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Kate Amdahl

What were your first few days in Second Life like?

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Why did you sign up for Second Life in the first place? What were the first things you wanted to do? Were you able to do them? Were you hooked early on? If so, what hooked you?

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I signed up years ago because I like online worlds. I'd played and abandoned many before and wanted to give secondlife a shot after seeing an ad for it. When I first played, I was approached by a vampire trying to get people to join his clan. I'm not into vampires but he really helped to get me on my feet, showing me AOs etc. When I first played I was NOT hooked, and gave up quickly. It wasn't until a year or more later that I picked the game back up again after discovering beautiful photography on Flickr. I have been playing steadily ever since. (Maybe 4 years)! The pictures showed me that second life could be beautiful. Quickly after coming back I discovered families as well-- something that really appealed to me. I began my search for the perfect family :) I'm hooked now because of all the possibilities, freedom to create and have such amazing things like houses, (I even run a store,) and also my family who mean a great deal to me.

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I created an account, because I had nothing better to do that afternoon.

The first thing I wanted to do was to customize my avatar. I did this with some (looking back) horrible freebies from the Freebie Galaxy and similar places. Then I went camping for a couple of L$ and visited a club. I never ran into any issues, because I already had experiance with games and was patient and skilled enough to use google and follow instructions (or give some try and error method a chance). I stayed because it was quite entertaining and I enjoyed listening to live musicans and DJs, while doing other things (writing/sewing/crafting).

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I originally signed up because of friends.  I belong to a gaming guild and when SL was new a few of us tried it out.  I remember creating the account and finding the others so we could claim out 512sqm next to each other.  I logged on for a few days but for whatever reason (a new game?  Molten Core became available? Whatever) I was not on much after and eventually forgot my account name.

Not nearly as nostalgic or romantic as you would like to hear, but ... there you are.  My first, first few days.

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My first few dsys were spent in the "T" pose that your avatar uses when adjusting your system avatar. I was constantly fiddling with system hair, eye shape, etc. After I discovered freebies, I spent several days looking for and sorting through freebies. I also tried making everything I needed in SL and learned a lot about creating things.

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Kate Amdahl wrote:

Why did you sign up for Second Life in the first place? What were the first things you wanted to do? Were you able to do them? Were you hooked early on? If so, what hooked you?

I came to Second Life after building a community in The Sims 2 which was somewhere between "township" and "empire." I had a huge variety of characters in this community.

I didn't really pay much attention to my avatar when I signed up and went through the initial tutorial (this was late 2010.) As I was at one of the Help Islands I looked at some of the other default avatars and discovered Female Student, who lined up with a roleplaying idea I had in the back of my mind. I decided to develop myself as a schoolgirl. I located a new shape-and-skin on the Marketplace which led me to a shop that specialized in teenagers.

While at the shop I went up to another customer and asked if she knew any places for SL teens. She told me about a region that I checked out and where I met a few other like-minded people, who led me to more places and more people. I found myself logging in often to see if I could catch these new friends online. I also joined a high school that had "field trips" to other interesting places in Second LIfe.

I can say with little hesitation that I wouldn't have lasted in Second Life if I hadn't 1) given myself a direction and 2) was willing to go out on a limb and approach people. I'm not naturally an outgoing person but without others to interact with it would have gotten very boring very quickly.

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I saw it on a BBC news article and thought "That's for me!". I was interested in the ability to create custom avatars for no more reason than to customise an avatar. I walked about ten paces away from the initial rez point, out of the immediate path and began editing my shape, digging into my inventory, changing gender, making new skins (of the horrible no-texture-colour-and-tone variety) and hairstyles (of the spiky-extrusions-of-your-head variety). I completed the tutorial on Orientation Island, and graduated to the nearby Help Island ( I just went back, and there's a month old naked man with a primnis made from actual prims). I discovered a danceball and got all the other newbies dancing with me.

I got passed onto the Ahern hub, which was my 'home' for the next week or so. I explored the nearby area (colour sims, Lusk, Boardman etc.). I spent my sign-up bonus on a poorly made jetbike that I couldn't work out how to rez (you DRAG it from Inventory? OK). I learned how to alt-cam immediately but didn't find out you needed to ctrl-alt-cam to make it work properly for at least a month. I found a group of like-minded newbies and hung out with them for a while, and had some of the best experiences of my SLife.

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I remember teleporting somewhere and falling through a phantom spot on the floor. I was stuck under that floor for what seemed like forever. At the time I thought I was being griefed, but realized later what had happened.

