Virtual Online Worlds
If you are not yet a virtual online worlds member you are in the minority. Thousands of new users sign up every day on sites like Second Life to discover virtual worlds first hand. You’ve heard about them – now it’s time to experience them!
The first step to your online virtual worlds experience will be to sign up for a membership. In the Second Life virtual world you have a choice between free or paid memberships. Free memberships are enough for most users. Premium, or paid, memberships allow users to buy land from the site’s creator – Linden Lab, and get a 300 linden dollar, second life currency, weekly stipend.
Part of the registration process in online worlds involves choosing a user name. You pick your first name and choose from a list of given options for your last name in the Second Life virtual world. This process allows for some crazy names in virtual online worlds. You could meet people named Itsa Wonder, Kinda Sort, and Free Ticket among others in the virtual Second Life world.
Creating an Avatar
During registering you will be asked to choose your basic avatar which you will be able to customize later in-world. Your avatar is you in virtual form. Second Life provides a user friendly tutorial to walk you through the avatar creation and customization process. You will be choosing all the physical aspects of your virtual self like hair color, eyes color, skin color, height and weight. Users design traditional self images and far out fantasy avatars. You are only limited by your imagination.
After your avatar is created you can instantly begin exploring the virtual worlds of Second Life. There are thousands, of different areas to visit. Many users have created islands that focus on specific topics, cultures, events, or activities. You will find islands dedicated to learning, libraries, night life, sports, gaming, business, arts, residential, landscape, building and testing areas called sandboxes and much more. Islands are classified as "adult" (restricted to ages 18 and up), “moderate” (some mature content) and “General” (Suitable for all ages).
Virtual experts recommend visiting as many areas as possible during your first few days on the site while learning the second life basics. Some users sign on for a specific reason such as attending a class or networking and never take the time to explore. They are truly missing out on all the experiences the virtual online worlds of Second Life offers.
While you are exploring make sure to spend time chatting with other avatars using text or voice. There are over 25,000 Second Lifers online at any one time so you will have the opportunity to meet and interact with a variety of interesting people from all over the world. Remember, your online worlds experience will be what you make of it. Enjoy yourself and have fun.
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