BGSU Virtual Campus in Second Life
Information for New Users
All users need to get started with a Second Life membership account. It's free.
Note that you'll have complete freedom in creating your avatar's (character's) first name. But your avatar's last name must be selected from a restricted list. Since I use Second Life for serious purposes that involve interacting with students and colleagues, I have elected to incorporate my full, real name into my avatar's name. Student users may wish to follow my example (but you can always create a second account, for non- academic use, that does not reveal your true identity).
You have at least three options concerning where and how you access the Second Life virtual world.
- Option 1 (Best Option) -- Use Your Own Mac or Windows Computer
Once you've setup a Second Life membership account (see above), you'll be prompted to install Second Life on your own computer that meets the minimum system requirements (Window, Mac, or Linux platforms). There's also a download link at http://secondlife.com/support/downloads.php
(When you're up and running, I recommend that you select EDIT, PREFERENCES, GRAPHICS, then uncheck 'Avatar Impostors,' then click OK. Impostors are 2-dimensional representations that, I think, don't look or work very well).
- Option 2 -- A Workaround for using Second Life in a Public, Windows Computing Lab
If your own computer and internet connection aren't sufficient to run Second Life, I've arranged a system whereby you may use Second Life in a public computing lab that runs Microsoft Windows. At the time of this writing, Second Life was not installed on BGSU's open lab computers. Moreover, those computers won't allow you to intall software. However, I have created a zipped exe file folder that lets you run Second Life on a Windows computer, even if that computer doesn't have Socond Life installed.
(a) After you've set up your Second Life membership account (see above), SAVE the file, ZippedSecondLifeMSWindows.exe, to any Windows computer desktop, or to a USB flash drive that is plugged into a Windows computer. It is a very large file (about 42 mb), and it's important to choose SAVE (not RUN).
(b) Double-click the downloaded .exe file to automatically unzip it. It may take a few minutes to unzip. Do not "close" the unzipping program until it tells you that the process is finished. A folder called SecondLife will appear (on the desktop or on your flash drive).
(c) Go into the Second Life folder and double-click the file named: "SecondLife.exe"
One minor shortcoming of using this workaround is that any changes you make to your Second Life personal settings (such as how Second Life controls are laid out on your screen) will probably be lost when you close the Second Life program.
Another minor shortcoming is that an advanced feature called "voice chat" (which you are unlikely to need) probably won't work. This is because the computer will probably deny you permission to 'install' the voice chat add-on. (If you're denied prermission then it doesn't matter what options you choose when prompted to configure voice chat; voice chat still won't work, but that's OK).
Note : Even if you choose (under Option 2) to run the software from the desktop, you should copy the SecondLife folder to a USB flash drive so you won't have to download and unzip the files the next time you use Second Life.
- Option 3 -- A Workaround for using Second Life in a Public, Macintosh Computing Lab
I am not a Mac user, but I'm told that you can run the Mac version of Second Life on a public Mac computer, even if that computer doesn't have Second Life Installed. Once you've set up your Second Life membership account (see above), just save the Mac version of the official Second life installation file (http://secondlife.com/support/downloads.php) onto the Mac desktop, then run the file from the desktop (without installing it). You may also run this file from a USB flash drive.
This information is provided by Dr. Richard Anderson, Associate Professor of Psychology, Avatar Name: RichAnderson Alter, Manager of the Second Life Cognitive Science Group