Each server instance runs a physics simulation to manage the collisions and interactions of all objects in that region. Objects can be nonphysical and non-moving, or actively physical and movable. Complex shapes may be linked together in groups of up to separate primitives.
Additionally, each player's avatar is treated as a physical object so that it may interact with physical objects in the world. Cory Ondrejka , former CTO  of Second Life , stated in that a while after everything has been standardized, both the client and the server will be released as free and open source software. In January , OpenSimulator was founded as an open-source simulator project. The aim of this project is to develop a full open-source server software for Second Life clients.
In , there were some alternative grids  using OpenSimulator. Second Life residents express themselves creatively through virtual world adaptations of art exhibits, live music,  live theater  and machinima ,  as well as other art forms. A wide variety of recreational activities, both competitive and non-competitive, take place on the Second Life Grid, including both traditional sports and video game-like scenarios. Second Life is used as a platform for education by many institutions, such as colleges, universities, libraries and government entities.
Since , the University of San Martin de Porres of Peru  has been developing Second Life prototypes of Peruvian archeological buildings, and training teachers for this new paradigm of education.
The West Virginia University WVU Department of Special Education has used Second Life widely in education, and it provided teaching certification and certificates of degree in seven different distance education programs. The Maldives was the first country to open an embassy in Second Life. In May ,  Sweden became the second country to open an embassy in Second Life.
Run by the Swedish Institute , the embassy serves to promote Sweden's image and culture, rather than providing any real or virtual services.
The project is officially supported by Ministry of Diaspora of Serbian Government. SL Israel was inaugurated in January in an effort to showcase Israel to a global audience, though without any connection to official Israeli diplomatic channels. Malta and Djibouti are also planning to open virtual missions in Second Life. Religious organizations have also begun to open virtual meeting places within Second Life. In early , LifeChurch. The Egyptian-owned news website Islam Online has purchased land in Second Life to allow Muslims and non-Muslims alike to perform the ritual of Hajj in virtual reality form, obtaining experience before actually making the pilgrimage to Mecca in person.
Second Life also offers several groups that cater to the needs and interests of humanists , atheists , agnostics , and freethinkers. One of the most active groups is SL Humanism which has been holding weekly discussion meetings inside Second Life every Sunday since Relationships are common in Second Life , including some couples who have married online. In addition, sex is often encountered. Second Life relationships have been taken from virtual online relationships into personal, real-world relationships.
Booperkit Moseley and Shukran Fahid were possibly the first couple to meet in Second Life and then marry in real life. Booperkit travelled to the United States to meet Shukran and he returned to England with her after one week. They married in , had twin boys in , and are still married. Some couples meet online, form friendships, and eventually move to finding one another in the real world. Relationships in virtual worlds have an added dimension compared to other social media, because avatars give a feeling of proximity making the voyeur experience more intense than simply a textual encounter.
The complexities of those encounters depend on the engagement levels of the people behind the avatars, whether they are engaging Disassociatively entertainment only , Immersively as if the avatar was them , or Augmentatively meaning they engage for a real-life purpose. Second Life is used for scientific research, collaboration, and data visualization. Second Life can be a real-time, immersive social space for people including those with physical or mental disabilities that impair their first lives, who often find comfort and security interacting through anonymous avatars.
There are internet radio providers that offer these services or select from a list compiled by Lindal Kidd and is updated whenever by whoever as there's no officiant for it. At the time of this writing, media on a prim MOAP is not a reliable enough way of displaying media and such, sites listed work best with Parcel Media or Parcel Audio. Second Life gives companies the option to create virtual workplaces to allow employees to virtually meet, hold events, practice any kind of corporate communications, conduct training sessions in 3D immersive virtual learning environment , simulate business processes, and prototype new products.
Second Life has seen a number of controversies, as well. Issues range from the technical budgeting of server resources , to moral pornography , to legal legal position of the Linden Dollar , Bragg v. Linden Lab.
Security issues have also been a concern. In the past, large portions of the Second Life economy consisted of businesses that are regulated or banned. Changes to Second Life ' s Terms of Service in this regard have largely had the purpose of bringing activity within Second Life into compliance with various international laws, even though the person running the business may be in full compliance with the law in their own country.
On July 26, , Linden Lab announced a ban on in-world gambling due to federal and state regulations on Internet gambling that could affect Linden Lab if it was permitted to continue. The ban was immediately met with in-world protests. On Tuesday, January 8, Linden Lab announced the upcoming prohibition of payment of fixed interest on cash deposits in unregulated banking activities in-world. Second Life has suffered from difficulties related to system instability.
These include increased system latency, and intermittent client crashes. However, some faults are caused by the system's use of an "asset server" cluster, on which the actual data governing objects is stored separately from the areas of the world and the avatars that use those objects. The communication between the main servers and the asset cluster appears to constitute a bottleneck which frequently causes problems.
