Second Life Download
You need the Second Life download of the
quick start guide
in order to get started with Second Life. The guide indicates everything you need to have available in order to participate in the virtual world. The requirements are few: a computer, an internet connection and a mouse. With these 3 items (as long as your computer has sufficient memory and a decent video card) you will be quickly on your way to visiting your virtual world.
If you want to be able to talk, you can also use a microphone and headset. Inexpensive headsets can be bought at most office supply on consumer electronics stores. But if you would rather type, you may be able to use a plugin device that allows you to use text instead of voice for your commands.
Software for the viewer
The next Second Life download you need is the viewer software. It comes in a Windows, Mac, or Linux version, and allows you to move your avatar around the community and interact with objects and people. There is usually an opportunity to download a beta version of a viewer also. If you like to experiment and don't mind a little system instability until the beta software get its bugs worked out, then it can be fun to try beta software. But don't bother with it if you're pressed for time, or are not technically adept. It can be frustrating to have your viewer break on you when you're right in the middle of enjoying yourself online.
The viewer interface can be intimidating at first. There are control areas for moving your avatar, interacting with other people and interacting with objects. There are special commands for making your avatar sit, walk or fly. You can also control your visual vantage point and look at a scene as if you were on a pivoting camera tripod. Just give yourself time to get used to looking at it, and you'll quickly get used to it. And after you feel comfortable with the movements, you can move on to pairing them with speech or text.
On the back page of your quick start Second life download is a handy chart of keyboard shortcuts. Be sure to print this out so you can refer to it while you're learning. Once you become familiar with Second Life, download templates and other resources from the
that you can use to customize your avatar. With these helpers you can change the look of your avatar's hair and eyes, or apply tattoos. Once you start adding custom features to your virtual world, you'll be hooked on it.
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