Tutorials > Vocabulary

Second Life Vocabulary

Also see Common Abbreviations (Official Second Life Knowledge Base)

Alt -- Alternate Avatar. Some people in Second Life have more than one account and thus more than one avatar. The avatar a person uses the most is called the "Main" avatar, while the other avatars are the person's "Alts".


Alt-Click (Alt-Zoom) -- See also Camming. A way to look closely at an object. Hold the ALT button on your keyboard (Command on a Mac) and then click the left mouse button on a location on your screen. This will focus your camera on that spot. Hold down both ALT and the left mouse button, and then move your mouse around the table to zoom in and out or to pan around the focus point.


Animation Override (AO) -- An object that contains various animations for walking, sitting, standing, and other common avatar movements. When you attach this object, it will use the AO animations for those movements rather than the default animations.


Avatar (Av, Avie) -- The digital representation of a person in Second Life. Also used to refer to the complete set of items that results in the look of an avatar, for example "I usually look human, but I also have a robot avatar I wear sometimes".


Camming -- To look around a Second Life location using your camera controls rather than by walking or flying close to the objects or avatars at the location.


Chat (Open Chat, Local Chat, Public Chat, Text Chat) -- Speaking in text in public by typing into the Chat bar at the bottom of your SL viewer or in the Local Chat tab in the Communicate window. Avatars that are within 20 meters of you will be able to "hear" what you say.


Derez -- see Rez


Freebie -- Many content creators in SL offer items for free or for a low price (typically L$1) as a service or as a promotion for their businesses.


Grid -- The complete set of locations in Second Life, that is the entire Second Life platform, is referred to as "the grid".


Griefer/Griefing -- A person who harasses other people for the purpose of making them uncomfortable or to reduce their enjoyment of Second Life. This can be in the form of verbal harassment or in placing large, unwanted, often offensive, objects in the area. Remember that griefers want you to be upset, so trying not to be thwarts their purpose. See also Safe Travels in Second Life.


Groups -- Linden Lab has provided the means for people to be connected through common interests. Groups also provide communication among group members through group chat (a form of group instant message) and group notices, and allow for group object or group land permissions. A group is also the source for words you see above the name of an avatar. For more see Groups in the Official Knowledge Base


HUD -- (Heads-up Display) An object that attaches to your viewer screen so that you can see it, but others cannot. A HUD can be an interactive object that lets you control a gadget, or it can be an information display.


Infohub (Welcome Area) -- Linden-owned locations that are gathering spaces and also places where new Residents can first arrive after leaving Help Island. These places can be interesting, chaotic, and crowded.


Instant Message (IM) -- A means for speaking in private with one or a group of people. Also, the way to communicate with someone whose avatar is not near you.


Inventory -- The collection of all of the items you own. When you click the Inventory button in your viewer, you see "My Inventory", which is all of the things you've acquired since you joined SL, and "Library", which is the set of default items provided by Linden Lab. See also Inventory in the Official Knowledge Base.


Inworld -- 1) Anything that takes place within the virtual environment of Second Life. 2) The state of being logged into Second Life.


L$ (lindens) -- A Linden dollar is the virtual currency used in Second Life. Not to be confused with "Lindens", which refers to the staff of Linden Lab, whose avatars all have the last name of Linden.


Lag -- When Second Life performs in a less than optimal way. This can appear in the form of objects not appearing or looking gray or fuzzy, in your avatar not being able to move easily, in text chat taking a long time to appear, or in many other ways. Lag also comes from a variety of causes. See the Official discussion of lag.


Landmark (LM) -- (also see SLURL) Similar to a bookmark for a web page, a landmark is an item in your Inventory that lets you teleport directly to a location.


LL (Linden Lab) -- The company that created, develops, and manages Second Life.


Machinima -- Movies/video created in a game or virtual world.


Mouselook -- A first-person camera view, from your avatar's point of view. Used for some games that your avatar can play (for example, an inworld pinball machine), for weapons (for example, a snowball shooter), or for an enhanced experience of an environment or simulation.


Newbie -- (popular usage) A newcomer to Second Life; a resident who has joined for a relatively short period of time and/or is not familiar with Second Life's nuances.


Notecard -- A small text file within Second Life. You can embed pictures, landmarks, and even objects inside notecards.


Primitive/Prim -- The basic building block of Second Life, also called a 'prim'. All in-world objects are constructed from primitives. A prim is a basic shape (such as a box, sphere, cylinder, etc.) that can be manipulated, stretched, cut, twisted, hollowed, and otherwise mangled into various forms. A builder can link a collection of prims together to form one cohesive object. The math works out to 15,000 prims for each 65,536 m2. So for example, a 512 m2 parcel has 117 prims, a 4096 m2 parcel has 937.


Region -- A named area within Second Life, also commonly referred to as a simulator or a sim. Second Life is divided into square regions, each 256m on a side and assigned a name. The regions are aligned and assembled so that the borders between them are, for all intents and purposes, seamless. You can stand a one side of a region border, with your friend on the other. Despite the fact that the two of you are in different regions, you can chat freely, throw a baseball across, even drive a car back and forth, without interruption. Current limit to a region is of 65536 m2 (256m x 256m)


Relog -- to log out and to log back in right away.


Rez -- (commonly attributed to the movie 'Tron') 1) To bring an object into 3d-space within Second Life. This is usually done by dragging the object from inventory into the world. 2) To create a new primitive in Second Life through the building tools.


RL (Real Life) -- Related to the activities in the physical world of the human behind the avatar.


Sim -- see Region


SLURL -- a link you can click on that takes you to a particular place in SL. This link will work in a web browser and will also work in the SL viewer in the Local Chat window or in an IM window.


Teleport (TP) -- To instantly travel to a location (as opposed to manually walking or flying there). Residents can teleport via the map, with landmarks, or through invitations given by other residents.


Texture -- A graphics file that is placed on the face of an object to give it a particular appearance.


Viewer -- Software with which to connect to and interact in a virtual world such as Second Life.


Voice -- Voice Chat. Using a microphone, to speak using one's real life voice to communicate with others in Second Life.


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