Second Life, a three-dimensional online virtual world imagined and created by its residents, opened to the public in April 2003 and now has some 9 million residents from around the world. Second Life had 1,301 registered residents play for 51,699 hours in September 2003, compared with almost 9.6 million residents playing for more than 24 million hours in September 2007.
Create an account at the Second Life website (www.secondlife.com) by clicking the “Join” link in the upper right corner of the page. You can also click on the orange “Sign Up Now” button on the upper left side of the screen.
Currently, there are four account types in Second Life: basic (free), monthly ($9.95/month), quarterly ($22.50/every three months) and annual ($72/year). You can own land only with a paid account, but all accounts have the ability to build things within Second Life.
All you need to play Second Life is a computer with at least 1 gigabyte of available memory, an upgraded video/graphics card for the operating system and a limitless imagination. For detailed information about Second Life technical specifications, consult the system requirements page (http://secondlife.com/corporate/sysreqs.php).
Fill out the form with basic details about yourself (Second Life name, birthday and e-mail address). After you have chosen a screen name, choose from the avatars, or in-world characters. Pick either male or female, but don’t worry about how they look. You’ll be able to change that later.
Click the Second Life icon now on your desktop. Once connected to the Second Life servers, your avatar, along with several others, will appear. (Note: You begin the game naked. Find clothes as soon as possible.) Click on your avatar. A pie chart of choices will appear. If you’d like to change the way your avatar looks, click the “Appearances” link. Further instructions and ideas can be found at “Avatar and Appearance” in the Second Life Knowledge Base (https://secure-web9.secondlife.com/community/support.php).
Second Life is filled with hundreds of games, from multiplayer RPGs (role-playing games) to puzzles and contests. There are also virtual dance clubs, shopping malls, space stations, vampire castles and movie theaters. Some people form community associations and hobby groups, such as the Second Life Film Society.
The ACS Island on Second Life can be found by clicking on the search function button. Once in-world, click on the “places” tab and type in “American Cancer Society.”