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CNET News.com editor Leslie Katz recently became a resident of “Second Life,” a three-dimensional digital universe built and owned by its inhabitants. Here, Leslie’s avatar, named Amelia, hovers near a waterfall on Sala, one of the continent’s islands and a favorite destination of Amelia’s. rn
rnJoining Linden Lab’s virtual world is free, but once inside, there are multiple opportunities to spend money on clothes, real estate, art, furniture and more. While it’s easy to score garb for free, Amelia splurged and bought herself this fancy dress for 300 Linden dollars (about $1).
Leslie’s avatar, Amelia, hangs out with CNET News.com reporter Daniel Terdiman’s avatar, GreeterDan, in a “Second Life” garden. Daniel, an SL veteran, shared some useful tips for getting around the virtual space.
While trying to open a box of free digital clothes using her mouse and a series of clicks, Leslie makes a common newbie mistake, clicking on the box and then clicking Wear, rather than opening the box first and then clicking on its contents. While “Second Life” is home to every type of outlandish outfit imaginable, the resulting box-on-the-head look clearly isn’t too flattering.
Wearing a faerie’s costume she nabbed for free (lots of “Second Life” venues offer complementary clothes and goods), Amelia gets a bird’s-eye view of a help area for newcomers. Finding in-world assistance via online tutorials and live chat with volunteers is easy, and the average SL resident seems more than happy to lend newbies a hand. rn
rnNote: At bottom left, the graphics are still loading. Sometimes it takes awhile.
For some residents of “Second Life,” being able to fly is one of the biggest draws of the online space. Here, Amelia soars above Serenity Woods, a lush region of streams, trees and rock formations.