Second Life Sims
Second Life sims are the 256m x 256m square sections of virtual real estate that are the basic virtual building blocks of Second Life (SL). Each of these sims has a dedicated server (and there are thousands of them), located in the Linden Lab server farm, and each server hosts a region, or ‘sim’. Technically, a ‘sim’ or simulator is the software used to create these virtual regions. But as common usage, the term ‘sim’ means the same as ‘region’ when SL residents are communicating inworld.
Raw or developed parcels
The sims of Second Life are the lifeblood of the SL virtual real estate economy. They are subdivided into various sizes based on fractions of a region as small as 1/128th, or 512 square meters which can be bought. Residents can buy raw parcels or developed parcels using Linden dollars (L$), which can be exchanged for real world global currency on the Second Life currency exchange, or the
Ways to buy virtual land
Residents can buy
directly from other residents, or they can participate in auctions to buy portions of new Second Life sims directly from Linden Lab as they are created. Aside from the purchase price, each region has a monthly land use fee associated with it, ranging from US$5 to about US$200, depending on the parcel size. There is also a limit to how many objects, or ‘prims’ can be built on each parcel, which is also related to the parcel size. Larger parcels can accommodate more ‘prims’, short for ‘primitives’, which are 3D virtual shapes that comprise all of the visibly ‘solid’ objects in the Second Life virtual world. For example, trees, avatars and buildings are all prims covered with ‘textures’ that make them look real.
Private islands and open space
Private regions, or ‘islands’, are also available for purchase by individuals, or non-profit and educational groups. These Second Life sims are offered in 3 different performance levels. Full regions are full capacity sims that can handle the highest number of avatars and prims.
and open space regions can only be purchased by residents who already own at least one full region. These lower performance regions can handle fewer prims, so are only suitable for low density development or scenery. They can be purchased directly from Linden Lab for prices ranging up to US$1,000 for a full region. Monthly use fees cost up to S$295, with lower pricing available to educational and non-profit users.
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