New LL Orientation Islands’ Bait and Switch

by Pixeleen Mistral on 25/02/07 at 2:44 pm

Brent Linden promises cut-rate First Land – did he miss the first land discontinued memo?

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk

Helpful exhibit explains all about the First Land you cannot buy

New citizens joining the metaverse this weekend are being presented with revamped basic training on the noobie-only orientation islands. Here brave metaverse settlers learn how to move, kill small animals with vehicles, chat, and buy clothes. There is even the promise of thrilling activities in SL such as sitting in high school-style seats looking at a blackboard. Whootzers!

However, the new orientation island already seems to be out of date – as it explains to new residents that they qualify for cut-rate “first land”. Unfortunately the low-cost first land program was discontinued almost a week ago – so some new residents might be left with a bait and switch feeling. Perhaps Brent Linden was pre-occupied or didn’t want to throw away his first land exhibit? Certainly this is another example of the care and planning that the Linden game gods put into their fictional universe.

Brent’s First Land notecard for noobies

The new Orientation Island makes heavy use of a Heads Up Display to extend the normal Second Life client interface and guide noobies through those first tentative steps leading toward joining the metaversal society with thrilling promises of fantastic cybersex sessions educational activities. There are 4 major activity areas to master and the HUD tracks how many you have completed. This must be that game-based learning I keep hearing about.


At one point in the orientation session, Governor Linden pays new avatars 1 L$ which can then be used to purchase a chainmail shirt. At least one new resident got a surprisingly accurate taste of virtual commerce when it took 5 minutes and two tries to buy the chainmail shirt.

Governor Linden gives noobies a L$1 clothing allowance…

…but it can be hard to spend money

What will novices make of messages such as “Money transfer denied because request was stale”?

On the other hand, to survive residents need to get used to lag and those pregnant pauses before objects appear – so the training seems to advantage the sort of high tech stoic that can thrive in SL.


The training on moving in the world includes the chance to drive a steamroller and squash a virtual armadillo. We were left to wonder if this is another contribution from the Texas server facility people – and will the virtual animal rights crowd have any problem with institutionalizing armadillo carnage?

Appearance training also led me to wonder if perhaps someone might proofread some of those message boxes. While trying to rez a “*Lash Beanie Too* (for girls)” an odd message appeared – but the beanie didn’t. “Cannot wear that item since the complete information set it not available”. I suppose it is better to wait then get an incomplete information set – whatever that means.


In the search training we are taught that there are no politics in Second Life – this comes as part of an exercise in using the Search tool to look for events. To test that you have managed to use the search tool there is a quiz – and the correct answer is that politics is one category of event that does not exist in SL. We’ll need to talk with Le Pen’s people about that.

Political events do not exist in SL

After looking over the new orientation island I wondered if the Lindens have a subtle plan to manage Second Life’s growth. If people are arriving too fast, will they add more virtual high school classroom seating? Perhaps a dentist office waiting room could be added as well to handle the overflow from the classroom? With these sorts of events to look forward to, any overpopulation problems will take care of themselves soon enough. Anybody want to buy a used chainmail shirt for 1 L$ ?

Linden Lab’s vision for the metaverse?

7 Responses to “New LL Orientation Islands’ Bait and Switch”

  1. Prokofy Neva

    Feb 25th, 2007

    Yes, another appropriate meme from the destructive children in the sandbox called "The Lindens".

    And "No politics please, We're Lindens."

  2. Curious Rousselot

    Feb 25th, 2007

    Where is my virtual P.E.T.A. tee-shirt?

  3. Cocoanut Koala

    Feb 25th, 2007

    Haha that kills me. Apparently “playing politics” is the only reason anyone ever gets sacked from LL. It’s Philip’s only rule – don’t play politics.

    And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is PHILIP’S politics. Therefore, you can play no politics but Philip’s!

    I’m sure people play politics all the time at LL. What the rule means, then, is don’t play politics in a way that Philip catches you doing it. Now that creates some REALLY devious politics for you!

    Well, what do I know. I don’t work there. That’s just what it seems like to me from what I’ve read. That, and the fact that I have never encountered any group of people anywhere which doesn’t play politics.

    As for the behind-the-times notecards, running around updating all one’s notecards is definitely not a task I enjoy.

    I doubt any Lindens enjoy it either. And since Linden employees are never told what to do, and always choose what they would like to do, I think it’s probably pretty easy for these things to slip through the cracks.

    I have to force myself to do them, but then – I do have a boss to answer to (me). You’ll notice that the various written things from LL are always way behind the times.


  4. Cocoanut Koala

    Feb 25th, 2007

    Oh yes, and that! I can’t say I’m crazy about the squashed armidillo thing. Guess I’m a little humor-impaired in that area.


  5. Michael Seraph

    Feb 25th, 2007

    The First Land issue still pops up when I buy land. I get a message saying that this is the first time I’ve bought land and that the parcel I’m buying isn’t a First Land Parcel. It’s funny. I’ve bought and sold a lot of land over the last two years, including my original First Land. Why the software tells me now that I’m eligible for First Land after the program has been discontinued is a mystery to me.

  6. 6-months old resident

    Feb 26th, 2007

    National Affairs desk really needs a new Humor Consultant. The actual one doesn’t do a good job for the SL Herald.

    (yeah, I’m not a good english speaker, excuse me)

  7. Zetaphor Tengu

    Feb 28th, 2007

    Bah to the new Orientation Island, I say we keep the one with the big signs, with the green hand below bearing a notecard. That way more people will be discouraged to sign up, and it may slow down the newb masses. And the ones that do get through, then we can filter them out ourselves. I would not want a trained newb coming into SL, as now he knows how to use his inventory, and can start shooting guns and dropping penises even faster! I often say that someone needs to hack the SL signup page, make it reroute to the There signup.

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