Your Second Life Account and Browser
Getting a Second Life Account
You can register for a free Second Life account from the Second Life web site: https://join.secondlife.com/?lang=en-US.. To register you need only select a user name and a password and give a valid Email address. Your SL user name can be anything you like (unless somebody else has selected the same combination). Select your name with some care because it will become your Second Life identity and you cannot change it without opening a new account. You may be asked to give your birth date to verify that you are over 16 and therefore allowed on the Main Grid. You will receive an Email verifying your account. Depending on your mail client, this can take anywhere from seconds to days. However, if you do not receive immediate verification, try logging in to Second Life, using your user name and password.
The Second Life Viewer
The Second Life Viewer or browser can be downloaded free at the following URL: http://secondlife.com/support/downloads.php. Just select the version appropriate for your computer and then follow the instructions. You will be able to download the viewer only if your computer can run the program. You can also check the system requirements for the program by clicking on the “System Requirements” button on the download page.
Second Life Orientation
After your account has been verified and you have access to the Second Life viewer, go directly to one of the orientation locations described below or to Genome Island.
The SciLands provides a brief and straightforward orientation experience that can get a new user up and running very quickly. The SciLands Orientation Walkway is located at: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SciLands/200/11/27. Just read the signs and follow the directions to complete the orientation. At the end of the walkway is a link to a large map of the SciLands. In the SciLands plaza, you will also find stations instructing you in additional Second Life skills. You can go through the orientation process in about 30 minutes, or just follow the instructions in the next sections.
There is also a more elaborate, but very attractive new Orientation Island recently put up by the New Media Center (http://slurl.com/secondlife/NMC%20Orientation/128/128/38). This is a recreation of San Francisco, and you might enjoy this more leisurely introduction to the Second Life Experience.
To navigate directly to Genome Island, use the following SLURL (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Genome/118/145/53)