Second Life goes live

Linden Lab's virtual-world online game is now officially available.

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Linden Lab has announced that Second Life has officially launched and now requires that members of the virtual world pay a subscription fee. Second Life is an online world that lets residents create their own custom content with simple 3D tools. Players can completely customize their appearance or design sophisticated houses, furniture, clothes, and art. It's also possible to invent new weapons and other items or work with others to construct a major civic structure or an entire city.

There are several ways to measure success in Second Life. Players can try to increase their status in the real-time reputation system, amass a great deal of wealth by making and selling popular items or hosting parties, or compete with others in sword or gun battles. To get online residents connected, there are player-organized events and social spaces like clubs, sports arenas, and amusement parks that can charge admission.

Second Life has been freely available in a public beta test since late April, and it's still possible to sign up for a free five-day trial membership. Linden Lab has announced four subscription plans: $14.95 per month, $39.95 for three months, $134.95 for 12 months, or $225 for a lifetime membership. The game is currently available only online. New players can sign up for a Second Life account by visiting the game's Web site and downloading the 10MB game client.

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