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A bot is an avatar which is controlled by a machine, rather than by a human. This can have various uses, such as to perform group invitations (which isn't possible via LSL), perform as a non-player character (NPC) in a roleplaying game, as mannequin in a shop etc.
History and regulations
Ever since residents reverse engineered the Second Life protocols and released their work to the public, anyone could program a custom client. Therefore, it is possible to write a program to perform automated actions with an avatar. Later the graphical SL viewer was also released as open source, but it is more common to use the resident-developed libraries for automation.
Bots are allowed in Second Life, but client software of any kind is a subject to the third party viewer policy.
Second Life bot setup
Second Life bot account can be created in the same way as a human-controlled avatar. The only requirement is to mark the bot's account as a scripted agent.
Bot is being controlled by a program, and owner has to choose it from available alternatives. Program can run on user's PC or be hosted at Second Life bot hosting. With hosted bot it's not necessary to have PC running 24 hours per day.
The Second Life bot account can be used in various ways, allowing to add user interaction, roleplaying and automation to Second Life project or location. The most common usage of SL bots includes (but not limited to):
- Direct group inviters - to effectively invite other residents to Second Life group (included closed and paid groups)
- Automatic group management - group chat translator, automatic antispam monitor, remote (web based) group chat access tool
- Mannequin (model bot), catwalk models
- Roleplaying NPC (non-player characters) for gaming and interactive areas
- In-world office greeter and/or autoresponder
- Security bot - as automatic sim manager to detect and ban greefers, spammers and abusers
According to Linden Lab Terms of Service usage of scripted agents is forbidden for:
- increasing the parcel traffic by camping ("gaming" traffic);
- stealing an in-world content; violate the copyright (see CopyBot for details)
- performing any other activity prohibited by TOS.
See Linden Lab Official:Inworld policy on bots for more details.
- Second Life bot software comparison
- Service providers:
- Linden Lab Official:
- SL Blog: Much Ado About Bots - Discussion of whether or not certain bots should be banned
- Conclusion to the Blog Post on Bots - Conclusion that camping bots will be banned, land bots are fine (for now)