Second Life

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“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

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).

How to install / use

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.


  • 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 &

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.

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<region>/<x-coordinate>/<y-coordinate>/<z-coordinate>/

Example (the Sistine Chapel of Vassar):

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.<region><x/y/z>?img=http://yourdomain/pict.jpg&title=Your title&msg=Your message

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.

See Also


Official or closely related to SL/Linden

Of interest to education
Mailing lists


  • 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)


In education


  • 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.

Example educational sites

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


  • 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