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Second Life: It's Not a Game

Want to make a bunch of Second Life users mad really quick? Call Second Life a game. Although it looks like a video game similar to World of Warcraft or The Sims, Second Life (SL) isn't a game. In SL, you don't level-up, complete missions, or earn new armor. So exactly what do you do in Second Life? Well, you live a second life. Anything you can do in real life (from washing dishes and buying a house to getting a job and getting married), you can do in SL.

Because SL isn't a game, the folks who use it don't refer to themselves as players. Instead, the people who inhabit the SL world are residents.

There are games in SL, though. You can play poker, golf, baseball, pool, or any other real-life game you can imagine. There are also games unique to SL, such as Slingo, which is a bingo-like game first created by a SL resident and now available on many other platforms. You can also participate in role playing games as a vampire, werewolf, postapocalyptic scavenger, or whatever else your role-playing heart desires.

Most people with an Internet connection have at least heard of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. These Web sites let you connect with people with whom you have something in common and might enjoy talking to, and Second Life isn't much different. You'll be able to join groups centered around hobbies, affiliations, nationalities, and other interests. You'll also be able to make friends with people who are interested in similar things, thus building your own social circle in Second Life, which means you'll always have someone to hang out with.

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