Second Life

Version: 2.0.1.203797 || Release Date: 2010-04-22 || License: Commercial with demo (Free Basic) Developer: Linden Lab | App Owner: brentsf

Second Life (SL) is a privately-owned, partly subscription-based 3-D Virtual world, made publicly available in 2003 by San Francisco-based Linden Lab, founded by former RealNetworks CTO Philip Rosedale. The Second Life "world" resides in a large array of servers that are owned and maintained by Linden Lab. The Second Life client program provides its users (referred to as "Residents") tools to view and modify the SL world and participate in its economy.

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7 Opinions

At my job on campus, we've had a few teachers (usually Nursing... dunno why) who want to set up a Second Life-based class, like a few people have done.
We (my bosses and I), vehemently, give them many many reasons why this is a phenomenally horrible idea, and encourage them to look at something more useful. Usually, these center around the amazingly high requirements, and the lack of export options for such endeavors. And, as we constantly have to revamp things for classes taught online for dial-up users, this is so far beyond anything 56k can do, even hoping for their inclusion is ridiculous.

A clone of the 1993 Alphaworld. If you haven't experienced it back then, then now's your chance I guess. In terms of graphics, it's pretty much circa 1993, too. A product of today's media hype machine, it lacks any type of substance and is mostly populated by 12 years old repeatidly clickling the 'dance' emoticon and typing "LOLOMG GR8 AVaTAr LOL".

Lame.

Absorbs your system so completely when it runs that when it crashes (and it will, many, many times) you have no choice but to reboot from the hardware.

Hiya, I'm Brent Linden (I work for Linden Lab). Just wanted to point out a few things. First, it's "Linden Lab", not "Linden Labs" ;-) That's just a pet peeve. Second, SL can be optimized for better performance on a Mac. I use a MacBook with 2 GB of RAM and it's not that bad. At the office I have a screamin' PeeC which has a 512 MB video card. Anyway, here's some suggestions to make your Second Life experience a little more bearable on a Mac:

- Go to Edit > Preferences and set the draw distance to 64 (for a low-end video card/Intel integrated graphics) or 128 (for anything else). You can go higher but remember the higher you go the more you can see -- and the more you can see the more you're downloading. Second Life is a streamed world, where the content is on the servers and not your hard drive, so it's very bandwidth hungry.

- Turn down options in Graphics Detail. We have a problem with Ripple Water on the Mac due to some weirdness with the Apple drivers and OpenGL. If you're using a MacBook or Mac mini try setting Terrain Detail to Low, and using only the sun and moon lighting options. Turn on Shiny no matter what video card you have -- its worth it for the 2 or 3 frames per second it costs!

- Right-click is the Command/Apple key in Second Life. The Mac client was created after the PeeC client and the keyboard commands were already firmly burned into our Residents' minds so we couldn't hijack the Control key for right-clicking. Tip: On a MacBook or MacBook Pro you can put two fingers on the trackpad and click to simulate a right-click.

- Modify your network settings for broadband optimization: get Mac Pilot http://www.koingosw.com/products/macpilot.php and go to the Network tab. Click the 'Optimize for Broadband' button. Second Life sends some massive UDP packets out and these can over saturate the buffers on a standard Mac (a problem we're working on).

Worth pointing out that the Commercial bit only applies if you feel the need to build a house, objects, own an island etc. in Second Life. If you just want to attend one of the the increasing number of events that are held in the Second Life milieu, then it's free. Of course, they update the app so frequently that it seems as though everytime I want to login I have a mandatory 50 meg download beforehand.

laggy as hell. but totally wonderful :)

I have this, so I marked it as I use this... it might be more like I might use this. It has been a bit laggy most of the time I have used it, all three times. It doesn't cost anything to try it, so if your into this sort of thing try it.

-- I sounded a bit like eeyore when writing this :)