Alice in Second Life

I joined (if that is the right word) Second Life some time ago, but didn’t have the time to really fiddle with it much till this morning. I quickly (too quickly perhaps) finished with the basics, and dove (er, flew) in.

For those unfamiliar with it, Second Life is described by its creators as “… a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by a total of 2,142,455 people from around the globe.” Now, I’ve never been much of a gamer, but this sort of world-building is right up my alley and I knew it would be something I’d enjoy (and a time-sucker as well). Unlike earlier online environments like MOOs and MUDs, Second Life isn’t as text-dependent; in fact, its events and commidification made me think a lot of Neal Stephenson’s Metaverse.


After cleaning up my appearance a bit, dashing through the Orientation Island activities (no doubt a mistake, but I was impatient), I’ve been attempting to get the lay of the land. That means I’ve been in the water a lot and having a mighty hard time getting where I want to go. At one point I saw a really pretty garden with fountains, was unable to get to it (my navigating and teleporting skills being pretty sad), and somehow lost it completely. At that point I realized that I finally could truly empathize with Alice when she wanted so badly to get into the beautiful garden, but was too big to do so.



And so for now, I expect to have my very own adventures in a virtual wonderland; do you think it includes a White Rabbit or, better yet, a Mock Turtle?


Filed under Children's Literature

3 responses to “Alice in Second Life

  1. “inhabited by a total of 2,142,455 people from around the globe.”

    This is an incorrect statement. There are 2+ million accounts. Many are alts. Many never return. The population stats has been an increasing source of debate of late, but no one believes their are 2M actual users.

    And btw, SL’s inspiration was Stephenson’s “Snow Crash”.

    In any event, I hope you find it enjoyable. People who stick it out tend to find it worth the time. Those who don’t give it a chance or come in looking for another “game”, tend to leave and instead bash it for not being what they wanted. Oh well.


  2. shadowtraveller

    Howdy. You are correct that these ideas are based on Stephenson’s book, “Snow Crash”. BUT, before there was SL, there was Cybertown, and before CT, there were other cyber communities as well.
    If you ever want to be free of paid sites, check out the German made program, “Blaxxun” (earlier known as, Black Sun Interactive) and come to where folks make their own worlds for free, and have them hosted on their server. can meet folks from all over and learn VRML from the pros. There is also a program called, Traveler, which is still up and running. A bit dated, but it has a hard core following of good folks. There you use your real voice with heads for avatars. And..least we forget….something for the adults out there…Jewel of Indra… This place is really quite wonderful. Nice worlds, great interactive places, shops as well, super nice avatars. Keep in mind, this community is for adults after all. The nice thing about this site is that it is a subscriber site to keep the kids out, so you’ll need a password as well. Where ever you go on the net, you’ll find FREE 3d communities. It does NOT need to be heavy handed with coding all over the place which bogs down the slower PCs or even the folks who are still on dial up. There are sooo many choices out there! Thank goodness!


  3. Fran

    Thanks csvn and shadowtraveller for the tip about the Snow Crash novel. I never knew what started the virtual reality world craze and the book was an interesting read. Shadowtraveller also thanks for the tip about the jewel of Indra site. Jewel of Indra is adults only and full of fun. I was really happy to find an adult site where there were no kids, at last! I get so tired of running into kids in chat rooms. For a long time I thought there was no refuge from them. But, at last there is a place where I can enjoy adult conversation even if the topic is not always adult related and relax knowing that the person I am chatting with is an adult. That Jewel of Indra site is a real find! I have not seen you in there yet, are you a member? I have been trying to look you up to thank you for this post.


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