Anti-Aliased: The reason why you hate Second Life and a few ways to fix that

Second Life gets a really bad rap from the MMO community that's largely undeserved. I get to hear all of these slams like it's a usless waste of data, there's nothing to do, it's a bunch of sex sims, and how I should work on my "first life" before my Second Life. Har, har, har.

But, like I said at the opening of this column, Second Life doesn't deserve those punches to the gut. The world of SL is pretty vast and has much to offer any gamer, regardless of what they like. It's important to remember that this system is not a game. It has no objectives and no overt goals, but it does have an unlimited supply of imagination and creative possibilities. It's not a place of "serious business," because something that's fun shouldn't be taken quite that harshly. Sure, you can make money, but you guys want to have fun, right?

So let's talk about Second Life, the reason the masses hate the system, and how you can find something enjoyable inside of "the grid" even if you've tried it before and got some negative first impressions.
The reason why you hate Second Life, and why so many gamers give it a bad rap

It's not the furries, the sex sims, the avatar customization, or the graphics. Most of the reasons given for hating Second Life are surprisingly only the tip of the iceberg. These are the reasons that simply cap someone's disgust for the system, but they aren't the underlying cause.

The underlying cause is Second Life doesn't open itself up to you. It doesn't hand you everything on a silver platter and tell you where to go next. It presents you with a world, and it lets you to your own devices, tutorial be damned. The system requires the user to take the initiative -- something many gamers simply don't want to do anymore in this day of QuestHelper and countless wikis.

"What I'm trying to get at here is that there is something for you in Second Life, because there are other people like you who love the same thing.

This lack of initiative makes the system unapproachable to some as it's too overwhelming. It also spurs many of the problems that players use to dislike the system. Don't like avatar customization? You most likely didn't want to spend the time to learn the UI. Ended up in a furry sim or some sort of sex sim? You most likely didn't know what you wanted to really do in SL.

Yet, it's this lack of a straight path that makes Second Life so infinitely endless. It's one of the few things that I've "stuck with" casually for over 5 years. Sure, sometimes I wasn't logged in for months on end, but when I needed something from it I could easily jump in and grab it without any worries. There are countless communities and sims for pretty much everything you could ever love. What I'm trying to get at here is that there is something for you in Second Life, because there are other people like you who love the same thing.

So how can I enjoy Second Life, even if I hated it before?

It's actually not that hard! While I have a couple tips for newcomers and former players alike, they all have the same theme tucked away inside of them -- take initiative. Don't let Second Life come to you, go out and tackle Second Life.

Or, to put it another way, treat it like a tool and not a video game. Look upon it like you would the Internet. Out inside of Second Life, just like the internet, is the stuff you like to engage with. You just have to take the time to find it. It's the internet, only visual.

This article was originally published on Massively.