Another problem is inventory loss,    in which items in a user's inventory, including those which have been paid for, can disappear without warning or permanently enter a state where they will fail to appear in-world when requested giving an "object missing from database" error. Linden Lab offers no compensation for items that are lost in this way, although a policy change instituted in allows accounts to file support tickets when inventory loss occurs.
Many in-world businesses will attempt to compensate for this or restore items, although they are under no obligation to do so and not all are able to do so. A recent change in how the company handles items which have "lost their parent directory" means that inventory loss is much less of a problem and resolves faster than in recent years. Second Life functions by streaming all data to the user live over the Internet with minimal local caching of frequently used data. Due to the proprietary communications protocols, it is not possible to use a network proxy service to reduce network load when many people are all using the same location, such as when used for group activities in a school or business.
Although Second Life ' s client and server incorporate digital rights management technology, the visual data of an object must ultimately be sent to the client in order for it to be drawn; thus unofficial third-party clients can bypass them. One such program, CopyBot , was developed in as a debugging tool to enable objects to be backed up, but was immediately hijacked for use in copying objects; additionally, programs that generally attack client-side processing of data, such as GLIntercept , can copy certain pieces of data.
Linden Lab may ban a user who is observed using CopyBot or a similar client, but it will not ban a user simply for uploading or even selling copied content; in this case, Linden Lab's enforcement of intellectual property law is limited to that required by the "safe harbor" provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act , which requires filing a real-life lawsuit.
Although a few high-profile businesses in Second Life have filed such lawsuits,      none of the cases filed to date have gone to trial, and most have been dismissed pursuant to a settlement agreement reached between the parties. As a result, many Second Life businesses and their intellectual property remains effectively unprotected.
Another case where settlement and dismissal was gained may be found in the matter of Eros, LLC v. Linden Research, Inc. As of October 7, , the case was transferred to private mediation and the plaintiffs filed for dismissal of charges on March 15, There have also been issues with the use of false DMCA takedown notices. In addition, the technical process of removal and re-instatement of content on Second Life is subject to failure which can result in content becoming unusable to its owner.
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This does not effectively prevent content theft; a thief who is subject to a DMCA takedown notice will not challenge it, but will simply create a new account and re-upload the content, often releasing it with all permissions available to maximize propagation out of spite. Most users in the world as paying, private individuals are, likewise, effectively unprotected. Common forms of fraud taking place in-world include bogus investment and pyramid schemes, fake or hacked vendors, and failure to honor land rental agreements.
A group of virtual landowners online have filed a class action lawsuit against the company, claiming the company broke the law when it rescinded their ownership rights.
The plaintiffs say a change in the terms of service forced them to either accept new terms that rescinded their virtual property ownership rights, or else be locked out of the site. The Emerald client was developed by a group of users based on an open-source branch of the Snowglobe viewer. Several groups alleged that the Emerald viewer contained Trojan code which tracked user details and demographics in a way that the developers could later recover via in-world logging scripts , one of these groups was banned from Second Life by Linden Lab after publishing their discovery.
In response, Linden Lab revoked Emerald's third-party viewer approval and permanently banned several of Emerald's developers. The Phoenix team are now the developers behind Firestorm Viewer and work closely alongside Linden Lab, holding bi-weekly joint meetings with all third party viewers. Linden Lab has twice, in and , banned a California educational institution, Woodbury University , from having a representation within Second Life.
On April 20, , four simulators belonging to the university were deleted and the accounts of several students and professors terminated, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. Professor Edward Clift, Dean of the School of Media, Culture and Design at Woodbury University, told The Chronicle of Higher Education that their campus "was a living, breathing campus in Second Life ", including educational spaces designed mostly by students, such as a mock representation of the former Soviet Union and a replica of the Berlin Wall.
According to Professor Clift, the virtual campus did not "conform to what Linden Lab wanted a campus to be. The article in The Chronicle of Higher Education concluded with: "Meanwhile, many people in Second Life expressed on blogs that they were glad to see the virtual campus go, arguing that it had been a haven for troublemakers in the virtual world.
Austin Kleon. Virtual goods include buildings, vehicles, devices of all kinds, animations, clothing, skin, hair, jewelry, flora and fauna , and works of art. Librarian view Catkey: Second Life has seen a number of controversies, as well. James Au provided some highlights. Laura Tiffany.
In , the newspaper The Alphaville Herald , founded and edited by the philosopher Peter Ludlow , migrated to Second Life , and in the following years the newspaper played a prominent role in reporting on Second Life and in the public discussion of the game. According to scholars Constantinescu and Decu, The Alphaville Herald was the first "virtual free press," pioneering mass communication in virtual worlds. Since its debut in , Second Life has been referred to by various popular culture mediums, including literature, television, film and music.