Friday, February 3, 2017

Tips & Advice for Newcomers to Second Life, Part 1

Contributing Author: The Tortoise

We'll share a few tips for the novice Second Lifer here, in installments. Second Life® can be a delightful, useful, fun, creative, and educational environment; the tips here will help make your experience as good as can be.

Cautions & Courtesies

Some of these tips may sound a bit scary to a new or first-time Second Life resident, but keep in mind that there are many parallels in real life to Second Life; unsavory people and things exist in both worlds. Common sense and erring on the side of caution, unless you know for certain something is safe, is always prudent.

  1. Do not automatically accept friendship offers, group invites and teleport offers from people or groups you do not know. Apply the same caution in Second Life that you would in real life.
  2. Be careful about accepting items, gifts, hugs, bites, kisses, animations, etc. from people you do not know. Giving permission to a disguised offer can turn over control of your avatar to a stranger.
  3. Never click on any items you find lying about in sandboxes, no matter how interesting they look. Malicious items are often disguised and left in sandboxes to tempt newcomers. Clicking on them can give hackers access to your avatar or your account.
  4. Never give out personal information, such as passwords or account details, to anyone.
  5. Think carefully before you give out real life details to anyone, such as information about your life, person or whereabouts.
  6. There are REAL people behind every avatar. Respect that.
  7. Many people prefer to be asked first, before being hit with a friendship offer, especially from people they do not know.
  8. Respect other people's privacy and rights, even though you are in a virtual environment. For example, do not just teleport into people's houses without first asking their permission.
  9. Be considerate with text and sound gestures. Large text gestures push chat off the screen, and disrupt conversation. Also, some people use text-readers with text-based viewers in SL, and the ASCII symbols in text gestures will turn the readout into meaningless babble.
  10. Remember that many people have 'alts', or alternative accounts, in Second Life.
  11. Please do not beg for money.

A Few Tips to Help Prevent Lag

'Lag' is the effect suffered when your viewer and the Second Life environment are not performing to the best of their capacity.

Lag can be caused by these things:

  • overloaded servers
  • crowded sims
  • incorrect bandwidth and graphics settings
  • inadequate computer ability
  • interference from SL maintenance procedures
When there is lag, a primary symptom is slow response in your playing environment -- missing or slow display of chat, difficulty moving, unresponsive scripts and teleports, problems opening inventory or changing outfits, all manner of interrupted or truncated actions or commands, and other problems.

To keep lag as low as possible:

  1. Keep your viewer's graphics settings as low as possible.
  2. Keep your 'maximum bandwidth' lower rather than higher.
  3. Keep your 'draw distance' lower rather than higher.
  4. Reduce the level of detail on any slider you do not need, such as 'terrain' or 'trees'.
  5. Reduce the maximum number of particles.

All of these settings are found in Me > Preferences (If you are using the third-party viewer Firestorm, Avatar > Preferences).

The following links will show you how to adjust your settings for optimum performance:

Editor's Note: For those using the Firestorm viewer, a good resource about lag can be found here:

Images Source: Pixabay

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