Giving a whole new meaning to the term born again...
I’m not pleased. Apparently, going on leave is a bad idea—you get drafted into doing articles you would rather not, since no one else wants to do them. Ho hum, use Second Life for a month, it could be worse I guess... or could it? For those who can’t already tell, I’m already biased against the game / phenomenon that Second Life has become. I download it, create an account and am set to start exploring. Yawn! Maybe tomorrow.
I’m on Prelude Island—a place all newbie Lifers go to learn how to move about and use things. Customising my character to look just like me was easy. The good thing is that since Second Life is as popular as it is, there’s no dearth of tutorials out there. Our 2 Mbps office line seems too slow when people are at work. Oh well, I’ll continue using it at home where I have 2 Mbps to myself.
Surprisingly, even on my old XP laptop (1.2 Ghz, 512 MB RAM and Intel graphics), Second Life runs beautifully. Updating your Vista graphics drivers seems to allow SL to work better on it. The game is not for laptop trackpads; hurrah for mice!
Very soon I realise that SL is no place for misers—my money and me are soon parted because I realise I have to buy land to have a place to call home. Tired of searching for “lands” to visit, I decide to create my own. Not easy! Warning: Experience in 3D modelling required to create anything half-decent looking.
I just noticed the “Mature” checkbox. Ticking that sure increased search results for everything. I also see more Lifers than I have ever seen before; seems everyone is “Mature” here. As with the Net, there’s just too much adult oriented content. Several hundreds of ads selling male appendages later, I un-tick the “Mature” checkbox.
I made a few friends over the last week, though we’re communicating more over IMs than in SL. I suppose that’s because birds of a feather... I’m bored. SL is a nice getaway once in awhile, but I’m not interested in buying a penis, visiting “Mature” locations, starting a business, or blowing up buildings (yes they have terrorists in SL now!), there really isn’t anything more I can do.
No more, I promise never to take another vacation again, just let me stop now, please. Thankfully Ed agrees. Second Life turned out to be exactly what I thought it was: a waste of my time. Don’t get me wrong, there’s tonnes of cool things to do in SL, and if you’re into 3D modelling, a lot of cash to be earned as well. It can also be addictive, and if you like interacting with people, it’s more addictive than IMs. However, India is just not ready to embrace SL yet—the bandwidth woes are the prime cause, bandwidth costs also play a big factor, and don’t forget that we just don’t have enough time to dedicate to a virtual world. We’re all too caught up with our First Life. Either way, SL is a must try, because you’ll either love it or hate it, depending on what you’re looking for in the virtual world. Just make sure you keep your eye on the bandwidth meter at all times...