Tying the Virtual Knot

Partnerships in Second Life.
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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.

(Editor's note: You may need Second Life software installed on your computer to access the addresses below.)

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.

This week's episode: Tying the virtual knot in Second Life

I had one of those weeks in Second Life where everything seemed to be about partnering. I've got an online sister getting married, another friend breaking up, and a third friend who, when I told her I was writing a show on partnering, suggested I make it three words long: "Don't do it." So what is partnering, exactly?

Partnering is Linden Labs' attempt to implement a catchall solution for a close personal relationship between two avatars, so it defies simple description. When you become someone's partner your name shows up in the "Partner" box on their profile, and it's typically expected that no one else gets access to your virtual goodies.

Some people see it as a marriage and go as far as having a full ceremony with virtual wedding planners, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and photographers. Others use it for more casual girlfriend or boyfriend type relationships, or even business partnerships. And the Goreans use it for whomever they're locking in the cellar this week.

Now, assuming you're not looking to take my friend's three-word advice, the first thing to know about partnering is that it has to be done from the Web site, not from inside the game. To attempt a partnership, just go to the game Web site at

www.secondlife.com and log in. In the left-hand menu, find "Partners" under the subheading "My Second Life" and bring up the partnership page.

From there, just enter the name of your victim, err, beloved, and then enter a short message like, "You could probably do better, but I'm hoping you don't know that," or "Please, please, before the crippling loneliness leaves me an empty husk of a man sitting alone at the bar drinking cheap beer mixed with my own tears." Then click "Send Proposal" and await your success or bitter bitter defeat.

Getting partnered will cost you a whopping 10 Lindens. Divorce, much as in first life, is more expensive, but 25 Lindens is a small price to pay for your sanity. Now, in the circles I've run in, a wedding isn't always necessary, but you should at least spring for a ring. Ricx's Fine Jewelry (

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Nepessing/59/98/125 ) is a good jewelry store with very reasonable prices on scripted jewelry and even a vault with limited-edition items so your sweetie will never have to meet someone with the same engagement ring. Search for r-i-c-x or grab the Slurl on the Web site.

That's it for this episode! So until next time, remember, cool fiancés buy their husbands-to-be kung fu huds and ninja swords instead of rings.

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.