Another day has come. You press the Login button, wait for the world to load, and once it is loaded… you check the notifications, stay for a bit and log out. All your current friends are supposedly busy (you draw this conclusion from them not IMing you at the very moment you have logged in), you find yourself not in the mood for making new friends, and without company, Second Life seems to be as boring and pointless as The Da Vinci Code movie. Nothing to do there.
The point is clearly understood. In other multiplayer games, even being all by yourself, you are given quests, mini-games, battles, etc. Here, you have to look for sources of entertainment on your own – which I suspect to be something you are not used to.
But they are there, and they aren’t that hard to find. Even if you are not in the mood to talk, you can still enjoy Second Life through activities other than those involving talking to other people. Also, you can meet those with common interests along the way – and these acquaintances are way better than just random residents. So, let’s log back in and show Second Life what we are capable of, shall we?
Note before going through the list: There will be activities that you might find “boring”, “pointless” or “too hard” for yourself, and you might ask yourself: why would I do something like that? The answer is simple: you do not have anything else to do, but since you’re here, you desire to try to make the best use of Second Life. So if you haven’t tried it, do not argue – just go ahead and try.
1. Check out other residents’ profiles
We all are different. So are our online representations. Everybody expresses themselves in their own unique way. We can argue that for roleplayers, fashionistas, vampires, bikers, their profiles look very close to each other, if not exactly the same, but nonetheless, there are some that actually bring something new to the table. Even if you are bored by the text repeating from profile to profile, have a look at their profile pictures – sometimes they are good, or at picks – sometimes they are funny. Plus, many of them have quite interesting places mentioned in their Picks that will satisfy any taste, I mean it, any…
2. While doing #1, you have found someone who has caught your interest? Message them!
This is exactly what I was talking about in the intro. There are many people in Second Life who are just as bored as you are. Your interest to someone’s profile or avatar or even themselves sets up a subject for starting a conversation. That means the conversation will doubtfully cease right after mutual “Hi”. If you are the kind that prefers to rather not talk to people at all than having a meaningless conversation which goes nowhere, this is just for you.
3. Visit events
Or maybe you just want to get lost in the crowd, not to feel lonely, but not to talk to people either (maybe just do some #1). Then have a look at the Second Life Search’s Events tab. Most of them are probably parties at all kinds of clubs, but what matters is that there is always something going on in Second Life, it isn’t just a big collection of chatrooms. Go to any event, if you don’t like it – go to another one. Make the best use of that tab. You also might discover new interesting places, which is not so bad also.
4. Play games in-world
Second Life is often called a game, which you find out that it is not shortly after getting to know it better. However, there are in-world games itself which will help you pass time just as you would in the real world. Watch out -turns out many pool tables are used, well, not exactly for playing pool… Let us examine a few of them:
– Flash games, mainly arcades. Yes, those ones that were gone with the 80s, they are back in Second Life, exclusively for those who wants to feel distant from the mainstream crowd that plays games with top-notch graphics, and enjoy the feel of the long gone times. Do not forget to have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed. I know about only one place, which appears to be also a store, but you can play all the arcades there, all for free.
– HUD-based games, like Tiny Empires or Bloodlines. These require some cash investment from you – however, there are many people roaming the sim that would be happy to have you converted into one of them up to the point they will buy the game HUD for you. Look carefully, they aren’t too far away. Regarding the level of addiction, these are simular to the ones found on Facebook – starting innocently with a few simple tasks, as you advance, you will need to invest more time, money and friends resources into the game to advance further. Highly recommended to those who needs a new meaning of life.
– In-world games. These are based on Linden Script Language and are played in-world, no Flash or anything required. Examples are pool, bowling, board games, all of them can be played in good com~ some of them have a practice/singleplayer mode, which are still fun and will help you earn a skill that can be used when playing with your friends later.
5. More games! Racing and combat
I felt obligated to move these two types of games into a separate category, since while the games mentioned in #4 are mostly playable for free, activities such as racing and combat games require you to buy an equipment for them – vehicles and weapons, respectively. And those aren’t cheap, well, if we are talking about good quality ones. There are free vehicles and weapons provided at different places, including Marketplace, also nobody prevents you from driving demo vehicles, so – it is up to you!
6. Explore the Grid
I can see your “are you kidding me” frown. Indeed, it would be anyone’s first answer on the “what to do in Second Life” question. But it is as reasonable as it is simple. There are 26k regions all over The Grid, about half of them are open to public, how many of them have you been to already? You do not mean that a great crowd of forever hungry artists, builders and landscape/interior designers have done their job so you may stay in one region and complain there is nowhere to go, do you? In before the “what is the point of exploring alone?” question is asked, the answer is simple – next time a friend or a stranger asks you if you can recommend a particular place, you will have a suggestion for them ready in your Landmarks folder. Think about how cool you will look in their eyes.
7. Explore the mainlands
There is one significant difference between private regions and mainlands, especially noticeable to those who knows that travelling afoot is for hippies, and that true winners always go on a trip in style. The problem with many private regions is that many of them do not have a lot of driveable roads, except for the regions that are dedicated to driving, and even off-road trucks are not in help there, since you cannot rez objects at most of the places. Same story with water and aerial space – either you have to find driving in circles enjoyable, or you have to deal with the fact that the driveable space ends 5 seconds after you took off.
Thanks goodness for mainlands. These are basically many sims connected to each other, so once you reach the borderline of one, you move straight to another. This is something everybody should try once in a second lifetime – does not matter if it is done by a car, a boat or a plane. Nothing will compare to a feeling of non-existing wind going through your hair, beautiful trees, houses and blinking skyboxes in the middle of the air surrounding you, the feeling of piercing the heart of the mainland at a full speed, the losing control over your vehicle as it helplessly flies straight to nowhere while the next region is loading. It feels even better than it sounds.