I also remember that one of my first avatars, a dog, would rez unevenly, and I would find myself walking around with missing parts.

I was griefed a few times - mostly pushes and particle porn, but when I figured out how to build simple objects it made up for all the bad stuff.

Things are so much better now! (Although I still occasionally fall through floors). 

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  • Registered account
  • Logged on
  • Was dropped right into a huge shopping mall
  • Saw three or four other people there
  • Said hello
  • Waited for reply that never came
  • Looked at pictures of fancy clothes and stuff I couldn't afford to buy but clearly needed if I wanted to be in SL
  • Left

Took me almost a decade before I bothered to try again but that's another story.

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i was just random wandering round the internets and ended up here

i spent quite a lot of time in mouselook/fpv to start with, strafing to move, is what I was used to in 3D game

my first impression was that it was bit meh! and a little bit boring after about half an hour

i never really started using 3PV (the normal SL camera view) until I end up in this convo with person who told me about being able to make stuff. They took me to a sandbox and I was hooked after that and not boring at all

+

probably my most memorable starting moment was when I thought; this avatar is a bit naff. So I ended up nekkid standing in the pose like you do when you Remove All. And I thought o.m.g wheres the undo button. nuuuu! there isnt one. f.ff.f.fff.f.f.f.f. (:

and then I had to find some clothes somehow somewhere really quick. Which took me about 3 or 4 minutes to work out where they were. Seemed like an eternity tho (:

the good thing was that even tho I was in a WA with heaps of people round me nobody seemed to care. Or if they did notice they were polite enough to not mention it. I would have just laid down on the floor and just died if anyone had of. Shame lol (:

 

 

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I was watching my girlfriend play and I noticed there was naked people and asked where she was. She was at a strip club and I said sign me up. I was a noob looking for about 15 minutes because I had a bunch of friends already playing and they hooked me up. For the first couple months I played I really didnt care much for how SL looked then a beta viewer came out named windlight and SL changed for me right on that day I never stopped exploring after that becuase the fog was gone.

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wherorangi wrote:

i was just random wandering round the internets and ended up here

i spent quite a lot of time in mouselook/fpv to start with, strafing to move, is what I was used to in 3D game

my first impression was that it was bit meh! and a little bit boring after about half an hour

i never really started using 3PV (the normal SL camera view) until I end up in this convo with person who told me about being able to make stuff. They took me to a sandbox and I was hooked after that and not boring at all

+

probably my most memorable starting moment was when I thought; this avatar is a bit naff. So I ended up nekkid standing in the pose like you do when you Remove All. And I thought o.m.g wheres the undo button. nuuuu! there isnt one. f.ff.f.fff.f.f.f.f. (:

and then I had to find some clothes somehow somewhere really quick. Which took me about 3 or 4 minutes to work out where they were. Seemed like an eternity tho (:

the good thing was that even tho I was in a WA with heaps of people round me nobody seemed to care. Or if they did notice they were polite enough to not mention it. I would have just laid down on the floor and just died if anyone had of. Shame lol (:

 

 

This made me giggle several times -- who can't relate to the inexplicable mortification of finding oneself naked in a public place in SL? Why was it so awful? I wouldn't care much now if I lost all my clothes. 

I think it must be because the first couple of times taps into that dream that the same thing happens, and we are more identified with our Avis that we were conscious of being. 

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Pamela Galli wrote:

This made me giggle several times -- who can't relate to the inexplicable mortification of finding oneself naked in a public place in SL? Why was it so awful? I wouldn't care much now if I lost all my clothes. 

I think it must be because the first couple of times taps into that dream that the same thing happens, and we are more identified with our Avis that we were conscious of being. 

yes true. Is a whole big subject in itself. The whole conciousness awareness thing and where our representation of ourselves (in this case avatar) fits into this

+

i do remember as well tho at the time thinking

who wrote this stupid program !???!!! When I press Remove All I dont mean Remove All All, just Remove Some All. ok !!! Who doesnt know that already ?!!?! You idiot programmer who ever you are !!

like a programmer who isnt also a mind reader has no business at all writing commercial software. Like none. At all. Ever (:

 

 

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I've just passed my 10 years in SL so it's quite fitting to think about my first few days all that time ago.

My first few days in SL were confusing and somewhat disappointing but it held my attention enough to keep me interested.

I remember I chose the 'girl next door' avatar, with purple pullover and blue jeans. One of the first things I did was cusomise my look to a more basic version of what I am today.

