Second Life Vocab for Complete Beginners

Like many people, I’ve been trying to start out and explore Second Life and see what educational possibilities I can find. The TCC 2007 “Ubiquitous Learning” conference was a great introduction. They expected many of us to be complete beginners, so they provided lots of assistance during the preconference orientation, including lots of free stuff. It was also reassuring to me to have the avatar names of several people who could help me if I got stuck anywhere in world.

I did have one small problem though: sometimes I got lost in the vocabulary. I’m sure you can find better Second Life glossaries out there, but these are some of the words I heard repeatedly. I discovered that I couldn’t really follow the conversations without knowing these terms.

Avatar: Your identity in Second Life. Avatars provide self-expression and allow you to play roles. (OK, I did know this word before, and I did know this use of it through other games. It’s crucial to understand though.)

Machinima: Video made in a virtual 3D game environment. (Thanks to Moo for the clarification.)

Prim: Short for primitives, the basic building blocks in Second Life. I have “prim hair” with several different parts; my hair moves like I constantly have a breeze around my head. 🙂

Rez: Make something materialize or render in Second Life. (It’s a reference to Tron, from what I’ve been told.)

Sandbox: Places where you can experiment. You can build objects in a sandbox if you don’t own any land, but they can’t stay there permanently.

SLURL: Second Life URL. Just like a link to a web URL will take you to a specific web page, a SLURL is a link that will take you to a specific location in Second Life.

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