Five Things You Should Know About the 'Game'

You may not know all you need to about light source limits and inventory storage, so read on.
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The following is a transcript of " Traveling Avatar's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life," a podcast from QuickAndDirtyTips.com. The audio program is available via RSS feed here and at TheStreet.com'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. "It's not a game! It's a metafabricated virtual livingspace populated by people all over the world!" OK. Let's nip this in the bud right now.

Dear Second Lifers, I've received numerous emails and blog comments regarding my use of the word "Game" in regards to Second Life, and specifically that Linden Labs does not refer to Second Life as a game. Well, any place where I'm a cat man with a rocket launcher, and then fall 1,500 feet and land in a perfect three-point stance without going smoosh, and I can experience all that without the aid of any recreational narcotics, to me, is a game. If it's not to you, that's great.

Some people play poker as a job, some people play it as a game. So from now on when I say it's a game, just note I mean... ummm... it's not a game. Except you can turn it off at any time, play as multiple characters, collect items and fight samurai. But other than all that, it's totally not a game.

Today's episode: Five things you may not know about second life.

Light Source Limits

Wondering why your face light isn't working in that epileptics nightmare of a disco you're dancing in? Well, it turns out that the Second Life client can currently only support six separate light sources in a single area. Any more than that and the extras gets snuffed out like mob informants. So try to keep it under four separate light sources per room.

Rebaking Shortcut

Rebaking

used

to be really, really annoying. First you'd have to use one set of keystrokes to open your client and server menu, then you'd have to find the character menu, then you'd have to replace the glowing relic with just the exact right amount of sand, then throw the one ring into Mount Doom and... well, you get the picture. But, there's now a hot key for this. Just hit Ctrl + Alt + R and rid yourself of the Members Only jacket that is "Missing Image" tags.

Inventory Storage

Inventory is one of the biggest pain-in-the-tush area of the game. Sorting through 10,000 items just to find the one thing you're looking for is a lot like trying to find actual music in a Gwen Stefani album. You know it's there somewhere, because she used to be in No Doubt, but you just can't find it in the middle of the bubblegum pop. But I digress.

Jane2 McMahon, an awesome Second Life mentor, gave me a great tip on this. Store all of your seasonal items, like Halloween and Christmas decorations, or birthday stuff, in boxes and then put the box into your inventory. Each box is only one object, making a lot less hay for your needle-sorting ventures.

Camera Reset

Now, say you've gotten your camera all screwed up trying to spy on someone through their walls or looking up someone's clothing. First of all *rolled up newspaper smack, yelp* Bad dog! No upskirting! Seriously though, if you've gotten your camera into some position the designers of Resident Evil would be proud of, just tap the Escape key. You'll reset your camera to the over the shoulder position, ready to inappropriately use all over again!

Edit Linked Parts

Finally, if you love your prim hair, except for that one strand that seems to regularly pierce your eyeball, did you know you can edit the linked parts of an object separately? Now, just as a disclaimer, this is one of those things you'll want to be careful with. Make a copy of the object before you make any changes to it, just in case you make a mistake.

To make your changes open the radial menu on the object and choose "Edit," then select "Edit Linked Parts." You can use this to edit a single strand of hair, or a single part of an object that you have modify rights for. As always, though, copy first and be careful.

That's it for this episode! So until next time, remember, it probably

is

a game... but that doesn't mean the game can't become your life. How's

that

for dodging the issue!?

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 secondlife@qdnow.com or call 206-888-MYSL.