01 March 2008

How Do I .... Do Things in Second Life?

The Epoch Institute campus has a central courtyard, with two ancient trees and extensive landscaping. Second Life is entirely created by platform users and much of it is quite beautiful. You will be represented by your avatar as you travel about and interact with other visitors.
Knowing how to move around and interact through your avatar will help you to feel more comfortable during your meeting or class. You can see here the standard vantage point which you have of your avatar once "in-world." This is your point-of-view, or POV, sometimes referred to as your camera. You travel about, slightly behind your avatar, viewing his or her actions as well as the surrounding setting.
Know Your Arrow Keys and ALT

Your avatar moves in response to the arrow keys on your computer. The Second Life "window" must be active, just as you activate any other program on your computer. So you may need to click on the ground to activate the window, then use the arrow keys to move about. The UP arrow key moves your avatar forward, DOWN will put you in reverse and the LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys will move you well, left and right. If you wish to shift about and see the front of your avatar, use the ALT key: ALT+ LEFT or ALT+RIGHT arrow key to shift your view. ALT+ UP will pan your view in close or or ALT+DOWN moves your view farther away so that you can see more. Adding the ALT key to the mouse will also give you similar options but this can be awkward to control, and I reccommend that you use your arrow keys initially.
Right-Click to Sit Here
Once you can move about and see yourself, you will want to be able to make your avatar do things and for this you must animate yourself. A RIGHT-CLICK of your mouse anywhere on your avatar activates the PIE CHART and this offers you several options, the most important being SIT HERE. You will use SIT HERE often. Once you sit, the animation embedded in the chair determines how you look as you sit. You cannot affect how you sit but you can choose to sit in a different chair that may possibly have a different pose in it. Again, first you chose your spot, RIGHT-CLICK with your mouse, choose SIT HERE from the pie chart and there you are, settled to have a chat or listen to a lecture. You will have the chance to try all of this during your orientation session.  If you are concerned about remembering all of this, we've collected  some helpful reminders here: http://bit.ly/Epoch-QS .

Left, Access the Pie Chart with your mouse, and then choose: SIT HERE to seat your avatar.

The poses installed in the seat will determine how you appear as you sit.

What is Second Life Like?
The video below will give some sense of what an avatar looks like and how it moves. Many people spend a good deal of time customizing their avatar, however we can bring you "in-world" with a pre-existing avatar directly to our campus. We want you to enjoy your class and minimize the time that you must invest in order to be able to participate. After watching the video, continue with the your orientation by going to this page: http://epochinstitute.blogspot.com/2008/03/tech-specs-for-running-second-life.html

Many thanks to Phaylan for this wonderful machinima.

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