Second Life

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Draft

1 Definition

“ Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by a total of 2,938,247 people from around the globe.” ([1], 17:22, 26 January 2007 (MET)).

See also: Active Worlds

2 In education

  • In "Second Life", there are educational events and even some learning activities (to be documented, for the moment see the education links below).

3 How to install / use

3.1 Hardware and OS prerequisites

To experience second life you should have a computer with a 3D graphics card (e.g. nVidia GeForce 2, GeForce 4 MX or better).

Second life clients exist for Win/Mac and Linux

Quality will adapt to your graphics card and that you can tune trough Edit->Preferences->Graphics. To fine tune rendering parameters, check the "Custom" box. Go for the highest possible, if you have a good connection and a good 3D graphics accelerator.

3.2 Installation

  • Easy on Windows ...
For Linux (procedure shown for root install)

Daniel K. Schneider tested SL on Ubuntu 8.04 with a Dell Precision 380 desktop with a Quadro FX 3450 card. Seems to work perfectly well...

The little installation note applies to the version you can see below (aug 2008).

  • Open a terminal and become root (type 'su').
  • Download from here and save to some directory
  • Uncompress, e.g. type: bunzip2 SecondLife_XXXX.bz2. This will give you a tar archive
  • Untar the thing to some place, e.g. put it in /usr/local
tar xf SecondLife_i686_1_20_15_92456.tar -C /usr/local
  • You may want to change permission to your normal user name
chown -R xxx:yyy SecondLife_i686_1_20_15_92456/
  • Then you may make the directory name more general (change it next time)
ln -s SecondLife_i686_1_20_15_92456/ sl
  • Finally read README-Linux.txt file that sits in the top directory

To use it, open a terminal and type something like:

/usr/local/sl/secondlife &

3.3 Your own land

Certified educational institutions can rent space for less. On August 2008:

  • Private space island: setup = $700, monthly fee = 147.50 / month
  • Open access island: setup = $175, monthly fee = $37.50/month

Otherwise, it is cheaper to rent a small region on the main land. E.g.

  • 1/128 region (512 sqm) = $5/month
  • 1/64 region (1024 sqm) = $8/month etc.

Finally, you can buy land that someone else built through an auction system. You can bid in either Linden or US$ depending on the size.

3.4 Finding places in Second Life with SLURLs

A good way to find things is to use SLURLs that provide direct teleport links to locations. Do not try to find things inside SL (e.g. from the starting area). I could become a big frustration to you. Rather, find interesting things through web sites like the Second Life Education Wiki.

Syntax of a SLURL

http://slurl.com/secondlife/<region>/<x-coordinate>/<y-coordinate>/<z-coordinate>/

Example (the Sistine Chapel of Vassar):

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Vassar/200/85/27

If your second life client is correctly installed, then you simply can enter a SLURL URI in your default browser. I will show you first a kind of google map. You then can click to teleport to the location in your Second life client. Note for Linux users: if can't make it work from your web browser, open the Second life help in the Second life client (or hit F1). This will open a internal little web browser within wich you can enter the SLURL....

SLURLs can be customized, e.g. you add a picture, e.g. http://slurl.com/secondlife/<region><x/y/z>?img=http://yourdomain/pict.jpg&title=Your title&msg=Your message

3.5 Finding places inside SL with the map tool

On the buttom of the client click on Map. You then can search for places to teleport, but it's a not very efficient procedure, since (as far as we know) search is limited to words in the location name.

4 See Also

5 Links

5.1 Official or closely related to SL/Linden

Of interest to education
Mailing lists

5.2 Manuals

  • LSL Portal community wiki to provide accurate documentation for the scripting language of Second Life (LSL)
  • There is also a manual that you can find from the second life client. (lsl_guide.html)

5.3 Extensions

5.4 In education

5.5 Other

  • Sloodle is an attempt to integrate this with an LMS.
  • ArchVirual, a consulting group website, includes reviews of what's going on in second life and other places.

6 Example educational sites

Search "slurl education" or something like this in google or better, browser through a place like the SLURL wiki

7 References

  • Gregory M. Lamb, Real learning in a virtual world, Christian Science Monitor, October 05, 2006 edition. HTML
  • Davis, Vicki A. (2007). The frontier of education: Web 3D, Blog Entry. HTML, retrieved 20:03, 25 April 2007 (MEST). (This is the best blog article on SL Daniel K. Schneider has seen so far).
  • Antonacci, David M. and Nellie Modaress (2005). The Educational Possibilities of a Massively Multiplayer Virtual World (MMVW). EDUCAUSE HTML