Second Life is a 3-D virtual world created by its Residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by millions of Residents from around the globe.
The Compass Interdisciplinary Conference in Second Life
Access to Second Life was by no means a requirement for participating in the virtual conference – it was an optional area for those who are comfortable with the software . We held four one-hour slots where one of our speakers appeared in Second Life at our Compass Cocktail bar.
Second Life is free and you can uninstall the software whenever you like. To register just go to the Second Life Website and click to get started. You need to pick a name and an appearance. We would suggest skipping the join a community step and just going straight to Orientation Island. Once you have an account you will be prompted to download Second Life. When it has finished downloading (this may take a while), open the new programme and log in.
If you encounter an error message when you boot up Second Life, your institution may be blocking it, in which case you should contact your IT department and ask them to allow these ports (or log on from home). For any other problems we recommend going to Second Life’s support pages.
What To Do Next
We recommend going to Orientation Island to get started, here you will go through a series of tasks to teach you how to fly, walk, talk and otherwise use Second Life. You can also find a document which details how to navigae second life here. Once you have gotten used to Second Life (or are otherwise done with the training), head to the Wiley Location and take a look around. Feel free to explore the rest of the world – it is huge and there are lots of things to do.
Travel in Second Life uses SLurlss. A SLurl is a link like a normal url which transports you to a location in Second Life. When you click on the link when you have Second Life open, it will offer to teleport you to the location.
You can also travel to locations using co-ordinates. If you know the x, y and z co-ordinate of the location you want to visit, just put them into the map to be teleported there.
Unless you are familiar with this kind of environment (or play a lot of video games), Second Life can seem confusing the first time you use it. To get the most out of Second Life and the meet-and-greet sessions as part of the Compass Conference, it is worth putting aside some time before hand to get to grips with navigating the world.
Linden Labs have some support pages dedicated to beginners. You can find them here. For a detailed complete guide to Second Life, see The Official Guide: Second_Life_Quickstart.
Please note that any technical questions on Second Life should be directed to Linden Labs, not to the conference staff. Linden Labs have much greater expertise and greater resources to help out.
Whilst the majority of Second Life users are very friendly and we have gone to some efforts to make sure that the Wiley location in Second Life as safe as possible, we can not be responsible for every Second Life resident’s behavior.
For a more complete guide to Second Life, we recommend Second Life for Dummies (available here).