|My current Second Life Avatar, with neither a name nor appearance she likes, is thoroughly confused by this environment.|
Since Second Life, the virtual online world populated with avatars and live events, has become so popular, I decided I should check it out. It seems a natural fit with my work in conversational media, because conversation and interaction are reported to be the lifeblood of that "world."
I’m just getting started, but so far I’m pretty frustrated.
Here’s the issue: I’m not a gamer. That is, I’m not into video games, multi-player or otherwise. I never have been. I never cared for role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons either. It’s just not my thing.
Therefore, I don’t tend to naturally enjoy the process of learning how to navigate a virtual environment. That’s not fun for me, it’s drudgery….
When a newbie lands in Second Life, you do have access to a help system that offers detailed instructions on how to move around, talk to people, get information about what you’re looking at, edit your avatar’s appearance, etc.
The trouble is, those instructions are — at least from my perspective — overwhelming, tedious, and daunting. I really, really don’t want to have to plow through that volume of material just to learn how to get around in that environment.
One thing that surprised me is that I couldn’t find any video tutorials on things like taking your first steps in Second Life. Maybe I missed it, but that sort of help should be available and very obvious from the moment a newbie lands in-world. But I couldn’t find it — and neither could a friend of mine who’s an avid Second Life user.
It just seems to me that video tutorials — and perhaps some basic games to help you learn and practice skills like walking and talking — would go a long way to making Second Life more friendly to non-gamers like me.
What do you think? Have I missed some very basic helpful resources on Second Life basics that don’t require plowing through volumes of text? Please comment below.