Second Life is a leading virtual world development platform operated by Linden Labs for the creation of virtual goods and immersive, engaging and productive 3D spaces used by individuals, artists, corporations, governments, academic institutions and non-profits. There are both free and “Premium” (paid) accounts, and those who sign up are called “Residents” rather than players or users. Residents are represented by avatars they can customize with free start-up options, alterations they make themselves, or those purchased from and made by other residents. Second Life has its own economy, and residents make purchases by earning money “in world” or buying the SL currency called Lindens. Customizations are not limited to clothing or hair style but can include skins, animations, or even changes in species. Humans and human-like species like Elves may be the most common, but dragons and dinosaurs are not unheard of. Second Life is not “a game” per se, although Residents may certainly buy or build the means to enjoy many types of roleplay or combat games on its platform. Residents can buy or rent “land” in Second Life. Large tracts are called “sims,” but these should not to be confused with the Sims game from EA.
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