I can recall wandering around Orientation Island thinking "is this all there is?".  A lot of the disappointment was because the computer I had at the time wasn't really up to the job but I realised that and so made allowances.  Another disappointment which struck me straight away, even in those pre-Wimdlight, pre-mesh days, was the lack of shadows.  We can, of course, have shadows now but I really only have them enabled for snapshots,  I remember the discussions about shadows on these forums and how some residents said 'can't be done'!  Well it could and it was!  When I saw SL on a better computer it was a revelation!

One thing that would be of great benefit in SL would be a tidying up of the system avatar mesh with smoother joints and more polygons. There's an opinion that this is another 'can't be done' because existing texture layers wouldn't fit properly, but I don't think that's the case, after all there are appliers that can add a system texture to a mesh body part.

Roll on the day of my next new computer!

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I came to SL in the early days when there weren't near the number of people there are now nor was there private island.  The mainland was two continents.  I came due to an article I read in my local newspaper about it that talked about building.  

My first day in SL was spent going through the orientation.  Then before leaving the area, I made my shape and and fooled around with my hair, skin and eyes using the system appearance.  I also used some textures to make some 'clothes'.  lol.  I thought I was hot stuff.  I finished the day at Ahern, talking to other newbs.

The days afterward were spent exploring SL and teaching myself to build in a sandbox.    I had earned some $L for a while on a camping dance pad in one of the few clubs around.  The first week I wandered around and wondered why I looked like a toon when older avatars looked more realistic.  I finally asked someone and was told about buying stuff.  I learned that it was a lot easier to buy a few Lindens too.  So I did and bought skin hair eyes etc. and four outfits.  

I found a really cheap skybox after that.  It was furnished with crushed red velvet furniture, a hot tub, and dogs playing poker kind of art. It had pose balls all over the place for mostly naughty animations and a few regular sits etc.  Looking back it looked more like a brothel than a home lol.  But the my friends and I had a blast there partying and flying off the front porch on hoverboards and parachutes we found for free and doing other impossible things.

Back then the grid closed for a half day every Wednesday morning until noon for maintenance..  Sometimes if they had problems it was closed for a whole day or even a couple of days.  Everybody logged into the beta grid during those times which was only a few sims big.  Also during that time griefers would grief the entire grid.  Examples: One day green goop fell from the sky all over the grid.  Another day party horns fell that were blowing and made a terrible racket.

One of the funniest things I remember is the grid crashing one day.  When it was back up I logged in to discover that everyone logging in went to one place and we were all naked Ruths and couldn't do anything about it.  For those that don't know Ruth, she is the first avatar that LL created and was the underlying avatar for everyone. (pic below)  I soon learned that being naked in public sometimes was just part of the SL experience.  

 

When textures failed to bake your clothes, you were all white with a big 'missing' all over you.  I always wanted to make a t-shirt like that in RL and wear it around to see who fell over laughing.

 Another funny thing was once my first partner had a problem with his avatar.  He grew boobs and couldn't get rid of them.  The poor guy had to walk around like that for a few days until it got fixed. 

Sploders in clubs were huge back then and one time I won $20,000 one night.  Boy was I happy!

I could go on but this is already a long post.  We had a lot of laughs back then over all the silly things that happened because we were newbs and still learning and because of what the grid threw us once in a while.

 

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This made me giggle several times -- who can't relate to the inexplicable mortification of finding oneself naked in a public place in SL? Why was it so awful? I wouldn't care much now if I lost all my clothes.

That still happens to me every once in a while, because I change outfits often and have gotten used to doing it in public, usually without incident. But then I'll forget that a particular clothing layer needs to be added with an applier and there I'll be, in the middle of the street or in conversation with someone or at a store, naked as Lady Godiva. Usually I get it under control within 15 seconds, but it's painfully embarrassing! My Second Life self really is me in a virtual body, so doing things that look incompetent or carelessly slutty makes me feel terrible (even though I don't give it a second thought when it occasionally happens to friends, although most of my friends are more careful than I am! So isn't that strange?).

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Of course now, with mesh bods and clothing, the bods rez before the clothes for many. I joined because of a friend and explored the first 3 weeks as I was recovering from surgery. My first avi was from Alady when she had the smaller shop in a mall and Gala skins were upstairs....also my first skin. Discovered Lapointe and Bastchild as well as Sn@tch. I had my first 1024 plot on a private island within a week of joining and learned to be a prim nazi then. I soon discovered RP in SL and never looked back.

