From the Ground Up

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Dragons, dragons and more dragons, all about there be dragons. If you've visited the Isles in world but don't know much about any of this, or if you stumbled over this Wiki while Googling for dragons, if you read about Daryth in SL Business Magazine or you were sent here by a friend it's really all the same: All are welcome at the Isles. While it's true that all are welcome, we appreciate that some of the content here might be a little confusing, especially if you don't already have a Second Life account. Let us help you to understand, in both a long, storybook form and a punchy FAQ style:


What It's All About

Let's take a step back and begin, ostensibly, at the beginning. If you're already familiar with Second Life, great: you can probably skip the first section.

Second Life in a Nutshell

Second Life, or SL for short, is a 3D world where people can interact with each other and with their surroundings. The thing that's really cool about SL is that "the surroundings" are created by the people that live in this virtual world, and any one of those people can create content there. Linden Lab, the maintainers of the virtual world mostly just write the protocols - the sets of rules - that describe how the world fits together. They also maintain the collection of servers that stores the world data.

Everyone that takes residence in the world builds their own little corner up with whatever objects and scenery they think is cool. The Lindens do build things in SL too, but you're not restricted to only their content like you are with a lot of traditional, goals-based games. That's another cool thing about SL: You're not expected to run around performing certain predefined tasks in order to reach a certain point. Instead you can walk around and talk to people, check out what others are doing, pitch in to help if you like, join up with one of the many gaming systems that residents have layered on top of SL if that's your thing, go shopping in the virtual world, become a renowned content creator or a scripting genius or just hang out and absorb the atmosphere. You can pretty much do whatever you can imagine, within a broadly defined set of rules.

So that's SL, described in a slightly misshapen nutshell. This is all relevant to the subject of this wiki because pretty much everything described in it takes place in SL. When you actually log into SL, you are represented in the 3D world by an avatar. When you first create your account you get to choose between a male or female avatar and you can customize the general shape and size of it in a multitude of ways, all of which can be changed later on too. But fundamentally you're still shaped like a human being even if you mash all the settings in the appearance creation window.

A Second Life of Dragons

The dragon avatars that Daryth Kennedy makes go beyond the simple human shape and actually allow you to look like a dragon inside the 3D world of Second Life. You will see yourself as a dragon and others will perceive you that way too. As far as the virtual world is concerned you really are a dragon. Many people enjoy this, for a variety of reasons, a quick sample of which is presented below:

  • Daryth's avatars are wonderfully artistic and brilliantly engineered and are just plain fun to play around with and look at
  • Being a dragon is a form of expression
  • Being a regular human avatar all the time gets boring
  • Some people are really into dragons

The world of SL is viewed from a "Third Person" perspective, broadly similar to the viewpoint in the "Tomb Raider" games, so your avatar is one of the few pieces of content in SL that you see for pretty much the entire time you are in world. Given that, many people want their avatar to be something that is interesting to them. It is also true that your avatar expresses something about you along the same lines that physical appearance and body language does in the real world. Becoming a dragon then is a wonderful opportunity to be expressive.

Each avatar comes with a HUD control, a simple "point and click" interface which allows you to change the appearance of the dragon. You can change the colours and textures of its scales and wings and other parts individually to create a look that is uniquely yours, all without needing to know about content creation in SL. If you do know how to build or script, the avatars offer much in the way of flexibility and some truly amazing and cool things can be done with them.

As amazing and wonderful as the avatars themselves are there are yet more forces at work to attract people to the lifestyle of dragons. The Dragon Isles form the nucleus of a thriving, dynamic community of creative and intelligent people who arrive because they are astounded by the majesty of the dragons, purchase one because they're enthralled with the craftsmanship and graduate into the larger community because the atmosphere there is warm and welcoming and promotes creativity.

Questions, Frequently Asked

Condensed from the comments and conversations I've overheard and participated in as well as featuring actual questions I've been asked, presented here is the FAQ:

What are these Dragon Avatars?

They are animated 3D models designed to fit onto a Second Life avatar in order to give that avatar the appearance of being a walking, blinking, breathing dragon.

What is Second Life?

It's a 3D world that is created largely by the users of the world, where you can do near enough anything, provided you have either the scripting or building skills to express it or the money to employ someone who does. It is beyond the scope of this article to fully define what SL is: Please see the Official Definition or the Wikipedia Article about it for more information.

How Do I Get Started?

In brief you will need a Second Life user account and will need to visit the Dragon Isles in order to begin your journey to dragon-hood.

Useful Links

Here are some links that may prove useful:

We hope to see you soon on Limbo.


Second Life ® and Linden Lab®™ are registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc. No infringement is intended.

"Tomb Raider" is a trademark of Eidos Interactive Ltd. No infringement is intended.