MUVE Platform 1

Second_Life_logo.svg

Hello and welcome to me second blog for MUV601. In this blog I will be exploring my first platform, which is Second Life. I will be covering the basic information around the Second Life platform, such as, who developed it, its functionality and who its targeted to.

What is the Second Life?

Second life is a multi-user virtual environment hosted by Linden Labs, which people can create avatars in game to interact with each other. In Second Life people can purchase virtual properties, trade with other players, including items they have made in game using the Second Life currency. Because there is no set object, such as other virtual worlds like WoW (World of Warcraft) second life can serve many purposes, for example; Education, roleplaying, gaming to name a few.

Second life developer

Second life is developed by Linden Labs which is based in San Francisco. The platform was first released on 23 June 2003.

Second Life in game functionality

The Second Life platform provides its users a highly customizable virtual environment to work in. For example, users have the ability to fully customize their avatars appearance from the size, shape, colour of their avatar to making from scratch a new outfit, or purchasing one already made from another player using the in-game currency.

The customizable options don’t stop at the avatar; second life users can also purchase in-game properties which they can create and edit their virtual landscape and add objects they have built with the in-game building tool. For example, a user could purchase some land in-game and create a virtual night club using the building tool, which then avatars could hang out.

Second Life performance

Regarding performance, Second Life will run good on most computers with low end spec, as long as the graphic settings are turned to appropriate levels. It is also compatible with Mac and Linux operating systems.

There are some in game issues regarding performance and instability due to games “asset” server which hold all the in-game objects being separate from the avatar and world servers, thus creating performance bottlenecks leading to in game performance issues.

Second Life uses

Second life provides a platform which can be used for many applications. Some of these applications include:

  • Education
  • People can come from all over the world to learn about topic in the virtual world.
  • Social networking
  • Second Life provides an excellent platform for people wanting to meet and make new friends.
  • Roll playing
  • Within second life there are many locations dedicated to roll-playing.

Comparison to Open Simulator

Second life has its advantages and disadvantages much like Open Simulator, some of these are:

  • Much higher cost if you want to have your own region within second life compared to OpenSim.
  • Much less freedom due to policy and procedures set by Linden Labs.

Though there are some disadvantages, I feel more advantages, such as:

  • More player base and community.
  • Much larger amount of hosted regions.
  • Large marketplace.

My feelings on Second Life

Personally I can see Second Life and other virtual worlds providing great services for applications such as online education, especially with the advances in technologies such as the Oculus Rift; I see in the near future, fully immersive environments where people can come to learn and meet new people.

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