Hey, hi there, Dave1234567890 Resident, and welcome to Second Life!
*quirks a finger*
Um, look, couple of words of advice from an old hand at this virtual world thing? Good lad; you’ll go far if you listen to Uncle Skell…
Waaaay back in the mists of time (27th May 2008, to be precise) I contributed to a ‘Tips for Newbies’ topic on the old SL forums (link is here; scroll down until you spot my userpic). With the benefit of yet more hindsight – because I was relatively tender myself back then, at less than a year old – I’m going to update that advice. Yes, all of it still stands, but here are Uncle Skell’s Top Tips for a Happy Second Life.
1. Take a ton of pictures of every place that you go to and love. Because that place will vanish into the æther one day, and those pictures might be all you have to remember its beauty, originality, or other reason why it was so special to you. And, if you have a good friend or significant other inworld that you really want to take to see those places? Take them as soon as you can. Don’t leave it until it’s gone. Virtual reality is an incredible thing, but it’s built out of bytes and pixels, creativity and, ultimately, money. And when that money runs out, so does everything else.
2. Sort your inventory and keep it organised from the very start! Yeah, that’s in the original list, too, but you won’t even bother, will you? And then, one day, you’ll look at 90k of inventory items and have a minor panic attack, because you left it too late. Also? If you know where everything is, it makes it that much easier to find everything, non? By all means, read some blogs and find inventory-sorting advice (there’s plenty of it out there) but in the end you’re the one that has to work with your inventory, so don’t use someone else’s methods if they feel awkward and unworkable to you and nothing about them makes sense.
3. Find something to do inworld, or outworld that’s to do with inworld. Learn to build or script, start a blog, discover places to hangout or dance, go exploring. There is a lot to do in SL, but it’s only by getting out there, meeting people, and reading blogs etc. that you’ll find it. Don’t limit yourself to one thing, and don’t expect other people to entertain you inworld. This is as real an existence as the flesh and bone one you also have. In the flesh world you do your own thing. Do it here, too; sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. It’s all good. Just… don’t be that clingy person who’s always asking why nobody wants to be friends with you because everyone always drops you from their friends list after the 20th IM you send telling them you’re bored…
4. No, it’s not all about getting your rocks off. Oh god, please. Leave the Freebie Warehouse prim dick at home for the first few weeks inworld, yeah? Waddling around everywhere, sending “you want sex?” IMs to every avatar of the opposite (and/or same, depending on your preference) gender is only going to piss people off and make you look desperate. You really want to look like a desperate horndog? If you really can’t go without the sexxorz on your first week, equip yourself with a decent bit of kit (there are plenty of good free sculpt and mesh penises on Marketplace) and visit an Adult region. You’ll know it’s Adult by the ‘A’ in the top bar of the viewer. Keep your “Hi, wanna fuck?” IMs to those regions, okay?
Seriously, don’t be this guy:
5. Learn how to block and abuse report avatars and objects, because at some point someone will be a complete arsehole (just don’t let it be you). Find somewhere safe to set as your Home location (The Shelter, or any NCI – New Citizens Incorporated – location) and learn the keyboard shortcut to get home quickly. Find a quiet water-only region and set a Favorite landmark to it, so you have somewhere peaceful to go. Never fight back against griefers; just TP away to your Home or water-only region. Never click on links in group chats (and, if you do click and you’re taken to a site that looks like Marketplace, don’t log in) because phishing is as common in SL as it is in RL. In short, look out for yourself.
Since I’ve already blogged Skell’s look here, you can find all the info in this post.