Anyone that knows me knows this is a subject that I can bang on about ad infinitum and I’ll try not to do that to you today. I also don’t want this to come across as ‘newbie’ bashing because while a lot of the behaviour I’m going to cover is often seen by newbies to our virtual platform it’s not always those that are just a few days old. Also, we need to attract new residents to Second Life and help them to get over what is a huge learning curve before you become fully immersed into all that SL has to offer.
A few months ago when I was hosting the MadPea Celebrity Auction I made a few passing comments and jokes about not allowing new residents to fly until they were at least 14 days. This comment was usually preceded by a 1 day old avatar kicking my head as they flew overhead. I wonder why when entering an area with 70 or so avatars dancing or standing that someone thinks flying is acceptable but on the flip side as a brand new avatar you’re probably thinking ‘woah all these people can fly and they decide to just stand around! What the hell!’
I firmly believe that some of the issues us older avatars have with those youngsters are brought about my the lack of education at starting zones regarding the etiquette of acceptable social behaviour in Second Life. It’s easy for those of us that have been around for many a year to forget what those first daunting days were like and I’m pretty sure I did some things that must have had other residents sighing or rolling their eyes at me in those first few days and weeks. In my experience the three most irritating issues I see are:
- Flying – Even though many stores, clubs and public areas have fly enabled there is still an unwritten rule, or SLEtiquette for when it’s acceptable and when it will be frowned upon. How do you teach that to newer residents? Surely that comes with ‘virtual age’ and by being in those situations and gauging them?
- Bumping – Many people joining Second Life have come from other gaming platforms where you can run through avatars rather than have to go round them. It doesn’t usually take new residents long to find out that bumping is a definite no-no in SL.
- Invading Personal Space – Standing too close to other avatars, especially when there is no good reason and plenty of space around. Again, this is something in other games, especially MMO’s that is perfectly acceptable but irritating as hell in Second Life. Perhaps this is because we identify so strongly with our avatars on screen that we do literally take this as an invasion of our space and makes us uncomfortable. The easiest thing to do is move of course, but that doesn’t really help the new avatar understand what they are doing is wrong and why it’s probably getting them blocked and ejected dozens of times a day.
I’ve made reference to games and MMO’s above because as I thought more about it I realised that when you play those games the scope and scale is drip-fed to you. You don’t start at Level 80 with every ability, every piece of armour and every skill that you will need, you gain them gradually over time. When you join SL you are thrown in at the deep end, told there is a massive world of possibilities, here’s how to move and talk now go get on with it!
Being a new avatar in Second Life can be intimidating for many new residents and there’s really not a lot of information on how to behave or interact with other avatars other than the logistics of ‘click here to open IM then type’. If we want SL to grow then next time there’s a new person doing any of the above maybe offer a friendly IM to help them out. We were all new residents once, and I know for sure there was much more information and help when I first joined the grid than there is for todays new residents.
Talking about information….I have to give you the lowdown on my look for today! I love this dress from The Annex which is available at My Attic for just 95L$. It comes in a range of colours with neon underskirts and ribbons to give it a perfect retro feel. Of course, anyone who knows me from my club !Exodus! will know why I’ve chosen this one to show you.
Body – Maitreya Lara
Eyes – IKON – Sovereign Eyes
Tattoo – White Widow – Deadman **NEW** at Shiny Shabby
Hair – Clawtooth – A Little Lamb
Dress – The Annex – Party Dress – **NEW** at My Attic
Pose – Exposeur – Little Dancer