THE UNMUTUAL WEBSITE
A GUIDE TO SECOND LIFE
Written by and copyright Shan Bright. Image copyright Ashlee Caddell.
Occasionally, the Unmutual has reported on Prisoner themed content -
including several virtual reconstructions of the entire village of
Portmeirion - in an online space called "Second Life". This brief guide is for those new to Second Life: to explain what it is,
and how to see it.
The key points are:
* Second Life is a vast, online, virtual world: of seas and forests, roads and buildings, vehicles, art, machinery, and almost everything
else one might find in reality.
* A company called Linden Research store all the computerised maps and models making up this world on banks of computer servers in California, and offer a free, downloadable Second Life "viewer" program through which you can see it.
* Visiting Second Life is similar to entering multiplayer games like"Fortnite" or "World of Warcraft", in that once connected, you control
an on-screen character (called an "avatar"), wander through a virtual reality, and can see and communicate with other avatars controlled by
* However, Second Life is unlike any game, in that it has no single theme, no defined goal, no points, and no way to "win". The world you
are in was not created by Linden Research. Each location was built by one of the millions of other people who have visited Second Life during
the 18 years it has existed.
* Second Life is therefore better compared to the World Wide Web. Google provide the Chrome browser, and a search engine, but the web pages
themselves were created by many companies, organisations, and individuals. Similarly, Linden Research provide a viewer, and a search
system to find locations which might interest you, but each location was constructed to express the interests of a different person or group.
* Like the web, you will find content on almost any conceivable subject or theme. There are museums of sculpture, motorcycle race tracks, entire districts from world cities, aerodromes, shopping malls, historical reconstructions and fictional realizations, fairgrounds, schools of
language and philosophy, scuba diving centres, churches, and red-light zones, Also like the web, it is enormously variable in quality, attractiveness, and taste.
* Second Life can be explored entirely for free: and many use it for years without ever spending money. You can buy special in-world
currency, to buy fancy virtual clothes and toys, and if you wish to create locations of your own, you will have to pay Linden Research to
host them, but this is all optional: merely to explore, and meet people, is free.
So if you are curious about Second Life, to take a look for yourself takes little time and costs nothing.
You will need to download and install a "viewer" program, but this can be done in around ten minutes. Setting up a user account and running
through a brief tutorial may take another fifteen. You can then explore, and searching for "Portmeirion" will turn up a link to Ashlee
Cadell-Leigh's extraordinary site 'The Village', which alone easily justifies this effort.
And if you decide that Second Life is not for you, click the "Uninstall Second Life" icon, politely installed automatically with the program,
and the viewer will be removed from your computer.
Here's how it's done:
1. Visit https://secondlife.com and click "SIGN UP"
2. Fill in your desired user name and password, an email address, a few other details, and tick the box to confirm that you have read the Terms
of Service. (I know you haven't, they know you haven't, but the tick is required.)
3. You'll receive an email inviting you to "activate" your account, and when you have done so, a link to download the Second Life viewer. It is
available for Windows and macOS, and will download and install in a few minutes.
4. Run your new Second Life viewer, and log in using the username and password you provided.
5. You will soon see your 'avatar' in the virtual world of Second Life, and be guided through a tutorial, showing you how to walk around,
interact with objects, and communicate with others.
Welcome to Second Life! The most common question people ask at this point is, "What do I do now?"
This is easier to understand if you remember that Second Life is more like the World Wide Web than a traditional game. Click the "location
bar" at the top of your screen, and type in any search term that interests you.
You'll be offered a list of clickable links to groups, avatars, and places related to the search term.
As mentioned above, search for 'Portmeirion', and in the list of links offered will be Ashlee Cadell-Leigh's site, 'The Village'.
( Sadly no longer in Second Life is Catty Erde's 'Second Village'. I had a small part in this project, creating a website to publicise it, and
this is still online at http://brightcorporation.net/secondvillage/ )
And if you'd like to see this writer's work, enter "Bright Corporation". At the Bright Corporation Megashop, you'll find lots of things for sale
- a girl has to eat - but also many free things which you may take with my compliments. These include the free "Bright Chica", a tribute to the
Mini Moke taxi seem in The Prisoner. If you fancy driving round Ashlee's Village in appropriate style, be sure to pick one up.
Be seeing you?
CEO, Bright Corporation
Click HERE for The Main Unmutual Home Page.