Staff Writers20 February 2008, 11:54 AM
After firing up the Second Life software, you should make a stop at Orientation Island to learn the ropes.
Once you've downloaded and installed the Second Life client, you are immediately taken to Orientation Island. This is a compulsory first stop on your way to becoming a Second Life resident. You must do its four tutorials before you are given the keys to Second Life.
Put in your Second Life name and password and you'll get your first taste of Second Life's 3D virtual world. If you forget your password, don't try and retrieve it throught the client. Go back to secondlife.com and retrieve it by starting the login sequence to your account there.
You'll be taken through the standard install messages.
A reminder that Second Life aspires to behaviours and mores similar to those in real life. It's surprisingly successful at this.
You first Second Life screen - you're landed in the central hub of Orientation Island, the compulsory first stop for new Second Life members. This is the starting point for the four tutorials that teach you the basics of Second Life. Throughout, we will follow our own avatar, Jeb Arado.
If you have a headset and microphone you can enable Voice Chat, but it's not necessary. One reason you may want to activate this is to ensure your romantic interest in Second Life is actually a woman or a man as they claim they are.
When you land in Orientation Island, you are surrounded by other newly-arrived newbies. So don’t feel awkward at your lack of savvy, you are in noob city right now.
Jeb looks just like other new members who've chosen the Boy Next Door avatar. One woman has chosen an Emo -style avatar and another the Girl Next Door, although the second one is already working on her appearance.
To start the first of the four compulsory tutorials, pick a language, then click on the arrow.
The Move tutorial is on how to get around: walking and flying. The ability to fly is one advantage that your Second Life avatar has over your real life self.
In the Move tutorial you first practise driving on a Segway-style scooter. But you're not going to be driving much in Second Life, because flying is much easier. Don't waste your time with the scooter exercises, finish them as soon as you can and head straight to the flight institute, where you will learn to fly, a very useful skill in Second Life.
The entrance to the flight training institute.
Practising flying. Page up and Page down keys move you vertically and direction keys horizontally.
The Communicate tutorial tells how to use the chat and IM functions (meanwhile, you can see that on Orientation island's central hub, it's raining noobs).
In the Appearance tutorial you're shown how to use your Inventory box and buy clothes for your avatar. The instructions are very basic, however.
And in the fourth tutorial, Search, you're shown how to use Second Life's search functionality, with focus on searching for land.
When you've finished the last tutorial, head back to Orientation Island's central hub.
Jeb is now finished the tutorials and is back at Orientation Island's central hub. At this point, he can leave for the mainland and the big world of Second Life, or go to Help Island.
The mainland can be reached now by clicking the Exit board. If you want to pick up some more tips and freebies like clothes and furniture before you get to the mainland, go to Help Island
. Once you've finished with Help Island, you can then leave for the mainland.