8. Take the first step towards someone from your contact list
So, back to the intro, when you log in and wait for a few minutes for someone to realize what a special friend they have and what a delight that he has come online. But many of your friends, in fact, do not understand how lucky they are. Time to remind them!
Seriously. What do you lose when you message someone from your contact list? If you get no response, or a negative one, this does not necessarily mean that you are a loser. Maybe you are. But mainly, it characterizes your friend, not you. Here are possible outcomes:
– Your friend will ignore your message (possibly he or she is AFK);
– Your friend will respond in a rude manner;
– Your friend is busy and will ask for some time to finish something he or she is busy with;
– The conversation will refuse to flow and will be awkward;
– The conversation will flow and you two enjoy the time.
Just be prepared for everything, and you will not get frustrated in case things do not go quite as expected.
9. Learn a new skill in Second Life or for Second Life
Remember how you were dreaming about being a great builder/clothes designer/scripter/blogger in Second Life, but there was always, well… something… on the way to the great success… Now sounds like a perfect time. You are bored and alone, no one will distract you from learning something and you do not have anything else to do. Why not try! Even if you do not end up as a great builder/clothes designer/scripter/blogger, you will have an idea of what it consists of – so the time spent will not be that wasted. Your mom will be proud of you.
10. Fill your inventory with new freebies
Designers of Second Life will never stop offering new items for free, which means if you go on a freebies hunt, there will not be any repetitions. So if you have absolutely nothing to do, you can make a few additions to your wardrobe/inventory. For Second Life, this is important to stay fresh, which means changing your outfit twice a week (twice a day for girls, twice an hour for furries and tinies), so… you better have a good collection of ones.
11. Take photographs
For many residents, it does not matter how empty Second Life, in fact, is – on the outside, it is beautiful, and many people want to capture that beauty. Don’t you?
Then do it. There are regions that live for a month or two, so maybe when you have found a magnificent tropical island with waterfalls, forests and rich fauna, and decided to come back for further exploration tomorrow – you find yourself in the middle of a noisy hall surrounded by soulless gambling machines with no sign of wild life left. This increases the importance of Second Life photography – along with its aesthetical qualities, it reminds us what Second Life could look like if region owners would not have to drown their region into commerce to make ends meet this month.
12. Complete the look – or change it completely
By this time, since you have had enough time to get bored of Second Life, I dare to assert you have got your favorite style and you dress yourself up according to it, possibly it’s even the same outfit. But once upon a time, you find yourself getting bored of it. And so do your friends. They don’t tell you, but believe me, they do think some changes would be only in help in your situation. Even Nico Bellic had himself a decent wardrobe and put it in use. Are you going to admit that Nico Bellic is better than you?
Then it’s time for a makeover. #10 can be in help here. After all, you are bored and have nothing better to do, so… why not become a new person and have yourself deleted from many of your contacts’ lists because they thought they’ve added you by mistake? But they do not matter. They are old-fashioned people resistant to changes, without which Second Life is not Second Life. So you can surround yourself with those who still do recognize you after you’ve dyed your hair green, and also add new contacts that love you for your deep personality.
13. Make some money in-world
For those that already make money in-game instead of spending their real life cash, this idea is pointless – they already do it. For those that send their real money to their virtual selves… this idea is just as pointless.
At first sight, yes, indeed it is. If you can afford livin’ it up in Second Life thanks to your high real world salaries, why would you sacrifice your time and effort on making as much money in-world in an hour than you could make in the real world in a minute?
Because you do not have anything better to do, anyway. And you are bored. And the in-world money earning methods are a very big part of Second Life itself. And, along with being educational, this is fun. This is not a shame at all – for many people, this is just part of the in-world fun. You did want to have fun, didn’t you? Well… Find an in-world job or use simple money-earning methods. You will learn a lot!
Making first money in Second Life
14. Volunteer to help newcomers
How would you like to make something beneficial with your time, you know, just for a change, once in a lifetime? The opportunity to be useful lies right in front of you, and you do not even have to get off the chair.
If you come to Second Life regularly, a month is enough to get some insights of the virtual world – what places are useful, how to make money, how to do sex etc. This is a little but still knowledge. Knowledge that you can share with other people who are currently just in the beginning of their depraving process. So do it! The more knowledge we share, the more potential to advance all together, along with the virtual world itself, we have.
15. Use Second Life for real life improvement
There are different opinions all over the Grid about Second Life and real life relationship – but everybody would agree on one thing: Second Life can be in help for you to learn new useful skills in real life.
The potential is limitless, but here are a couple of pretty obvious examples:
– Dance animations – try to repeat the dance sequence programmed in the animation you’ve just triggered for your avatar. Now try again. Yes, that was a bit better. You have a long way to go before you move like MC Hammer, but you get the point. Many dance animations have been created using the motion capture technology – means there were actually real people who have performed them. They are simplified for the sake of reducing the weight of the animation, but this is even better for you – if you don’t strive for being a pro dancer, you don’t need perfect accuracy.
– From texturing to 3D modelling – Second Life is full with 3D objects, no, better say Second Life is made of 3D objects, and with neverending changes all across the Grid, you can be sure the demand for skilled 3D modellers and texturers (is that a word?) can only grow. However, I’m not the one to tell you that this skill is useful not in Second Life only. So, you can freely use Second life as a sandbox, and even create yourself a portfolio with it.
Keep looking around, use your imagination, and you will find way more than what I’ve named. You’ve got the idea – now put it in best use!
This should be enough to convince you that you can live Second Life all on your own, without big money investments, and actually enjoy it. The company of good friends will be later – but you will not depend on them, instead, you yourself will be reliable. They will appreciate it!