Usual disclaimers apply: like "real life", there are more opportunities than can possibly be summarized. There's no such thing as a single formula that works for everyone, but certainly actions worth doing and learning from. Also, unless otherwise stated, these resources are not approved by Linden Lab. We can't guarantee they'll work for your personal experiences — if you have success, great! Be sure to thank the guide author(s), and consider sharing your own tips.
Please improve this page with guides you enjoy, but don't add any spams/scams; they aren't welcome.
Ways to make Linden Dollars
The Linden Dollar (L$) is Second Life's currency. Real-life money can be exchanged for L$ (keep reading!).
Here's the main (not the only) ways to make L$ in Second Life:
- Receive the weekly stipend that comes with your Premium Account (learn more)
- Buy L$ on LindeX
- Create and sell content (clothing, gadgets, etc.)
- Buy and sell land (virtual real estate)
- Host or perform at events (gameshows, concerts, etc.)
- Win prizes at events
- Sell information (write/proofread manuals, provide consulting — Torley did this)
- Sit on camping chairs (generally, a slow, ineffective, and likely net-loss process)
In short, the breadth and depth of options is comparable to your first life. Perhaps even greater, because many things, like the cost of construction materials, are cheaper (prims are free!) in Second Life. A wise general principle: look for unmet wants & needs and fulfill them! If you do or learn valuable skills in real life, you may be able to profit from them here, since your abilities are transferable, e.g., if you're an art student, start sketching clothes.
In addition, more well-established "real-world" companies like some of our Solution Providers are hiring for positions in Second Life. Roles like Community Manager, Virtual World Evangelist, and many others are becoming more popular. Keep your eyes out for jobs that leverage Second Life's unique opportunities, and be aware that the skills you learn inworld could be useful outside of SL, too.
And remember: Second Life, like soylent green, is made of people. REAL PEOPLE!!!!
What about games?
Second Life contains games. However, to call it a game on the whole is as inaccurate as saying "the rainbow is red".
Most of the skills you learn in Second Life are real. For example, to usually build a house, you don't just click a button and watch your avatar auto-construct a dwelling. Rather, you use prims to assemble it piece by piece. There are tools which make building easier, but the point is: you aren't artificially "leveling up".
Some Residents have created gaming experiences that are similar to other environments like World of Warcraft and The Sims. If you're familiar with those, then you may find comfort in those activities. And when you feel comfortable, you can explore far beyond that — it's a testament to the possibilities of your Second Life.
If you don't want to get a job but do want acquire L$, you can use the LindeX currency exchange to exchange real life currency for Linden dollars (L$). This can make it a lot quicker to get (land, goods) what you want.
I've (Torley) noticed this seems un-obvious to some newcomers, so I'm pointing it out for your benefit.