Second Life looked like it was poised to be the Next Big Thing when the media gave it blanket coverage a few months ago. (I got caught up in the hype and wrote a description of it that was way too enthusiastic. I’m sorry.) It’s still growing and making its presence felt, but its growth numbers turned out to be exaggerated and many people have been discouraged by the difficulty of getting started and unimpressed by the experience of wandering the virtual world.
Here’s a wonderful description of one person’s first excursion into the world of Second Life. It’s enough to satisfy my curiosity for a while.
“Second Life is free to play, and I keep seeing people referring to it in the news, so I had to take one for the team and just dive on in. . . .
“My character came pre-loaded as a “cybergoth”. Most people I saw in the game, jerkily wandering around, also had fantasy-ass names. They also had fantasy asses. Perfect, round fantasy asses. Which left me with only one choice: I had to become what they were not. Slowly, because everything in Second Life is painfully slow, I removed all components of my clothing, including Cybergoth.Armwarmers and Cybergoth.Boots. I even removed Cybergoth.Facetattoo.
“After a half-hour of pulling on sliders, I had transformed from Wenis Cybergoth to Wenis Pale Corpulent Bulldog-Man. I shortened my torso and gave myself man-handles. I made my hands puffy. I enlarged my jowls to the maximum, and beaded my eyes down to… well, little beads.
“Wenis Swindlehurst: How do I fly
“Foxbrand Leprechaun: Press Page Up
“The sight of a fat, naked white man flying over Introduction Island (because the game makes you complete a boring tutorial, to make sure you don’t play the game if you want to have fun) aroused absolutely no suspicion, probably because most Second Life players see the same thing when they go in for their weekly sponge-baths.”