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Second Life is a sandbox MMORPG heavy on user customization, or a world sim-meets-3D-chat-program, or the Internet's largest alternative-digi-porn-emporium. No matter which of the three definitions you prefer, it's generally agreed upon that Second Life is not a game or even a work of fiction so much as it is a simulation of Real Life made much more interesting. There is no story line and no goals, instead putting an emphasis on chatroom-like conversations with friends and buying virtual property. It's the sort of environment where a hacker attack involves self-replicating spheres penises spreading across the biosphere, and banned users find themselves in an endless corn-field with only a TV showing a promo for Linden Lab, the company behind Second Life. And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack. You may find yourself standing beneath a tree on which money grows. You may find yourself pole-dancing while what can only be described as a sentient light-show stuffs cash into your G-string. You may say to yourself, "Why am I wearing this beautiful house?". You may say to yourself, "Why am I running through the junkyard in a swimsuit?".

It may be the dawn of The Metaverse in Real Life. Also a bit uncanny-valleyish, and often disturbing in a very sexy way. Or sexy in a very disturbing way.

(There was also a cordoned-off area for teens that was merged with the adult grid in early 2011.)

OpenSimulator is intended to be an open-source alternative.

Tropes used in Second Life include:
  • An Interior Designer Is You: You also get to play architect.
  • Attractive Bent Gender: Just because you can.
    • Your choice of gender only affects which avatar you're wearing when you log in the first time. After that, you can easily switch to a different body of whatever gender you prefer as often as you want. You start with several of both genders.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The default skins for avatars are non-detailed, although custom skins and umm... attachments are readily available.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Averted. While players are expected to buy things with real money, there's no real "progress" to be made, making the victory part of the trope moot.
    • Twice averted: It's all too easy to make more than you spend, or spend only from freebies for freebies.
    • If you're skilled enough, Second Life can become your primary income source. This lead to Linden Labs having to rethink a number of their policies once they realized they were managing a real economy.
  • Collectible Card Game: Second Life has its own, Logos and yes you can play it on motorcycles!
  • Controllable Helplessness: RLV was designed with pretty much this in mind. Also crosses over with Videogame Perversity Potential/Videogame Cruelty Potential in that whoever holds the key to your restraints chooses exactly how long you stay helpless.
  • Digital Avatar: While having avatars is pretty universal to MMO settings, Second Life is renowned for the lengths and variety to which avatars can be crafted and customized, given its Metaverse inspirations of which the tropes share the same codifier.
  • Everyone Is Bi: More true than you think.
  • Flash Step : You can buy a device that teleports you several feet in the direction you want to go, allows you to go through walls and effectively fly in areas where you are forbidden to fly. (Just flash step upwards.)
  • Freud Was Right: Zindra.
    • The game in general. You can do literally whatever you want in this game. What's the first thing most people do? Why, use it to have sex, of course!
  • The Funday Pawpet Show: A virtual theatre was built for Second Lifers to watch the show in game
  • Furry Fandom: A sizable chunk of the fanbase. Some are attracted by the degree of customization possible with avatars, some got into the fandom through the game, and a vocal minority are interested in what the game is famous for.
    • In fact, there have been studies to indicate that that the Furry Fandom is closest thing the game has to an ethnic minority, due to the fact that they are readily identifiable and usually only chill with each other.
  • Gainaxing: the 2.6.3 update implements this as an option.
    • Specifically, it makes the parts of your avatar that are normally jiggly in real life jiggle on your avatar. It just so happens to include this trope but also bellies and other places that accumulate noticeably jiggly fat.
    • If one sets the sliders to ridiculous settings, breasts and other body parts can spontaneously jiggle for several seconds without stopping.
  • Griefer: Second Life is heavenly for these guys. Ranging from the mildly offensive (text spam or wearing offensive attachments, both which can be easily remedied by muting the user) to the heavily disruptive (constantly rezzing prims or using several laggy scripts) which can hamper the sim's performance, making everyone suffer (which require a land owner or moderator to kick and ban the offenders).
    • And just as worse in privately owned areas such as ones used for role playing and are managed by one person or a small team of moderators; if the owner or the moderators are not online when a griefer is running wild, things will get out of control fast. Private areas that show if owners or moderators are online or not will attract griefers if they see nobody is on to stop them.
    • Griefers always seem to have all the time in the world to put effort into into whatever they're doing. So fight less, avoid more. They're more likely to leave when they have no one to grief. Unless it's a main account - which can be reported.
  • Guide Dang It: Linden Scripting Language. Want to create an item that does something other than just sit there? Have you ever written code before? If "yes" to the first and "no" to the second, have fun looking up documentation for hours to get up to speed.
    • However, once you get acquainted with the syntax and layout of LSL (which is child's play compared to the Big Boy programming languages like C and Java), there's not one, but two wikis that list every function, event, operator, constant and statement in the language, complete with all their uses, caveats and issues. It can be a little outdated (often articles have been untouched since 2008), but it's a damn sight easier to navigate than the average computer science textbook.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Expect to pay out the nose or take a crash-course in 3d modeling to acquire or make them, though.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Yeah, like you're not going to find this in a 3D-chatty-thingy where people can make their own stuff.
