1. Technology

"Second Life" (PC)

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Second Life Screenshot of Avatars

"Second Life" Screenshot

Copyright 2007, Linden Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Developer / Publisher:

Linden Lab

Release Date:

2003. While "Second Life" was released in 2003, it took a couple of years for the online game to become popular and be known in the media.

Platforms:

Online: Mac, Windows, Linux

What is "Second Life?":

"Second Life" is virtual online world where anything is possible! It's like "The Sims" but completely online. First off, you pick a unique name using one of the available last names. Then create an avatar that is customizable in everyway imaginable. Pick the clothes, hair, face, eyes, height, weight, and more. Once you get done making your avatar, the world is limited only by your imagination. Just about everything available in real life can be found in "Second Life." Night clubs, amusement parks, concerts, games, movies, brothels, and malls. The city of "Second Life" is run completely by the residents.

What You Need to Play "Second Life":

  • "Second Life" software
  • "Second Life" account
  • Internet connection
  • Mouse
  • Keyboard
  • Windows, Mac, or Linux.
  • Be at least 18. Teens can join "Teen Second Life"

Join & Download "Second Life"

Membership Plans:

There are multiple membership plans available for "Second Life." The first being a free basic account. If you want to own land, you'll need to get a premium account. Check the "Second Life" Web site for current membership fees.

Number of Memberships:

4.8 million and growing

Things to Do in "Second Life":

  • Shopping
  • Fly!
  • Meet people will similar interests
  • Chat with old friends
  • Sell your creations (clothes, furniture, etc)
  • Play games
  • Go to a casino
  • Hang out at a nightclub
  • See a movie & music videos
  • Buy an island
  • View art
  • And much more!

Who's Playing "Second Life":

Everyone! Millions have joined and more continue to join each day. As many as 20,000 residents are online at any given time. People from all over the world (many gamers from North America and the UK) of all ages and backgrounds are involved in the "Second Life" community. Not only are the individuals hanging out in "Second Life," businesses, governments, and colleges are buying islands and setting up shop. For example, Sundance is screening movies and Sweden has setup a virtual embassy in hopes of attracting real-life tourists.

The Economy of "Second Life":

At the heart of "Second Life," there is a strong economy that keeps the world moving. The currency used in "Second Life" is called Linden Dollars. Millions of Linden Dollars are exchanged in month between residents. Residents sell goods and services to each other, just like in the real world. Examples of what residents do in order to earn money include: selling furniture, animations, sounds, clothing, giving tours, owning businesses, planning parties, and giving tattoos. If you are talented, there is lots of money to be earned. Some residents may even hire you to model their clothing.

The part that has the media and people talking is the fact that Linden Dollars have a real monetary value. Through an exchange Linden Dollars can be converted to US dollars. Thousands of residents are earning an income from their sells or services. The income isn't large for most residents. Some sell for a profit, but there are many that put the money right back into the economy. In one extraordinary case, a resident made $1 million US dollars selling real estate.

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