Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Linden Homes in Second Life

The Linden Homes are available for viewing on the continent of Nascera. So many bloggers, who are much smarter than me, have been talking about them but I did want to visit. So I started in Ondori which is a Japanese themed region.

Before I tell you my reaction to the whole Linden Homes idea and the builds that are now available to visit, allow me to give you a brief glimpse into my first few days and even months in Second Life. This, after all, forms the basis of my reaction to the idea that the Linden Homes will be the place for new premium members to start off in our world.

When I registered and did a bit of orientation (I gave up trying to bounce the basketball very quickly) I went looking for a "home". Some place that would be safe for me to hunker down while I tried to understand Second Life. "Safe" really was the operative word. I was totally intimidated and didn't know a soul but I was determined to try and figure things out. I just needed a base to work from - someplace I could "hide" if I needed to. Someplace I could make the trillions of mistakes I knew I would commit without being a public laughing stock.

LL gave me L$1200 when I registered and once I found the land sale listings in search I went looking. I know you're laughing but I didn't know any better. The search itself was a miserable experience. First of all I couldn't see anything because it was always dark! I kept going back to one small parcel that insisted it had a great view but it was always midnight so who could tell? I wound up on one parcel and was accosted by somebody telling me I shouldn't buy on the mainland ("there's a mainland"? I thought to myself) and then started talking about rent and tiers and I finally just left.

Eventually I wound up on a 96 sqm parcel (in the dark) and I could see there was a tree next to it. There were also lots of spinning billboards all around with naked women in neon. On the positive side, in addition to the tree there was something called a "Linden Road" on one edge of the parcel. It seemed to me that allowed for at least one direction that was a little open. So I bought it.

I owned that parcel for over 1 year but I added a lot more to it. I also experimented and learned how to build basic (and pretty ugly) things. I didn't do a thing with my avatar for almost 6 months. I had no idea how or what or even that it was important. It was 3 months before I had a real (albeit) brief conversation with a neighbour. But none of that mattered because I had my little area to call mine.

Again, a lot of much smarter people have weighed in on this topic. But for what it's worth, if upon registering Linden Labs had given me:

  • A safe place to use as a home while I learned some basic skills and got to understand how Second Life works;
  • A home in a community with neighbours like me, people I could get to know and share stories and experiences with;
  • All of this in a place which is well built and attractive (trees, flowers, no ugly anything);

I would have been ecstatic! In fact even 2.5 years later, as I wandered around I really really wished poor dumb Honour had had a chance to find her Second Life feet in a Linden Home.

Good on you Jack and the team. Where were you on May 5, 2007 eh?

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