life is also a lot of fun if you are just looking to explore, move around and talk to other users.