Second Life Reader Review
If your first life is dull as dishwater, you're disabled, you have too much time on your hands or you are too fat to get out of bed then this is the one for you.
Starting life in 2001 as Linden World, created by the newly forming Linden Labs, it eventually got out of beta a couple of years later to a lukewarm reception. Since then, 4chan and Something Awful have been a great boon to it's development, success and growth by highlighting the fun that can be had by greifing the serious residents. And people do take it all extremely seriously with hundreds of people managing to scrape a pretty fair living out of making penises to sell, buying land to build brothels and casinos on and this type of thing.
In a nutshell, Second Life is about 4000sq/km of virtual land which you can buy a plot of for Linden dollars (an in-world currency that is exchangable to and from real money) and build your dream home, shop or sex bed on. Using fairly primitive building tools, coding language, textures, animations and what have you along with some small amount of skill, you can pretty much go about doing anything you can possibly imagine. unfortunately, most of the 13 odd million residents have no imagination whatsoever, so this virtual utopia of creativity has become a laggy wasteland of dream homes complete with mini bars and a fast car in the drive. Infact this utter rift of creatively minded people has made the few that can make stuff that doesn't look like a chewed lego brick into rich entrepreneurs.
Avatars are the other big thing. Your on-screen persona is entirely of your own devise, there are possibly hundreds of thousand of shops where you can buy anything you can imagine to dress yourself up with, or you can ignore all that and make your own ensemble. I recommend this option, because at least you'll be marginally original.
Subcultures that you will discover, should you wish to take a dip into this "game" include the following:
Furries - The most picked on sub culture in SL. Their avatars are dressed more often then not as some overly cute woodland creature.
Nekos - Highly unimaginative sorts that wear cat ears and tail and spend insane amounts of money on anything dirty looking that they can attach to themselves. They usually have a tag that says something like =^-^= Sexy Neko which makes them easier to single out in a crowd.
Women - Are almost all lesbians, therefore they're men. Including the ones that aren't lesbians.
Gorreans - Slave/master role players. They take themselves incredibly seriously are among the most rewarding people to annoy.
Age Players - 50something year old men who dress their avatars as children then no doubt do creepy stuff with other 50something year old men dressed as internet predators. Appart from the ones who are cops.
Griefers - Come in many flavours and types, they are the most fun to annoy because they have some odd ethic that means they won't report you no matter what you do.
As you may have gathered, I personally took on a fairly subversive, realistic view on Second Life. Sadly I was eventually banned for "global attacks" after my exploits. An overly dramatic way of saying I made a big mess.
However, I still highly recommend this game, if only for a taste of the future, it's only a matter of time before Linden Labs sells out and their online cornucopia of sex and anti-creativity goes large. A word of warning though, this game is incredibly addictive and will make you very anti-social indeed. And best of all, it's completely free.
10 / 10