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My first skin was alady too!  I think I still have it in my inventory.

 

I got stuck in the tutorial when I couldn't achieve the flying part.  I logged out hoping I'd be somewhere else when I logged back in.  No such luck.  I tried to find pages on the web to see if there was any help for it and I was super fortunate to end up on the very pink blog of a mermaid hair-merchant; I found a SLURL to Free Dove and was pleasantly surprised when I clicked it and it opened my viewer and when I logged in I saw I had escaped the stupid tutorial. 

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I'm a late arrival - I've only been in SL for a few weeks. A friend introduced me to it. She's been doing it for years so she showed me the basics - Firestorm, how to set my preferences, TPing, LMs, the ins and outs of dressing (alphas, unboxing etc). She took me to a few stores with those free letter chairs and I got a couple gowns and one ridiculously sexy mini skirt outfit (which I couldn't bring myself to wear). I found freebie galaxy where I proceeded to fill my inventory with mostly hopelessly poor quality apparel (my avatar is super cute now and I only wear mesh clothes). On day one, we were in a sandbox unboxing my ridiculously sexy mini skirt outfit when I had this acid-trip-sounding conversation which I promptly posted on my facebook raising all kinds of questions:

 

me: "is that a fire over there?"

Her: "lol, yeah some people trolling"

Me: "dang those guys are trying to set fire to that church. f*ckin maniacs......I want to go over there but I'm naked and my crotch is invisible and I have no hair"

A few days later I started going into newcomer-friendly areas listed on the destination tab thingy and made some friends who took me dancing and I was hooked. So much great music and dancing in SL!

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Kate Amdahl wrote:

Why did you sign up for Second Life in the first place? What were the first things you wanted to do? Were you able to do them? Were you hooked early on? If so, what hooked you?

The Wall Street Journal published an online article about the real economies of virtual worlds, in which SL figured prominently. Between that and some lurid descriptions of this place, I had all the incentive I needed to investigate.

I may never be able to recapture the wonder I felt during my first weeks here. This was my first (and still only) experience with VR socializing. Everything was exciting, including the pea green skies and black clouds. It wasn't until I purchased a new computer and installed a fresh viewer that I discovered they're usually blue with white clouds. I very quickly discovered that flying over groups of green dots on the map, then clicking "Stop Flying", was great fun. I'm not the type to drop in on people in RL, but I don't think twice about doing it in SL, literally.

Although I've no problem with being nude in inappropriate places, I didn't want to inflict that on others. Until I learned how to dress myself without going naked, I changed clothing under a barge in a canal somewhere. I found myself collecting freebies in SL as I do in RL and I'm still dealing with the overflow in both worlds.

My first creations were three headstones for the virtual fellow classmates I inadvertently killed while learning how to create tattoos for my girlfriend at the time, and a diploma proudly acknowledging my graduation from the University of Wisconsin School of Tattoo and Body Piercing. And of course I created matching tattoos for us, a pair of international women's bathroom symbols  doing a high five. I earned a small corner of a sim in exchange for building and scripting for my friends who owned the sim. It was a lovely, lovely, time.

Like many others here, I recall the wonder of those early days quite fondly. Few things have provided more fertile ground for my imagination. This is a special place.



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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Kate Amdahl wrote:

Why did you sign up for Second Life in the first place? What were the first things you wanted to do? Were you able to do them? Were you hooked early on? If so, what hooked you?

The Wall Street Journal published an online article about the real economies of virtual worlds, in which SL figured prominently. Between that and some lurid descriptions of this place, I had all the incentive I needed to investigate.

I may never be able to recapture the wonder I felt during my first weeks here. This was my first (and still only) experience with VR socializing. Everything was exciting, including the pea green skies and black clouds. It wasn't until I purchased a new computer and installed a fresh viewer that I discovered they're usually blue with white clouds. I very quickly discovered that flying over groups of green dots on the map, then clicking "Stop Flying", was great fun. I'm not the type to drop in on people in RL, but I don't think twice about doing it in SL, literally.

Although I've no problem with being nude in inappropriate places, I didn't want to inflict that on others. Until I learned how to dress myself without going naked, I changed clothing under a barge in a canal somewhere. I found myself collecting freebies in SL as I do in RL and I'm still dealing with the overflow in both worlds.

