First impressions

First week in Second Life 

My first stay in Second Life showed me strange things

People wandering around. People flying in the air and sometimes just talking to each other. They look like a strange sort of tourists, in a very different world. Well.. Is it that different than Real Life, I wonder?   It makes me humble, and a little lost…

But SL is very stimulating, and there’s not very much time to reflect on things… There’s always the attraction of the new and the unexpected… It seems to me.  And I saw great things, these first days.

Beauty in different shapes, forms and places. It makes me want to explore more and more… To what end? Why explore without a purpose? Just for the fun of exploration, I think. I wandered in strange places, sometimes completely by accident.  Too bad I can’t find these places again.

Setting a landmark is a way to do this… But I learned to late, how to do that… So now I lost some places, and I’m sad about that.

Also missed the change to make friends, simple because I couldn’t find the way to do so… Later on, I found a thing to “offer friendship”. But perhaps we’ll meet again, sometime. Somewhere in the vast expanse of SL… 

More then 4.000.000 people in SL. And the number is increasing every day. 

What to do these first days in SL?

I really don’t now. Can’t find the tourist office, so I try to find the way for myself. Most of the time I hopped from place to place. Not knowing what to look for, or what to expect next. Talking to people is easy. You just press “chat” or “IM”. When you chat, all people can see (read) what you’re talking about. When you use “IM” it’s more private… ‘Instant message’ perhaps? 

Language is a bit of a problem… English is not my native language, so I make mistakes… A lot, I’m afraid. But, people don’t mind. OK, people don’t always understand what I’m talking about. But I think they don’t mind… I’m still a “newbie” New in Second Life.

Too bad there’s not an automatic spelling checking algorithm. As an option in “tools” in the menu. Set spelling check on/off. I would leave it on, all the time. Can’t find the button… Too bad. To difficult to program? 

I found places in the sky, and I plunged deep in some strange waters. And yes, I can walk there too. By mistake: I could not stop walking when I entered a waterfront… I just kept walking… One second, I looked a bright sky, but the next second, I only saw a blue screen. Took me some time to comprehend what happened… I really was under water… Perhaps all newbie’s have these problems?

Walking into walls, walking right into the sea or flying up and down all the time…  Strange place, that Second Life… 

Walking… The first thing I tried to do is learn to control the controls… They looked pretty easy: arrow forward, then you go forward. Arrow back and you go back… Left and right is the same, also…

But then there’s the flying thing, and then it becomes more complicated…  Key ‘PgUp’ (Page Up) gets you off the ground… Unless you’re in a building. Then you hit your head, and most of the times, you can’t see anything but a big solid wall… Only to be solved by pressing the button ‘stop flying’.  But the best thing is the camera 

A little window with arrows. Click right, and the whole world shifts right. Left, and is goes left again. And the good thing is you stay put. Only you see more of the world. 

After a few days I seem to have a grip of my AV (avatar). He doesn’t fly up and down all the time… I also don’t run into trees, people and buildings any more… Unless I really want to. So now what?   There seem to be a lot of things I can try right now. But the first thing is to get some money.

There are free things in SL. They’re called ‘freebies’. I found a black hat.  So, now I’m a newbie with a freebie black hat. Why the hat? Because I like hats in RL. It’s that simple.  

I wonder if more people do the same thing? When you see what some people are carrying, you wonder what the do in Real Life. Dwarves, men and woman with strange clothes, monsters of all kinds and forms, big furry cats… Even some vampires.

Some normal looking people… Wearing normal clothes and all… But with some sort of wings. Really. Some people like to wear wings on their back. And why not… Looks pretty, most of the time.  Beauty is a strange thing in SL. Most people seem to expand the human form a little.

Make it al little more beautiful than normal… Why? Well, why not… I think it’s because in RL people like to have the same great body… Beautiful people in beautiful places. Talking to each other… Giving things, sharing thoughts… Sounds like heaven? Too bad. It’s just like home.  

In SL you need money too…

Some people earn their money in very strange ways. Begging for money. I even met a drugs dealer, and some people offering sex. Virtual sex for virtual money. Not really my thing. 

Me, I dance

Why not? There’s no harm in that, I think. So my little AV hops and loops and jumps and does stupid dance things… Gets me 2 L$ in 10 minutes.

In the same time it’s easy to look through a SL paper. Simple and easy, just a file in PDF format. I downloaded the paper from a free thing on a wall of some building somewhere). Or I try to sort out my free strange things in my inventory. Dancing is done using ‘dance pads’. You just click there and your AV starts dancing… And then you start earning money. But sometimes, all dance pads are occupied. Then you can’t dance…   And when I’m not dancing I can always try to clean the street. Found a bucket with water, and instructions how to use them… Only 1L$ for 10 minutes, I think. But still, why not. Its work and it’s very easy. 

Even found a place with guitars lying on the street.

You can start and play… And by doing so, earning some money… Gambling seems to be going on all the time, so people can expand their amount of virtual money… Me I just dance, mop the street and perhaps start playing the guitar. Gambling is not my thing… Not just yet, any way. 

