Lila got a new outfit:
Some time ago, when I was still unemployed, I tried to keep busy taking small assignments like creating websites. One time I got a bigger job to make some templates for an organization. Some of the templates were for Word. Being an Apple fangirl, I don’t care much for Microsoft. I love Pages and when I need a simple word processor I have a couple of free office suites I can use.
I wasn’t going to pay for the whole Office package so I downloaded the trial version. It was for 30 days and that would be enough for the job. I finished the job and got paid for it. A while after I started to get strange withdrawals from my PayPal account. The company that took my money was Microsoft. I tried to contact PayPal, but they just told me to contact Microsoft. It was out of their hands since I had “signed an agreement” with the company.
I didn’t have any contact information with this branch of Microsoft, since I had never signed anything. I had even stopped using the trial after I had finished the job. Still the withdrawals from my account continued. One day, a VAT invoice came in my mail. Not in my email inbox, but in paper form. The name of the one that had entered into the agreement with Microsoft was one of my Second Life avatars. This avatar, no matter how real I sometime feel that she is, is not a real person. Microsoft obviously thinks she is, but I’m sure no law would support that belief.
With that paper, scanned and emailed, to PayPal, I thought I would have a chance to stop the payments. They got back to me pretty fast. Their reply was strange. Although, they still claimed that everything was right and that we had an agreement, they would be kind enough to pay back the money that was withdrawn from my account. They did, not all, but some of it, so I stopped arguing with them.
I am just wondering what will happen next time my avatar wants to buy something, perhaps something even more expensive, will I be able to stop it? It’s obviously legal to enter inte agreements with digital personas without the owner’s knowledge about it. Or perhaps it’s just Microsoft that claims that right.by admin
Avatarland’s position on this is to not take sides. We won’t post arguments from either side, but this is how we feel about it:
We have nothing against child avatars, but we acknowledge the right a grid has to set their own TOS.
We don’t like how the admins of OsGrid are handling the situation, for instance banning accounts with no prior warnings and not allowing any discussions about their decisions. These are not signs of a healthy community. On the other hand, they are only hurting themselves and I really hope they’ll understand that before it’s too late.
Also: We don’t like how OsGrid are handling their official info. It’s not a good idea to use word of mouth.
After stating that, we don’t want to exclude anyone. If you are part of OsGrid, feel free to drop by. If you are part of another grid, please do the same.
We have removed our region Avatarland from OsGrid because of the word of mouth policy OsGrid has about official decisions. If you don’t know the rules how can you be sure that you aren’t breaking any? Our decision of removing our region was taken long before these recent events.
For the time being we are happy to host our own Hypergrid enabled world. We can go wherever we like in the Metaverse and the residents of other worlds can visit Avatarland. Since our world is still under construction we haven’t listed it yet, but it’s already open for visitors.by admin
I thought I’d do a post about how to start using Second Life. There are other 3D worlds (for instance InWorldz) but this will be about joining SL (becoming a ‘resident’).
Signing up is quite easy. You just visit the Second Life homepage and click the Join Now link. There’s also a link to click to get more info.
I think that these days you need to provide ‘payment info’ but that doesn’t mean you have to pay anything. The basic level of Second Life membership is free and you can do enough without ever having to pay for the upgrade to a Premium account. However, if you do, you’ll get some of your money back as ‘pocket money’ every week.
Once you’ve signed up and downloaded the viewer (sort of like a web browser, except it’s in 3D, there’s the official SL viewer as well as a couple of others that you can use instead if you prefer), you need to start creating your avatar (which is a 3D version of yourself if you like and in any case, it’s your alter ego inside the 3D environment).
If you think it’s difficult to customize your avatar you can start out with one of the ready made avatars included in your inventory. There are actually quite a few to choose between, both male and female, realistic or more fantasy like. For instance, you can be a vampire or an elf/fairy, or a gladiator. There are also some ‘future’ and steampunk people.
In fact, if you want to spend money in SL you could be anything you like, such as a famous actor, a robot, a pony, teddy bear or even a plant. Anything goes. Even if you’re not interested in upgrading or putting real money into your SL account, you can mix and match the several different items of clothing, hair, skin and shapes that come with each avatar to create your own unique avatar.
There are also several freebie places to teleport to (that’s how you get around in SL – from region to region – in SL regions are called sims). The freebies are usually of quite low quality, unlike the things included in your basic avatars.
After you’ve finished creating your avatar, you might want to go to a ‘newbie’ or ‘noob’ orientation place. There are several different ones, and you’ll probably end up in one of them right away. That will be your first ‘home’ (the place you always return to and log in to). If you upgrade and buy land you can have your own home, but some sims allow you to join their group and then set home there. For instance, the communal SL Botanical Gardens is one such place that allows ordinary residents to set home in their sim.
After that you can just start exploring, socializing, listening to music or maybe even building things. Some people make buildings, others furniture. You can also focus on trees and other things to put in your garden. Then again, you could learn to make clothing and other items for avatars, including hair (which is quite a complex process, I believe). Building or creating items is one good way to make money inside SL.
You can also use real money and exchange them for Linden dollars (the SL currency). There’s actually an exchange rate. The good news is that one L is not worth much. I think it’s less than a cent/penny. So if you do decide to splash out on some fancier items a little real money goes a very long way.
Finally, I’ll just mention the different groups. The majority of groups are really no fun at all, from my point of view. They’re just a way of marketing items for sale, even though supposedly, you as a member will get good offers. There are also specialized groups such as ones for veg*ans or music lovers. If you join a music group, you’ll get notifications about upcoming music events. Sometimes real life famous artists come and perform in SL, and sometimes you get really great ‘amateur’ performers as well. There are all kinds of different types of music, from medieval and baroque to jazz, rock and pop, so there’s something for everyone. The events I mentioned above are actually live events. Someone is singing and/or playing music at their homes, sometimes in real studios and you get to listen to them in SL, using your avatar and the viewer interface.by admin