In Second Life, you can either instantly teleport from location to location, walk or fly. Flying is amazing fun and when used in conjunction with the map, a great way of finding nearby people. Second Life is not particularly densely populated, probably because it can get a little slow when there are too many people in one area. In fact, at points I found it to be incredibly slow – something that I feel Linden Labs need to work on, as I'm using pretty top notch equipment!
Flying can get you in to some tricky situations though! Here I am about to back flip of a telephone booth. Unfortunately, back flipping while taking a screen shot was rather tricky.
Luckily, I found a parachute to help out in dodgy situations. Completely useless as we have the ability to fly, but why not?
Real life businesses have a presence in Second Life, and some are making a lot of money. However, to make money in Second Life, you will have to work equally as hard in Second Life as you would in real life. It's certainly not a get rich quick scenario.
Many people use Second Life as an extension of their current life. Many others choose to be entirely different people (like the 20% of residents that play the opposite sex) or even an animal. You can choose to entirely escape from your real world life, and do things that you couldn't usually do in real life (RL).
With the object creation and scripting language, you can do anything that your mind can fathom. The graphics may not be as good as 'RL' yet, but the social aspects of a virtual reality are more than real.
I almost feel odd in saying that I've really enjoyed my experiences in Second Life. I've had some interesting conversations, and had a good time fiddling with object creation and clothing. At this stage, I haven't really delved into the coding aspect of Second Life, but I will definitely have to give that a go at a later stage – maybe I can improve the scripting of the BMX I inherited.
I don't feel the book was essential, but it was a good read and definitely left me understanding the Second Life world a lot better. If you are intending on making a success in Second Life, then the book would be worth your while. I do feel that £22.99 is a little steep, and there is a certain irony in buying a real life book to aid your second life. If Wiley could sort out a digital distribution system for the book at a cheaper price, I think more people would buy it.
If any of this has sounded like fun, head over to the Second Life site and give it a go. It's free!