Author’s note: Before I get started, I want to say that Second Life is a MASSIVE experience. I could fill website on its own just trying to explain it fully, so instead I’m going to do my best to give an overview and how it relates to 3DX.
What is Second Life? I thought for a while about how best to describe it, and the best I could come up with is “It’s a virtual world”, complete with everything that entails. Many people would call it a game, but I don’t believe that it fits that definition; in a game, you start, you play for a while/complete objectives, then it ends. Second Life, I would say, is an experience. It is a completely open-world 3D multiplayer sandbox, where you are free to do, see, create, make friends and well, live exactly as you like. Want to be a superhero in a flying car? You can do it. A tiny fairy living in a forest? You’re covered. A giant furry monster? Join the queue. The entire world is open to you, do to as you like, for free, from the beginning.
To get it out of the way, the whole simulation works around the in-game currency – Linden Dollars (L$). This can be earned in-game, gifted from other players, or you can use one of the payment options if you want. A monthly payment gives you benefits such as your own home and a monthly stipend of in-game currency or you can just buy an amount of bought for real-word cash. I’ll say it now – buying a subscription or just some in-game money makes it easier to get started (and customize your character – more on that later), but is it NOT necessary. I have been in-world for over six years now, and have spent barely $20 of real-world money.
Saying “the” girl is somewhat misleading, as there is no one “girl” in SL. Avatars can be customized to extreme degrees and as I said before, you can literally be anything (or anyone) you want. The avatar you get as default is a human male/female with a rather standard look, but you are free to alter this in any way that you like. The customization options you get are extensive, to say the least; you can alter everything from eyebrow height to calf thickness and eye shape to breast size. However, even with the longest periods of customization of the default avatar, they still look a little bland. This is where the other part of character customization comes in: attachments.
Attachments are add-ons to your character that can be bought from various vendors in return for L$. “Attachments” is a boring word, but it covers practically anything you can conceive to attach to your character; everything from bodyparts (hair, eyes, muscles, breasts, genitalia) and full-body skins to clothes and accessories (hairbands, earrings, glasses, rings etc). With enough time and L$, you can truly make your character your own – musclebound superhero, robotic cybergirl or (like yours truly) a rather well endowed futagirl.
Graphics and the game world itself are at once SL’s biggest strength and it’s biggest failing. The graphics of the simulator scale very well, and will run on everything from an old laptop to a high-end gaming PC. The main limitation of the simulator, though, is the textures. All in-world textures are uploaded by users, so there are sometimes jarring discrepancies in quality. Some areas are VERY high quality; lush, dark jungles or sunny beaches with rich textures and items, while other places are much more basic.
The lighting of the region you are in is also worth nothing. Each region has a day/night cycle, but this can be overridden by the user if they wish. All lighting is done per-viewer, so for example you can see your environment as a midday beach scene, while a friend sees it as a dusk BBQ next to the sea.
However, given the scope of the world, there is a lack of real-world physics. Nothing has any weight (which will be a bonus to sizelovers out there), and things such as water tend to be animated, so while things like liquids (OK, yes, cumshots as well) are there, some imagination needs to be employed when it comes to their movement and err “splashing”.
Also while good (on average better than some sex games like Sexvilla, Artificial Girl or 3DXChat), the graphics are not GREAT; everything is generated in real-time, so don’t expect levels of detail like the creations by Supro, Miro, Blackadder etc. Overall, the graphics are of good enough quality to enjoy your experience and not detract from your experience in the “world”
So, how do you get started? Firstly, you need an account. This is done via the Second Life website, where you can register your character and give them a name. Next, you need a client (or “viewer” as Linden Labs call it) to connect to the world (or “grid” as it’s called). The default and official viewer is available from the Second Life website, but there are others (e.g Firestorm*) available too.
