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Second Life - An Introduction for Students  

Last Updated: Aug 20, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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In This Guide

  • Home: What is Second Life, Get Started in SL
  • System Requirements: Optimizing Performance, Viewers
  • Basic Functions: Communicate, Landmarks, Move Tools, Open a Box, View Tools
  • Advanced Functions: Appearance, Animation, Organize Inventory, Photography, Profiles, Share Inventory, Voice
  • Explore SL: Destination Guide, Groups, Make Friends, Social Events, Notecards, World Map, Hunts
  • Useful Links: Building, Economy, Glossary, Griefers, Knowledge Base, Land

This guide is optimized for the Second Life Viewer and also for PC.


What is Second Life?

Second Life (SL), according to its website, is the "Internet's largest user created, 3-D virtual world community." It is a place to "connect, work and explore, to be different, free yourself and your mind". Virtually everything in Second Life is created by users and behind every avatar is a real person. It is not a game, although users can and have created games for Second Life.

Get Started in SL

  • Second Life Quick Start
    Register, download the viewer, basic skills and more
  • Join Second Life
    If you are going to use your own computer, you may want to check the System Requirements for SL before starting out.

    Select an avatar and create your SL account. Make sure you can live with your name because you can't change it although you can edit your display name under your Profile (see Advanced Functions tab). You can change the look of your avatar once you are inworld.
  • How to get started with Second Life - video  Icon
  • Download the Viewer
    You need a viewer to connect to SL. If this is for class, your instructor might require you to get a certain one so inquire first. See also System Requirements>Third Party Viewers.
  • Navigate Welcome Island
    Once you have an account and login to SL, you are taken to Welcome Island to go through the basics of moving, looking around, and communicating. Orientation Island and the Welcome Area are often crowded and laggy. You might want to go to the Virtual Ability Island (below) to practice your basic skills.
  • Preview of Welcome Island - video  Icon
    Preview your Welcome Island experience before going inworld.
  • Gateway to the Faery Crossing
    Orientation and help for newcomers to SL. If you already have an SL account, click on the link and click Visit this Location or Teleport to go to this location inworld. Enter the Learning Grove to learn basic skills.
  • Virtual Ability Island
    If you need more practice learning the basics, Virtual Ability Island has a good orientation to SL. If you already have an SL account, click on the link and click Visit this Location or Teleport to go to this location inworld. Start with basic movements.
  • Virtual Ability Island Advanced Tutorials
    After basic orientation, you may want to return and try these advanced tutorials. Learn about currency, clothing, profiles, groups, textures and more.

Dreams We Live in Second Life

This brief video explores a tiny portion of the possibilities of Second Life.


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