And with the money you can buy or rent a site.

And then you can build a house and start decorating the house… Just like in RL… Or you can spend your money on clothes or other – more exotic – things.

Me, I’m just beginning to understand all the possibilities of SL. Making the things myself would be nice, so I collected the manuals about “scripting” as well… It’s a computer generated world, so building is done with computer tools. Scripts seem to be an important issue, so I try to collect some knowledge…

Facts, more and more facts. Most of the things are overwhelming.

Everything is bigger, stranger and some times more bizarre then I would imagine…  

Languages don’t seem to mind.

People talk in English… Even me. And sometimes they have their language in their profile…

That’s easy for everyone… I met some people in San Francisco… But they tried talking French to me… My French is even worse than my English, so I went away. 

Photo in your profile might be handy.

But there’s a catch… It costs money to upload your photo. Too bad… I still have a lot of dancing to do, before I can start to buy and upload a photo…

Perhaps it’s for the best. Now I can reshape my face some more. Perhaps even (at some time in the far future) change the colour of my hat? And when I understand this crazy place a little better?  Perhaps selling art. Or selling ideas. Or…

I have al lot of paintings… And ideas to expand. Things to make and try to do. How would it be to try to sculpt anything in SL? More easy then RL perhaps. If you know the right way to do it. Perhaps there’s a club or place just for making or even selling works of art?  

In my dreams I sell paintings and sculptures of my own… But the same time my AV is still dancing and earning money… Perhaps SL is not that different than RL. In RL I also dream of doing things, but still get stuck with doing other (more practical) things. Earning money, and the rest. 

But… Not always. There’s always my inner life. My books, I like to write. Nobody will ever read them. There’re not good enough, I’m afraid. Not yet, that is… Things can change. No harm in hoping… But even so…  They’re nice books. And the job of writing a book is nice. Mmmm.

 Perhaps there’s a club of people in SL who like to write a book together… With more people you have more ideas and more talent for the project… Perhaps? Perhaps I can sell ideas… I have plenty, and it seems to me there’s al lot of creativity in SL… Also in RL, of course. But in SL it seems to pop up easier. 

And then there are all these buildings.  Very normal, but also very strange to see.

Towering above the clouds, high and very tall… Or a cave behind a waterfall… Or an old castle. In Amsterdam they have the Central Station and even some canals with house boots… And a stand selling tulips and other flowers. Even the statue at the Dam, complete with people who are smoking joints… What’s the fun smoking digitally made weed?  

Perhaps, next time, I’ll publish some pictures in this weblog… I hope nobody will be offended, when I do that. Somewhere I found a thing called a snapshot. A menu item, I think… So, when I see something interesting, I can take a snapshot.

I’m still wondering if it is something like just simple “print screen”. I’ll try both, and compare the results… Even more things I’ll try to do next. Too much, far too much ideas… Where to start, what to do?  After a week in SL I still don’t know what to do next. I’ll go with the flow, I guess… And enjoy all the crazy things…  I have al lot of questions 

  • I wonder why they don’t have a personal SL weblog build into the system…
    I wonder why there’s no tourist office.
    I wonder how to learn to build things?
    I wonder how to shape objects?
    I wonder how to make my own art?
    I wonder what I’ll do next… 

Would the have classes for English… Or building things? Or SL etiquette? Or?  

For now, it’s OK. Going back to RL. Strange… Transition between these two worlds is difficult. Step from one reality into the next. But… I’ll manage These are my first impressions, after one week in SL

Very great place to wander around. Even fly around.

Strange and even addictive at times. Have to decide what to do next. Make list of things to do, and how to do them… Or…

Drop the lists, and hop along with everybody else. And just have fun?  We’ll see what happens next week. Hope to have some snapshots in this log. We’ll see what happens. Just when I wanted to end SL, there was a message on the screen.

Amsterdam will be banned for people without money on their banking account…

Well. That includes me, I’m afraid. I still don’t trust the money transfer from my RL credit card to a SL bank… Banks get robbed in RL, so why not in SL? So I still keep the money in my pocket, and don’t give my RL credit data to a SL bank.

Not yet, that is. Stupid perhaps? Now I can’t go to Amsterdam any more…

Ah, well.. Too bad. More place to see… Almost all of them for free…   Wonder what the city of Amsterdam would think, when they new there city is completely run by private people… In SL, I mean. Now they have missed the opportunity to build the city on their own terms. Trying to attract tourists. From SL visitors to RL tourists.

I’m afraid SL is not that popular. Not yet in official circles… Not now, any way…  

That will change.

In a few years every major business and government agency will by begging for the right to build the official region in SL… But then they’re too late…

Most cities will be taken, changes and improved in SL… But maybe that’s OK… Also city’s get their second life, in that way. Or will they make a second Amsterdam in SL? And a third and then more and more? We’ll just see what happens. 

(End of SL life log… After 1 week. Final entry 14 – 03 – 2007)


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