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Five Quick Tips to Enhance Your Second-Life Experience

Here are a few things you need to know, including organizing your virtual closet and seeing invisible objects.

The following is a transcript of " Traveling Avatar's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life," a podcast from The audio program is available via RSS feed here and at's podcast home page.

Will Ross here. Welcome to

The Traveling Avatar's Quick and Dirty tips for a Better Second Life

. On this show we discuss tips and tricks for the game Second Life, created by Linden Labs.



Make the Prim a Light Source

One: When creating pictures for your Second Life home using snapshots, consider turning the prim into a light source to make the image look better. To do this open the edit menu and go to the "Features" tab, then check "Light" to make the prim a light source. I usually set the intensity to around 0.7 because it gives the colors nice pop without whiting out the image. (Imagine a television with the brightness or contrast set too high.) This will eliminate dull, hard-to-see pictures, and give them a pretty cool glow, too.



Change Permissions to Prevent Meddling

Two: When sending photos by texture that are intended for the recipient only, change the texture permissions to no transfer, no copy, no modify to make sure your image doesn't get passed around. There are rarely good reasons to copy, transfer, or modify a personal photo. And before you send that texture, take a listen to my episode on safety, and use good common sense. Once it leaves your computer it's gone forever, and textures can be places out in the open, on billboards, and in profiles for all the world to see. There are some things you don't want to become famous for.



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Listening in Second Life

Three: Listen to podcasts directly on your Second Life land. Take the download link from the Web site for the individual episodes and enter it into the Music URL on your land. You can listen to the podcasts in game, and even listen in as a group by all pressing the play button at the same time. I often do this for the science fiction story podcast Escape Pod, or when listening to podcast novels while I manage my IM's and attempt to slay the drama monster.



Organizing Your Virtual Closet

Four: Organize your inventory by outfit. If you organize your favorite outfits into folders, you can just left click and choose "Replace Outfit" to change your entire outfit without having to select and wear individual items. Throw in weapons, accessories, animation overrides, and HUDs, and all of these will be loaded as well. This works especially well for people like me who like to use a variety of different types of avatars, because it makes shape shifting as easy as Paris Hilton on an Oxycodone bender.

(Disclaimer! Paris Hilton has never used drugs... for real...)



Seeing Invisible Objects

Five: See the invisible world. By going to view and selecting "Alt Shows Physical" you can see all of the physical objects in an area, including the invisible ones, whenever you hold down "Alt." You'll be able to see the red outlines of weapons, attachments, and invisible prims. The one downside of this setting is that you're going to see these invisible prims whenever you hold down the Alt key to adjust your camera, and I also need to warn you that these will show up in snapshots, so it's best to turn this off when taking pictures or videos in game. But it's still pretty cool to see some of the... ahem... attachments people are walking around with, thinking they are completely hidden.

That's it for this episode! So until next time remember, alt-highlighted invisible prims can be photographed, so consider very carefully which ones you want to wear in public... As this podcast is work safe, I won't elaborate on this point, but trust me, you don't want to end up in my scrapbook.

Will Ross, a Second Life explorer and professional slacker, writes and records the

Traveling Avatar articles and podcasts. Following a stint in college where he came dangerously close to earning a degree in history, Will Ross spent countless hours of his life in a number of online worlds including Worlds of Warcraft, Everquest, Ultima Online, and City of Heroes before making a permanent home on Eldoe Island in Second Life. To request a topic or share a tip, send an email to or call 206-888-MYSL.