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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Welcome to Second Life! A new resident’s tale- Pen Dragon Reporting.

Living in Second Life seems, well, like second nature to most of us. But, do you remember being new? Dealing with issues like how to wear clothes so you don’t get kicked out of everywhere you visit? How did I get a bench on my head and how do I get it off? The struggle is real! Beyond that, do you remember why you came to Second Life? Were you looking for roleplay? Wanted to be like a superhero and fly? Maybe it was because you heard about all the adult sims. Whatever your reason, we all had one and we all had our struggles as new residents. I took some time and traveled to some New Resident Welcome Centers and spoke with people who have just started their journey into their second life.

As I first forayed into the world of the new resident centers was at the London Social Sims. I tried speaking with several people who were only in their first or second day and found that most were away from their keyboard and too busy trying to figure things out to answer. Some were even rude when approached, but I didn’t let that deter me. Next I went to Firestorm social island. The people I met there were much more friendly and willing to speak with me.

I met LilyRose first. She is 19 and from Tennessee,  just ending her first full week in Second Life.


SLE: My first question is how did you learn about Second Life?
LillyRose: I stumbled on it by accident. I was looking for a free download to the Sims 4 and this was the first thing that popped up.

SLE: haha. This place is better than any video game in my opinion. Is there anything you are looking forward to experiencing in SL?
LilyRose: In real life I am wheelchair bound so there are alot of things that I can't do so I want to do them here. Although,  was told there is a replica of the R.M.S Titanic i want to see that!

SLE:  Yes, there is. It's a formal ballroom and quite beautiful.  When you first discovered Second Life by doing your search, did you have any expectations as to what it might be like?
LilyRose: I kinda thought it would be like sims or even imvu where you just talk with people and make an avi to dress up, but this world has been much more than I thought!

SLE: What has been your best experience during your first week here?
LilyRose: I was in the garden of dreams there is a swing there that’s in a tree. It's hard to get there but when you do the view is amazing!

SLE:  Have you found people to be friendly and helpful or have they been rude or made you leery?
LilyRose: Mostly the men are nice. I’ve found that the women like to pick apart how your avi looks. A Lot say its bad if your avi is not mesh. Mesh is expensive.

My next encounter was with KateLove. She has been here a little longer, working her way into her second month in Second Life.


SLE: How did you learn about SL?
KateLove: I saw it on youtube a lot of times and then I downloaded it.

SLE: What was it about Second Life that attracted you?
KateLove: The people. And to and learn more about this place and it looked very fun.

SLE: What interests you the most in SL?
KateLove:  Oh! That i can talk to people and learn more about the outside life.

Unfortunately she wouldn’t elaborate on what she meant by outside life.Instead of pressing into personal matters I decided to move along and find someone else who is new to Second Life. I teleported to New Resident Island at Lawst Paradise. It was here that I met Michelle who is a month old in SL.



SLE: How did you learn about Second Life?
Michelle: Heard about it from the ads on the net. I liked the open game play and customization of the character, so I joined.

SLE: What has your experience over the last month been like?
Michelle: I would good and have had fun which is the most important thing. But there have been some people who have been pushy, but most people have been very nice.

SLE: Great! Is there anything you haven't experienced yet that you are looking forward to?
Michelle: There some places with game play requirements that I would like to try.  At times being booted from a place because I am new can be quite annoying.

SLE: I'm sure! Tell me a little about you, what your interests are, where you are from and your personality.
Michelle:  I enjoy dancing and chatting with others.  My favorite places are real life recreations especially the Disney Park Sims.  I am from Pennsylvania and I am a creative type. In real life I am very reserved and shy, but sl is fun because I can experience things that I normally will never do.  I am a big Disney and a history nerd.

After speaking with some new residents I wondered what it was like for those people who donate their time to help the new residents figure out Second Life. I was fortunate enough to meet Isa. She has been in Second Life for over 11 years and spends her time helping out at New Resident Island.

SLE: In your experience, what is the biggest hurdle facing new residents?
Isa: I think most people have to learn a lot of things before they are able to "live" easily in SL and they want to learn it too quickly. I always tell them , you needed years to learn to walk, to eat, to dress in RL, so you need to learn it in SL to, it doesn't  take years, but you really should learn it.

SLE: Why do you help new residents?
Isa:  I think because I like to help people. I am in SL for 11 years now, so I know a lot about it.

SLE: Good point! So this is a passion for you?
Isa: laughs. no, no, it is an addiction! When I started, there was no help. After joining SL , I did not know how to teleport , so I left and only after reading an article I tried again. Now there are the Second Life help sims and then people like Treacle, she is the "boss" here , made this help sim.

SLE: What seems to be the most frequently asked question?
Isa: A lot of people also ask, what is the aim of the game. So the big question is: is it a game?
I always tell them that a game need a winner , you have to follow rules to win, to be better than the others then I tell them  "If you think that real life is a game, then Second life is a game to..... "
But for me SL is to do everything I don't dare to do in Real life.

Second Life can be scary as a new resident, but it seems that the ones that join today are having a better experience with more help available than ever before.

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