Ask Meghan!

It’s that time of the week again, time for Ask Meghan. I was THRILLED to see my mailbox jammed with questions, so keep it up! I’ll be answering all of the questions I received in the last two weeks right now. (Sorry it took me so long to get to, finishing up The Torch magazine was hard work but the results were absolutely worth it.)

So without further adieu, here’s my first question, and one that has been asked many times in many different forums. Remember, these answers reflect my own personal opinion and are not necessarily the view of The Torch.. or anyone else for that matter. Smile with tongue out

Hey Meghan,

Is it cheating if your alt is dating another person if your main is married?

Anonymous

Well Anonymous, there is no black-and-white answer to this question. It all comes down to the agreement you have with your main and your mains partner. If you agree that your relationship is strictly SL with no real-life attachments or commitments, and/or if you have talked to your partner about whether you wish to remain exclusive, then the answer is ‘no, probably not’. However, if your relationship is deeper than that, and includes a RL component, up to and including perhaps getting together one day in real life, and if this alt and the alts relationship is something you would hide from your main’s partner because you know it would upset him or her, then the answer is that it probably is cheating.

However, in the broader view it all depends on how you view Second Life in general. Some take it as just a game with no real consequences and no real feelings, and the relationships they build in SL are simply a fantasy. However for a lot of us, Second Life is just as real as RL and there are true feelings involved. I myself feel that way, as I have someone I love very much.

At any rate, if you’re still confused, there’s really one question you need to ask to judge for yourself whether or not it is ‘cheating’, and that is, “Would the knowledge of this other relationship hurt my partner?” Because fantasy or not, every one of us behind the keyboard has true feelings, and we can be hurt, and hurting some else should never be an option.

Hi Ask Meghan,

How do I make clothes in SL?

June Carlson

June,

Great question! There are a lot of ways to make clothing in Second Life, almost all of which require some experience with graphics editing tools such as Photoshop or Gimp. However for very basic clothing all you need to do is know how to edit appearance in SL itself, and go to New Shirt, New Jacket, etc, and manipulate the sliders to create the basic shape, and add a texture. However, those basic shapes are almost never precise enough for good clothing, so you’ll want to draw them, either by hand or using the many templates you can find on the Marketplace. To explain exactly how to draw them would take a LOT of time, but luckily for you there are many tutorials online to help you far better than I can. The SL Wiki has indexed most of these on one page. The most important links are the first two, which send you to the template files which are essential for making your artwork line up correctly as clothing.

The link is here: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Clothing_Tutorials

Dear Ask Meghan,

I’ve been in Second Life for a while now and I feel overwhelmed, I seriously have no idea what to do! There is so many things, I tried some things, like being a teenager and going to school, but it seriously hard to keep to the schedule that they have.

How do I find something to do in Second Life that doesn’t require me to be on some kind of fix schedule but enjoy SL to its fullest?

Signed

norikoshibaki resident

Norikoshibaki,

Really this depends on what you enjoy doing the most. There are plenty of activities in SL that don’t require any particular timetable, however finding things that are active in your own time zone if you’re not in the US or Europe can be very difficult, especially if you’re an avid role-player.  Without knowing what you’re into, let me try to answer this. There are many music clubs that don’t require you to be there at any specific time, with both live musicians and DJs, so unless you have a favorite that only plays at a particular time, there’s always good music to be found. There are also classes generally happening 24×7 for people in all time zones, so if you’d like to learn try looking up Education in the Search. If you’re into shopping, the Hair Fair is now going on on 4 sims, staring here: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Iridium/129/79/24  However, be prepared for lag as it is VERY popular. Not only is there hair to buy, there are also freebies given out by many different vendors.

There’s a lot of self-paced activities also. Try your hand at one of the many amusement parks scattered around the grid, or go bowling with friends, or explore cultural themed sims like Paris New York, or art galleries, or even the surreal, like Chou Chou. All of these can be found in search.

Again I’ve really barely scratched the surface of things to do, but I hope I’ve given you a few ideas!

Dear Meghan,

I have been in SL  for several weeks and I have noticed that older players of this game aren’t very nice to noobs Why are noobs treated badly in SL?

Usealang Resident

Usealang,

Another good question. Sadly, there’s a very real stigma towards new players (otherwise known as newbies, or the more derogative ‘noob’.) I think it is generally assumed that new players have little to no knowledge of Second Life, therefore rather than help new players learn more about SL and therefore adapt quicker, seasoned players tend to avoid them instead, which is sad and unfortunate. Part of this is due to the appearance of beginner avatars, which are generally low-quality (though they  have greatly improved since the first generation starter avs!)  On the flip side, new players can sometimes be rude or disruptive, either purposely or because they are unaware of SL social norms. While this is a small majority of new players, they unfortunately are the ones that stick out in peoples minds. So, my suggestion for those having trouble integrating into SL due to discrimination from older players is to find a new player friendly sim, such as The Shelter, and learn more about Second Life. Sadly part of that is upgrading avatars. I wish this wasn’t such a big part of it, but SL is a visual game and people tend to take those who are more careful with their avatars appearance more seriously. You can find many people in-game who are very friendly and helpful to those who ask for help. With a little patience and willingness to learn, you’ll find peoples attitudes changing. However, none of this will do you any good if you aren’t friendly towards others, so please be courteous to others, even if they are unkind to you.

And those are all the questions I have had this week! I hope my answers are helpful and if you have any feedback or responses to any of these, please feel free to drop them into my inbox as well as leaving a comment below. My mailbox is located at The Torch offices here: http://slurl.com/secondlife/LONDON%20Mayfair/48/98/2

<3

Meghan

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