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Jun 012009
 

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Second Life: Free Fun in Tight Times

by Maverick Grunfeld

Want to meet new people from a variety of cultures? What if it was possible for you to visit New York, Tokyo, and end the evening hearing a live Irish band in a Dublin pub? In Second Life (SL), the multiplayer online service created by Linden Lab, all of these are possible, for little to no actual cost. Second Life is a free internet based program where individuals (called residents) are able to interact with others. Within the world, people can build their own creations. Given the limits of the economy and people in need of “fun for free,” Second Life provides a viable option.

Jolly Gearhead is a Second Life resident who works as a greeter at Wolf Mountain Ski Resort, which has free skiing,
snowboarding, jet skiing, and ice skating for Second Life players.

“SL is a free game, you don’t need to pay anything to play it, and has a lot of areas to explore and learn, so to me, it’s a wonderful game and a wonderful learning tool.” Wolf Mountain serves as just one of many locations within Second Life offering the ability for people to experience fun in a virtual reality world.

An activity such as golf, which can be expensive and difficult to master, can become affordable and easy to practice.

For example, “The Cheeky Cow Golf Club” provides Second Life players with a golf experience that follows the strict rules of the game while being affordable. Marilyn Philbin, a club owner, summarized the advantages to golfing in Second Life, “Well, we have better weather, a safe place even for teenagers to play, a good community feel, a great place to meet and low costs.”

“Real Life golfers find that this is very realistic.” added Taylor Revnik, a club co-owner.

“I think in real life some people are afraid of making a fool of themselves in golf, the rules are intimidating. Here, they can get good really fast and learn the rules of golf. Several members after playing in Second Life have gone out to learn how to play in real life. They become addicted.” A sport, such as golf, can be tried and tested virtually before a person decides to make a conscious investment.

Beyond experiencing activities that a person can possibly enjoy away from a computer, Second Life also offers the impossible, lands of imagination and fiction. Kohaku Owatatsumi, a second life resident who enjoys visiting science fiction or fantasy locations said it best, “Second Life is a place with a tremendous and unprecedented level of creative freedom – here you can look how you want – you can build what you want – you can explore, and meet people the world over. Work doing things you’ve always dreamed of, learn things that you’ve always wanted to learn.”Kohaku spends her time exploring space and interacting with “Star Trek” series fans.

Mr. Gearhead also points out the ability for Second Life content creators to actually turn an income in the online
world, “There are ways you can make a small business here on SL. I have my own in which I sell objects that I make.” Second Life’s economy allows for people to take their skills to new levels, perhaps to the point of creating a virtual business. Given the economic limitations, a virtual business can provide some opportunities for individuals with talents in programming, art, and graphic design.

Second Life though is much more than free activities and possible business opportunities. The most important and popular aspect is socializing with others. There are plenty of unique bars, concerts, and dances for people enjoy. These
have a range of imaginable themes, spanning beyond time, cultures, and imagination; something that we all can relish in to relax and reduce stress if finances are tight.

The world of Second Life allows for endless education and exploration. Signing up only takes an internet connection and the program. Go to http://secondlife.com/ to create an account and download the software.

Krypton Radio’s guide to exploring Second Life has documented some great locations of free activities to visit at
to visit within the online world. Whether it is enjoying a band in an Irish pub, visiting the Statue of Liberty, or learning a game of golf, Second Life can be boundless while being free, affordable fun.

To visit the Virtual Golf Club mentioned in this article visit: www.cheekycowgolfclub.blogspot.com

The Daily Planet SL: http://kryptonradio.com/

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