Second Life – Orientation
Second Life Orientation - Getting Started - V.2 – Debbie McCormick – June 2010 Page 0
What is purpose of the orientation session
The purpose of today’s orientation session is to provide a hands-on, guided entry into the creation of
a Second Life account and avatar, and to facilitate the development of environmental navigation
competency (i.e. learn not to bump into walls and fly into buildings – most of the time) in a relaxed,
Who is the orientation for?
The orientation session is designed for people who have limited or no experience using virtual
environments but would like to explore the ways they can be used for collaboration, education or
What will we do?
During the session you will:
Create an account in Second Life (free)
Choose an avatar and a name for your avatar
Learn how to access and use your inventory
Learn how to navigate the environment
Visit some popular Second Life sites
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Not all computers can run Second Life so you might like to check the specifications of the computer you are
planning to use for access (see http://secondlife.com/corporate/sysreqs.php). A critical factor is your
internet connection – broadband (basically anything but dial-up) is a must for running Second Life. Your
computers RAM and video card are also major factors that will affect your ‘inworld’ experience – more RAM
and better video card = smoother actions and less ‘lag’ (see Obstacles and Barriers in the Intro to Second Life
document for more information on lag).
Registration and Avatar Selection
After checking that your computer can run Second Life the next step will be to set up a (free) Second Life
1. Open your web browser
2. Go to www.secondlife.com and click ‘Join Now’
3. Choose your avatar name and ‘look’ **note** choose your name carefully, it’s the only thing you won’t
be able to change later:
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4. You will receive an email confirming your registration and asking you to activate your account. When
you have done this you will be invited to “Become a Premium Member today”; unless you want a paid
membership (which you probably don’t at this time) select ‘Not Now’; then on the next screen select
5. When you have selected your Avatar you will be invited to ‘Download and install the Second Life client’.
If you don’t want to download the software now you can come back later to:
6. When the software has been downloaded clicking on the Second Life icon on your desktop will launch
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There are several pieces of useful/interesting information on the login page:
a. Whether Second Life is currently online or offline (i.e. whether you can log in)
b. Current Time (Second Life time is the same as USA Pacific Time)
c. How many people have logged in the last 60 days
d. How many people are currently logged in
After entering your Avatar name and password select ‘connect’.
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What to expect when you arrive
After agreeing to the Linden Lab Terms of Service Agreement and reading the Community Standards that
include Behavioural Guidelines, and Policies and Policing, you will be launched into the ‘world’.
Your first landing spot will be Welcome Island. Computers sometimes struggle to download clothes and
other features of the landscape so don’t be alarmed at this stage if you appear as a foggy ball, you will
Welcome Island has areas with tutorials that will help you to learn the basics of Second Life including;
moving, communicating, changing appearance and searching for people, groups and events etc.
**Note** Some people on Welcome Island, and in other areas of Second Life, can be a bit, shall we say,
forward (just like in real life). If anyone hassles you in any way you can just tell them to get lost – like you
would in real life. If anything really disturbs you just close the program down and go and have a cup of tea.
To find people in SL who aren’t on your ‘friends’ list you can do a ‘people’ search and contact them via
Search for people not
on your ‘friends’ list
Send an Instant Message
(similar to a real life text
message or SMS)
Finding Your ‘Home’
To come to the Behavioural Studies offices you will need to teleport to the location. To do that:
1. Search for ‘Behavioural Studies’ using the main search tool (see ‘Finding Friends’ above)
2. Then click Teleport
3. This will bring you to the entry of The Behavioural Studies Offices.
It’s a good idea to set a landmark to this location so you can get back here any time you want to;
especially handy when you’ve been wandering elsewhere in Second Life. To set a landmark you
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simply click World, then Create Landmark Here. When you go wandering and want to come back
here you click Map; then My Landmarks; then find the landmark in the list, and Teleport. Easy.
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