Saturday, March 26, 2011

How to Be Cool in Second Life

Written 26   March, 2011

How to Be Cool in Second Life

Today I tagged along with Sweetie as she searched for a hairdo at the Amacci store, and I saw without doubt the tackiest thing I have ever seen in Second Life-- and believe me, in my 1614 days on the grid, I have seen some taaacky things.

This woman at Amacci beat them all, however, for she had a sound loop that played, badly and loudly, whenever she walked. And she walked a lot.

And to boot, she had clackety shoes set to the highest possible level.

In my earnest hopes that you, faithful reader, do not venture down the dark road of offensive public behavior, I offer you this list of things to maintain your dignity in second life. You'll be able to walk through stores without offending others by your presentation. You might even be cool.

So pay heed, please.

First, the shants.

1. No bling. If you have an object with bling call the bling disposal squad so they can remove it from your inventory and explode it. Bling is touchy and hard to handle, so just hope it doesn't go off before you're safely out of range.

2. No clackety shoes. If your shoes clack, people 100 meters distant are hearing you and cursing  you. Turn off the clackety sound or find other shoes.Or for god's sake, turn it way down.

3. No public gesture spam. Please. Friends don't let friends do gestures in public. When you pull out that gesture that makes you laugh like an apoplectic three-year-old, you're not impressing anyone. If you want to do a gesture, do it when you're around friends who like gestures or applaud at appropriate times at concerts. Otherwise, just back way. Please.

4. Wear some clothing, for god's sake. Dress appropriately for the situation. Bikines are not the hot thing to wear when mountain climbing.

5. Don't offer friendships to people who you don't really know. You can give calling cards from the right-click menu. Try that instead.

6. Don't spam people with notecards and landmarks.

7. Don't beg for money.

8. Don't be stingy. When you go to a concert, tip the performers and the venue. When you go to a nice sim, tip the owners. When you go to an art show, buy a piece of art, unless it's extravagantly expensive.

9. Respect PG sims. Take your adult behavior to Zindra, the adult continent.

10. Keep your mic closed when you're not speaking.

11. If you walk into somebody, please say "Excuse me."

12. Please respect the privacy of others. Don't walk into people's houses.

13. Show consideration for the diversity of people in Second Life. Don't bully or defame others or say things that might cause people to feel defamed. Don't make fun of people because they don't speak your language or because they're new. Help them instead.

14. Don't pry into the real lives of other avatars. If they want you to know, they'll tell you.

15. Don't shoot or push people without their permission.

16. Don't disrupt quiet areas with noisy vehicles.

Now the shalls.

1. Be yourself. Express yourself as is appropriate for the maturity rating of the sim.

2. Be friendly. Say hi to people who are near.

3. Get involved. No matter what your interests, there are people here who share them. Use Search to find them.

4. Be creative. Second Life is a wonderful place to express your artistic abilities. Here you can build things, take photographs, conduct business, write scripts, and out of world you can make clothing and textures and write blogs. If you're into role play, pour your creativity into your character. Play to your strengths and you'll be surprised what you can accomplish.

5. Tell others about Second Life. Getting people here makes this world stronger and ensures it will be here for you to enjoy.

6. Share with others. Express yourself in your profile and share a random tidbit or two of your real life is you feel comfortable doing so. Put your favorite things and people in your Picks tab, and be sure to include a photo of your avatar in the Second Life tab.

7. Work with others. Find an individual or a group and collaborate on projects. Whether it's building a house, staging a play, or shooting a machinima, get involved.

8. Play with your avatar. Try out clothing, skins, hair, and entire avatars. You needn't spend money; a lot of things are free. Eventually you'll find a combination that expresses your avie's personality as well as your own.

9. Play with the interface. Whether you're running Viewer 1.x, Viewer 2.x, or a third-party viewer like Imprudence or Phoenix, you'll be surprised to learn what can be done. Did you know, for instance, that when you're falling you can slow yourself almost to a stop with the space bar? Try it.

10. Document your experience. Write about it. Blog about it. Talk about it. And above all, take photographs. You needn't pay to import them into Second Life; save them to your hard drive for free and bring in only the images you want to share with your friends. Learn how to control your camera and you'll be rewarded with stunning shots.

11. Learn new skills. Linden Scripting Language is an adventure in coding. Building is an adventure into three-dimensional shapes. But you can learn other things. Sailing, for instance, works just like in the real world; if you learn to sail here you can sail in real life. If you publish a magazine here, you can publish a magazine in real life.

12. Practice social interactions. Are you shy in real life? Introverted? Are there social situations that make you uncomfortable or that you'd like to practice? Well, practice them here. The costs of missteps is far less here than in your real life. Here you can build skills you can take to the real world. Here you can become comfortable with things that ordinarily stress you out. Take advantage of others to help you learn to navigate the social ocean.

13. Get out of your rut. If you spend all your time in Caledon, try a post-apocalyptic sim or the Costa Rican jungle. If you spend all your time at home, dress yourself up and go to a concert. If you have been building for seven days, take a break and watch a particle show. Go check out all those places and experience that at some level intrigue you.

That's it.

If you do these things, I guarantee you, people will think you're cool. And how cool is it to be cool in Second Life?


AlexHayden Junibalya said...

If Linden Lab ever advertises the position of Customer Morale Officer, I'm so putting your name forward!

A nice simple message that speaks volumes about how Second Life should be..well said!!!

Jessica said...

Well written!

I think a lot of people could use this advice. Especially, bling....

You never know who you'll meet if you take yourself just slightly out of your box. Just last night I did so with my avatar and met a lovely person and gained a new friend.