  • Interface Screw: It is notorious for the ridiculous amounts of lag you can find. The game is utterly massive and thus will slow down your internet. Pages on other websites may not load while the game is running. In game, you may encounter errors such as your character refusing to move an inch no matter how many times you press the button, or your character refuses to stop moving and clip through solid objects as if you turned on a no clip cheat. This is to say that if the error occurs while your character is walking, they will keep walking after you've stopped pressing the button and will walk through walls and if you encounter a hill, they'll just walk right through the ground. These issues happen when you're temporarily "disconnected" from the server when lag gets bad or when your connection is dodgy.
    • Even if your computer and internet are running fine and the area you're in is fully loaded, the place can still lag if the server is having problems. Sometimes sim owners have to force a restart on their land to flush out the lag.
  • Just Eat Him: Oh, this can happen. Particularly in Erebus.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: See Rule 34 below.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Going places in Second Life is like watching the mind erasure scenes from Eternal Sunshine at half speed in reverse.
    • The notorious lag in SL is due to the issue where SL is always downloading. Other games have a cache of their entire game world, models of all game characters, and weapons/items preloaded. In comparison Second Life is unable to cache things to the same degree as everything in the world from landscapes, characters, any item and even programs (aka scripts), textures, and animations are designed and built by thousands of players. This leads to constant real-time download which causes lag full-time.
  • Mini Game: Tringo, and a few other player-created games.
    • The breedable animals, if you have enough land and breedables (you can get horses, dogs, cats, chickens, corn! vegitables) you essentially have an Expy of Farmville
    • The breedable animals are actually against Second Life's TOS as they lag and crash sims. They're classified as griefer items if you share residence with others in the same sim but different parcels.
    • There are even MMO's built within SL. There are some open source stat tracking engines such as DCS meant to allow others to develop their own MMOs without having to figure out all the coding and game mechanics themselves. Eventually, even Linden Labs got in on the act and now offers its own MMO in world for premium membership.
  • The Moral Substitute: The Teen Grid, a Closed Circle created to keep younger players out of the more ... interesting regions of the Main Grid, is a half-example. However, once age verification was implemented in said regions and Linden Labs no longer had the money to burn on keeping the Teen Grid separate, it was shut down. TSL players 16 and older got transferred, players 15 and younger got their accounts frozen. The part of the teen grid that would be going on to MG rejoiced, the poor souls that would have their accounts frozen started protesting, and the Main Grid residents weren't exactly happy about it either.
  • No Export for You: A particularly appalling example in that users outside the US have increased trouble registering for accounts. This problem was brought to the attention of Second Life staff. In 2008.
  • Non-Lethal KO: In sims where the health feature is enabled, having your health reduced to zero just teleports you back to your home point.
  • Old Media Playing Catch Up: For a few years, Second Life was a media darling and a headline commonly ripped from. Dozens of corporations set up in-game buildings and facilities. Then it eventually got around that nearly everybody uses it for sex...
  • Planet Eris: The videogame of the trope.
  • Power Perversion Potential: You have the power to create almost anything you want in this world. So what do you do? Why, use it to have sex or send giant penises storming through the G-rated sims!
    • To the point where they created a separate continent just for that (at least, for the more explicitly sexual sims.) As a result, outside of that continent there are more and more creations that are not based on some kind of sex.
  • Quicksand Box: Second Life is a big, confusing place. This tends to turn away many new users, who wander around their welcome area of choice, try out the build tools, and get bored fairly quickly.
  • Role-Playing Game: Entire regions can be dedicated to just this.
  • Rule 34: Obviously.
  • Rule 34: Even more obviously. If it's even slightly kinky, someone's made objects and areas to cater to it.
    • One user is creating an RLV trap that forces people to read this very Wiki.
  • Scenery Porn: Some sims are very artistically detailed, and when coupled with Kirsten's Viewer (lighting and shadows) adds immersion bliss. Of course, if you take the trope name literally, look three lines up.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World - One user is actually creating an attachment that "enables" this. The endless possibilities that can be done with scripting...
  • Steampunk: A sizable community within Second Life, concentrated in a loose confederation of sims called the Steamlands (Caledon, New Babbage, Winterfell, Steelhead, Steeltopia, and probably others I'm forgetting).
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The things that you can do with Restrained Life Viewer...
  • Video Game Perversity Potential: With the vast freedom of the customization options in this game, was it inevitable that half of it would be porn, hardcore fetishes that can't be done in real life, or furry porn?
  • Virtual Paper Doll — the sheer variety of clothing options, along with skin, hair, complete furry avatars, and other clothing/body related items available runs into the millions.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: Kinda. Sorta. It's not a sandbox game in the usual sense, since it's not a traditional game, more of a mediated environment, partially under the control of its denizen-creators.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: VWE, Virtual Wrestling Entertainment, which is broadcast on one of Second Life's television channels as well.