The experience itself is controlled however you want it to be; the default view of your character is 3rd person from behind, but you can change it to any view you like thanks to the movable camera. Character control is taken care of in a few ways. Firstly, you can use the classic arrow keys to walk/fly around. Interaction with the world is done by left or right-clicking objects (left selects/uses, right bring up options). You will also eventually have a (number of) on-screen HUDs for your various addons to your avatar (e.g. breasts, animations etc) that are another click-for-effect affair. (If you’ve played any kind of MMO game in the past few years, you’ll pickup the controls quickly). Interacting with other characters is don via on-screen text chat and/or animations or if you can stand it, voice chat.
When you first start, you arrive with a basic avatar in the newbie zone, with a plethora of guides and tutorials on how to do things. As this is a 3DX review, I’m going to skip these (as you’re all intelligent and can read) and we’ll skip ahead a little. As with most situations where people have a little anonymity in a freeform/sandbox areas, the question asked after “What can I make?” and “What can I destroy?” is “What can I have sex with?” Sex, as you may have guessed, is a big business in Second Life, with literally every conceivable (note:legal!) fantasy catered for somewhere. If you can think of it, you will be able to find an area, group or partner willing to indulge too.
This, again, is the strength of a sandbox. You are free to do quite literally anything you like in the world. Be the aforementioned superhero, play an RPG/shooter, work in a hospital, be a tourist and explore famous artworks, make a store and sell items you create…or just have a lot of sex. Again, since this is a 3DX review, we’ll focus on the naughtiness. Find a willing partner (friend, stranger, doesn’t really matter!) and you will be able to engage in whatever type of naughtiness you want in nearly every position imaginable (someone, somewhere will have thought of it and added it to a sexpose).
Thanks to the free camera, you will also be able view it from absolutely any angle – the only limitations here are finding someone to do them with, and how long you will take to try them all.
This is where lies the game’s biggest strength and weakness (for purposes of this review). As I said before, in one way or another, every fetish you could think of is covered somewhere in the gameworld. At the basic level you can masturbate solo, try some toys, plug yourself into a sex machine, or engage in the classic one-on-one sex scene. But then how about a threesome? A foursome? Five-way? Six-way gangbang? All covered. At the center of it all is the poseballs that have the positions attached to them, usually included with furniture, and allow two avatars to “interact”. Anywhere that you find these, you will either be able to have sex, or stick around long enough and someone may come and put on a show. The positions attached to these poseballs vary depending on the furniture, owner etc, but nearly all now have the standard repertoire of missionary, anal, deepthroats, titfucks, and cum-coatings. Most of the sex poses also cause secondary reactions from your character – a good reverse cowgirl will make them roll they head back in pleasure, while a deep anal drilling will make their jaw drop and writhe in orgasm. Some of the more luxurious items also include sounds for their scenes. Most of these seem to be clips from various adult entertainment films, which will either enhance the experience for you, or prove deeply annoying and distracting. Fortunately, they can be turned off!
For the scenes themselves, it is entirely possible avatars to silently click on poses and watch for a time until one to both get off and leave. But that, frankly, is boring! You will have much, much more fun if get involved, get into character and write yourself a story. Why just have silent sex in a bed when you can engage with your partner and write a detailed, lewd tale where two lovers fuck like crazy in a sauna, bringing each other to one crashing orgasm after another until both parties are a quivering, soaked and satisfied mess…and then they are just so crazy for each other that they start again!
The fun is ultimately limited by how descriptive you can be!
There’s no denying it, Second Life is a complex beast to get into. It’s ever-evolving, – even after six years I’m still getting the hang of it – but it is worth every second of effort you put in. As a “game” it’s naturally limited by its sandbox mechanics – it tries to do everything, and so fails on some things. There are better MMO games out there for sure, but I have not yet seen anything (and I have looked at many things for years) that can match the experience of SL if you meet people with similar interests or have the time and effort invested.
Those wanting a quick “get off” experience are catered for, just do something solo with your character, or go visit in-world galleries of artwork (I’ve seen buildings filld with 3DX work, FDD girls, mainstream porn, you name it.) For those who want to put the time and effort in to being creative, making friends, creating a character and having some unrealistic fantasies fulfilled, it’s a near-essential experience.
Play Second Life now!