Saturday, October 25, 2014

Warmth, Water, Food, & Shelter

If you had to depend on the World Wide Web for survival in the wilderness you might be up a creek. Or in a desert. Some dense forest. Anyway, a simple search turns up quite a few ways to buy DVDs on how to not die when you are stuck away from civilization but not a list of what to do first. After a while I found a few sites that more or less agreed that one should try to stay warm first then find water and food, in that order, then to find or make shelter. From there the various so-called experts I read divereged greatly.

Of course, if you have the electricity to be on the Web then you probably have time to visit some emergency preparedness sites (like this one from Lifehacker) or use the Red Cross mobile app to figure out what you need for various situations.

If that situation is entering Second Life for the first time, then you are still up a creek, albeit a virtual one. Without a survival guide, new residents (AKA Noobs) generate their a hierarchy of needs. Sit in any Info Hub, Welcome Area, or other area frequented by Noobs and the list seems obvious: Sex, Money, and a job. Shelter is rather pointless, but it shows up before food. Warmth? No one thinks about that, I'm sure.

What should Noobs list as Second Life survival priorities? That all depends on who you ask. Clothes and an Animation Override (AO) are often suggested by those not offering group memberships and landmarks to various entertainment venues. Fortunately this coincides with one the top ten things that Noobs are concerned with changing. Sit back and watch for even a short time and you'll see several trying all the choices in the Avatar Picker.

Helpful former mentors and other long-time Residents usually offer Landmarks to helpful places, such as New Citizens, Inc. or other Noob-friendly venues for the How-To tutorials, free clothes, and more.

What is seldom offered is simple advice. Rather, foisting one's personal opinions on how to do things and where to go is common (right up there with which Viewer to use). Instead, Noobs need to be welcomed, comforted in making the choice to be with us, and then told "Don't Panic." Despite the similiarites to Meatspace, Our World is strange and unfamiliar. This is why my first advice is to not worry about anything – money, sex, fame, etc. – but to just go out and explore. Learn as you go. What you should know for your needs will stick. What you don't need to know ... you get the idea.

Sure, I have some strong opinons based on my prefernces, like "don't IM me; talk to me in Main Chat" (I think of IMs like phone calls or texting) or "use math to align prims, not eyeballing" (I can be quite OCD at times). But that's me. I don't leap after a Noob and insist right away that they use a particular viewer (I favor the Official one), tell them to join a particular group (I'd swear there are more London City members in SL than in actual London), or to do anything in particular other than to explore.

So here's my list of survival needs for new Residents:

1. Explore
2. Keep exploring
3. Explore some more

What is on your list?

1 comment:

OFlo said...

1) find sisters! So after a short stint into Amsterdam (it came recommended in that newspaper I found the article about SL in), the next stop was IoL. Met alll my first friends there and didn't leave until I had a good solid reputation as beach slut. That was in January of 07. The world was different back then.

2) once you're fucked senseless find out about your real hobbies and pursuit them.