Virtual Reality Sites
Virtual reality sites like Second Life are exploding across the internet. They are the number one trend with teens and users from age 18 to 88 are signing on in record numbers. In Second Life members can learn, work, have fun and socialize all at the click of a mouse.
Second life is one of a growing number of virtual reality sites becoming more popular all the time. It goes beyond the old style chat room and elevates online socialization to an art form. Users can communicate with each other in real time while living a complete “second life”.
Once you have become a Second Life member a world of possibilities are placed before you. You can own a business, design fashionable garments, go to a pub, play in-world games, and attend classes. Almost anything you can do in real life has quickly become available in your second life and much more.
Real Time Communications
One of the best features of virtual reality sites is the ability they give users to communicate in real time. It will feel as if you are in the same room with the person you are speaking to. There are 2 types of communication in Second Life: Text chat and voice chat.
Text chat is done using a unique text module that allows members to type in their comments which will then appear as a thought bubble on screen. Responses also show up on the screen. Depending on the chat range you use, the message will be heard by avatars located at a smaller or bigger distance from you. You can also send/leave an instant message (IM) to anybody in Second Life, no matter how far away they are. If they are in-world they will see it immediately, in case they are not in Second Life they will see it as soon as they log in.
Voice chat is also available and some 3D virtual reality sites in-world are using it extensively. Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life, report success with voice communication, especially for learning and networking purposes. If you need to communicate with your teacher, classmates at an eLearning session or with your boss and workmates at the office, voice communication is essential to speed up conversations and save a valuable time.
Navigating the virtual environment of Second Life is as easy as chatting. Movement is dependent on your computer keyboard. By using the arrow keys on your keypad your avatar, your virtual representation, can move anywhere in the space. If you want to move fast you can use the “run” option. Large areas of land, and long distances, can be navigated by employing the “fly” feature. You can also use the “teleport” (TP) option to go anywhere instantly.
Other advantages of 3D virtual worlds include anonymity and the freedom to be you. This is especially important for very shy people. In Second Life no one need ever know your real name or where you live. In fact, it is suggested that you never reveal this information for safety reasons. It’s generally recommended to separate your second life from your real life, you don’t need to mix them but it’s up to you. If you feel inhibited in your real life or have always been too afraid to try something new Second Life is for you. Don't wait to open a free account, install the viewer and start enjoying your “second life”.
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