The 3D avatars are self-created representations that allow users to navigate the virtual world. Avatars can be realistic or out of this world fantasy creatures. Your imagination can go wild when you create your own avatar and that is exactly why the virtual world creates such excitement. You can be anybody or anything in the virtual world.
The Design Process
Many online virtual worlds let users create or choose their basic avatars as part of the registration process. The most popular virtual world, Second Life, provides modules in-world that walk new members through the avatar creation process. You can personalize your avatar in any way you wish.
Users with a little tech knowledge can add to their Second Life avatars. When ‘in world’ you will notice some of the fantastic creations that have come from the minds of very creative people. If you see something, (or someone) you like, you can chat and ask them for advice on creating your own advanced 3D avatar. You can also find many avatar shops and custom-made avatar designers in this virtual world.
There are other ways to personalize your avatar once you are in world. For example, many virtual fashion designers have opened shops that sell their clothing and it is also easy to find a place for hair and makeup. You too can have a fancy avatar with all kinds of add-ons like jewellery, piercings and tattoos.
Once you have chosen or created your 3D avatars it is time for the fun to begin. In Second Life you will be allowed into the virtual environment as soon as you have your own avatar. In this amazing space you will find a plethora of things to do and see.
There are hundreds of groups in Second Life ranging from charitable organizations like mental and physical problems awareness to groups that focus on interests, support, and work. Second Life provides search filters to help you find groups that are attractive to you. In the Search groups option of the Second Life Viewer you can view your groups and create new ones.
Most groups host forums on a variety of topics. In Second Life your avatar can attend and participate in forums that discuss life in general, show movies, list land for sale, and offer support and help. You can find group forums in Second Life using the Search option of the Second Life viewer.
Freebies are also popular on the site. Use the 3D avatars to navigate to warehouses and other spaces giving away free items. You can stock up on everything from virtual shoes to houses with real world items thrown in from time to time. You can get all kinds of basic objects for free in Second Life like clothing, avatars, vehicles, houses and animations.
All Work and No Play
All work and no play is no fun. This also holds true in cyber-space. Virtual worlds like Second Life offer members unending opportunities for fun. You can go ice skating, play Slingo (similar to Bingo), relax at the beach, see a movie, and still make cocktail hour with your friends at your local hangout.
Once you have created your 3D avatars, take time to explore the virtual environment before committing yourself to any one group or activity. Get to know what’s out there and join groups that reflect your beliefs and standards. You can join a maximum of 42 groups so better choose carefully. Visit as many islands as feasible and meet as many people as possible to make your online virtual experience a great one.
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