One of the themes of our site is finding stress relief through all different methods. For some these methods may mean “unplugging”, but for others it may mean “plugging in”. For many, after a hard day at work, there is a longing to escape the bonds of the earth and reality. Some may say they long to escape even the bonds of society. Games like Second Life provide the perfect opportunity for people to cut loose, be their real selves, and also be creative while exploring new worlds. In a world where we are often jaded and it feels like everything’s been done before, opening the door to a virtual world can make us feel like there are undiscovered territories still to be found.
When you first start in Second Life, you are an avatar or a noob (short for newbie). Your first act is to give birth to your new self…you can make yourself look like anyone you want. You can even choose to be a different gender if you like. There are also many avatar “skins” and costumes you can buy to make yourself even more elaborate…an alien, an animal, anything your heart desires. It’s not free however. This world operates on a virtual economy using a currency called Lindens. You can buy Linden with real money. If it’s your first few weeks, don’t put much money in, if any into the game until you’re sure you like it. Once you have created your avatar, there are tons of different things to do.
Travel in Second Life
Are you stuck paying off debts in real life? No vacation money? Don’t suffer and mope around…login to your SL (short for Second Life) account, and hit the search button. Search on Mexico and find yourself climbing up ancient ruins, interacting with virtual wildlife, and playing cool games from times past. A good thing to do is to check out the destination guide/showcase to find new places. Even if you’ve been in-world for a few years like I have, there are constantly new worlds to discover. Check out vehicles and learn to fly a flying saucer in a space sim(slurl), go get a sub and explore an underwater sanctuary. Anything is possible. As you wander your way around sims, meeting friends, go dancing at some clubs, and you will soon realize the time has flown, and your worries have passed away.
Being Creative in SL
One of the coolest features of second life is the tools they give you to build things. Using basic 3D modeling, you can learn to make objects, furniture, clothing, and more. Play around with these tools, take some tutorials, and find yourself building things that you can use in-world. If you really like it and get good at it, you can even sell those items for Linden and real money on Second Life’s market, X Street SL Market. https://www.xstreetsl.com/
Social Life in Second Life
Many people go into Second Life to cheat on partners, and to do other negative behaviors, but there are many positive ways to enjoy Second Life. If you’re married, make sure you are clear in your profile you are just out to have fun and make friends. If you’re single, be free, do what you want, but guard your heart. Relationships happen aT the speed of light in virtual worlds, and crash just as quickly. But on the positive side, they can be a way for you to socialize and meet people from all over the world. I have made several enduring friendships from casual social encounters in Second Life, and met my current husband while exploring an art world sim. He kidnapped me in his space ship…what a pickup line! Second Life provides an open social life of many different lifestyles and ways of connecting. Visit clubs, get dolled up and go dancing at Frank’s Place (SLURL). Let yourself be the person that you always wanted to be, without the limitations of the real world.
Second Life for Enjoying the Moment
One thing to keep in mind about a virtual world is that it is indeed virtual. It’s not real, it’s constantly changing, and for those of you looking to live in the “now”, letting go of permanence, you’ll learn that value works well in SL. People there one day might not be there the next. Sims come and go, and so do friends some times. But in the end, despite its impermanent nature, you learn to just relax, enjoy yourself, create, meet people, even let some of your wild fantasies come true, and ultimately it is something you can take or leave. As long as it gives you peace, pleasure, and adventure, Second Life could be a great escape and stress relief for you.
Here are some links to get you started:
Join Second Life (free) and Download the Second Life game client (free):