British Military in Second Life
With an eye to the future of the military community website, the good / bad people at ARRSE decided to try an experiment with the latest internet wonderland - the virtual online world of Second Life and in early 2007 the very impressive although somewhat empty RnR island was available for the world's internet users to visit, walk around.. and hopefully build something useful or at least amusing. Which in due course they did (see the photos).
|Bull riding outside the NAAFI Disco|
The idea was to form a centre point for the British Military in Second Life although exactly how that would happen didn't really feature in the great plan - 'Build it and they will come' was about as far as it went.
The value of Second Life is still debatable. Many view it as just a game, which it's not, and many as just glorified chat, which may be closer to the truth. Conceptually it is little different from 'normal' ARRSE - a virtual user representing the real you in a virtual community, although in reality... OK, it's totally different. It does seem inevitable though that as technology and internet connection speed improve, community site users will want a more engrossing and natural environment than the static text only forums and chat of sites like the Army Rumour Service and Rum Ration.
Thanks to some extremely hard work by the Second Life Users, particularly Minxy, Boney_M and Nehustan Coronet, the island has grown as is today quite incredible. Seriously if you haven't seen this or Second Life then download the (free) SL software, create a free account and see what the fuss is about.
|RnR Island memorial|
The island now has fighting (a so-called combat sim), a FIBUA village (or whatever they're called these days), a memorial area, parade ground, skydiving, a nightclub, kart racing and plenty of other wierd shit.
There are of course problems. The lag from the UK to the server in California causes problems and Second Life itself is by nature experimental so there are plenty of outages and software upgrades needed, and the software doesn't work on some older PCs. All of this will improve with time and the aim is to have the island hosted in the UK as soon as SL supports this.
|RnR Island Sangar (why? no idea!)|
Where from here? I (Good CO) would like to see the island put to some active positive use - for instance virtual recruiting., i.e. recruiting for the real world but done via a virtual Army recruitment office in SL. This is after all where plenty of the soldiers of the future spend their time!
|RnR Island Fibua village|
Joining Second Life
Joining Second Life is easy. All you require is a broadband internet connection and a compatible computer. There are notes on compatible hardware on the Second Life website.
You will be required to complete a software download (31mb file) and install the software on your computer. The first time you run the software, you are asked whether you want to creat an account. Following the onscreen prompts you can chose your Second Life name and create your account. You can also create an account on the SL website.
Once your online, you can complete a period of SL training. The advantage of this is that at the end of the training (which covers the basics of SL) you are given 250 Linden Dollars which is the in world currency.
Once your joined and in world you can find the Arrse Island in a couple of ways. Click on Map at the bottom of your screen. Use the map search to search for RnR Island, once the Island has been found, click the teleport function to arrive.
You can also use the search button, and search for RnR Island which will take you to the Island search page. You can then teleport in from there.
If you have any problems at all, please post a message in the Arrse SL Forum.
Above all enjoy your time on SL.
RnR Island has a wide range of facilities including:
RnR Island on Second Life.
Second Life Board on ARRSE.