My first creations were three headstones for the virtual fellow classmates I inadvertently killed while learning how to create tattoos for my girlfriend at the time, and a diploma proudly acknowledging my graduation from the University of Wisconsin School of Tattoo and Body Piercing. And of course I created matching tattoos for us, a pair of international women's bathroom symbols  doing a high five. I earned a small corner of a sim in exchange for building and scripting for my friends who owned the sim. It was a lovely, lovely, time.

Like many others here, I recall the wonder of those early days quite fondly. Few things have provided more fertile ground for my imagination. This is a special place.



Amen. It has been priceless, nothing else remotely like it. Like experiencing a second childhood. For me, SL was crack (to mix metaphors).

And beyond that, my store has enabled me to take care of several disabled family members as I never could when I was teaching. I thank God for SL. 

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First few days? Magical. That's the only word I can use to describe my initial impression of SL.

Of course, there was the initial 'horror' of seeing my new and very awkward-moving avi, but that was easily remedied.

That was back in '06 after seeing a story about SL on some current affairs program, which was focused on talking about Anshe Chung having made her first million USD with 'pixel real estate'.

Now I'm back again with a partner this time, dancing our feet off as often as we can at Etosha or Muddies - or going on those oh-so-stunning boat tours in Calas Galadhon, or even just sightseeing if neither one of us is throwing ourselves into learning curves at the Builder's Brewery.

But yes, 'magical' will always spring to mind when I think of my first few days in SL.

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On 11 October 2006, I read an article in The Economist about Second Life, which intrigued me, so I signed up for a premium membership, downloaded the viewer and logged in - to Ahern. I was both fascinated and horrified. What a zoo! So I started flying north and kept going until I came to Magenta, where I met a bunch of Japanese-American furries who took pity on me and let me stay in their house.

Now, that may sound like a strange thing to say, but you see, I thought our avatars stayed inworld when we logged out, so I needed a place to stay where my avi wouldn't be molested while I was away. I honestly believed that, like Sleeping Beauty, I'd remain in a comfy bed during the day then log in and wake up. Well, one day I logged into the middle of a furry orgy, which was somewhat embarrassing, so I moved to a deep well in Maroon - at least to log out. I'd scamper around the grid then head home to the well to log out. I did this for months before someone explained - laughing his head off - how things worked.

You are no doubt wondering how anyone could be so stupid, but I had little experience with MMRPGs. I'd earlier tried Project Entropia, but couldn't figure out how to leave the landing pad. I was fortunate, therefore, to run into a couple guys who taught me the technical stuff and a couple girls who taught me how to manage animations. Then I went shopping bigtime.

I was completely besotted with Second Life. It was magic. The freedom and creativity was amazing. Finally, a place for grown-ups to let their hair down - where oddballs like me were not only accepted, but considered normal. It was a world free from politics and religion - as a matter of design and policy - free from taxes and bureaucracy and regulations and Puritans seeking to impose their moral visions on others. It was one of the most liberating and empowering experiences of my life.

I have vivid memories of those early days. I became an avid clubber, often spending 8-10 hours on the dance floor, selecting from a list of 30+ animations which best fit the track being played by the DJs. Gods, it was fun. The people I met were vibrant and alive. Moreover, SL was flooded with enthusiasm - people were pouring in from around the world. Sure, some had serious mental problems, but most were thrilled with the social and commercial opportunities made available by SL. I know personally of at least two RL marriages that resulted from SL.

Of course, it didn't last and I guess I was naive to think it would. First came the bureaucrats, sexually aroused by a new world to control and regulate. Then the taxman, greedy for his loot. Then came the Puritans and the politicians, seeking to convert SL into a utopia as envisioned in their narrow worldviews. It took time, of course, but slowly SL drained of life, leaving behind pockets of history, some few of which remain.

For ten years, I have been online almost daily. I have my small niche and I'm happy here in spite of all the problems that were needlessly created by Linden Lab (who never really understood SL). I have my pre-mesh outfits that fit perfectly on my pre-mesh avatar. I have my original flex hair and my original Zhao II hud with many original animations. I even have one of my original friends who returned to SL after a 4-year absence. And, of course, I have my original memories, which live inside me as if they were yesterday.

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What wonderful stories these are! I hope we'll hear a lot more of them.

Deltango, early congratulations on your tenth rezday! I just turned ten myself. :) Are you doing anything to celebrate?

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Anaiya Ahren wrote:

the very pink blog of a mermaid hair-merchant

Ahh..Natalia Zelmanov's (creator of Sirena hair) mermaid diaries blog, I presume? Lovely, lovely lady, and blog :D

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