Welcome to Second Life, newbie! This Newbie No-No’s series is intended to be a light-hearted look at the don’ts of newbiedom in-world. Hopefully, the major don’ts are pretty obvious (don’t be a jerk, don’t grief, don’t be rude… well, all of those boil down to “don’t be a jerk”, really) but the lesser don’ts can be a bit of a minefield and it can be hard for a newbie to understand the various social mores in-world.
We continue the series with littering.
If your car broke down in real life, would you just leave it by the side of the road? Well, assuming you’re not one of the less-delightful itinerant types who frequently wreck greenbelt areas with knackered old vehicles and other junk when they move on, then no; of course you wouldn’t. If you buy something from a store in real life, would you unpack it and dump the packaging on the floor of the shop before walking out? I should hope not! And, if you buy fast food from a drive-through in real life, would you chuck the empty bags and cartons out of your car window when you’re finished with it? Well, if you would, then no wonder the city/countryside/etc is a mess…
But, in the main, if you wouldn’t do it in real life, there is no reason to do it in Second Life. Just because SL is ‘a game’ that doesn’t mean there aren’t other people in it: other people who have to bear the visual and aural annoyances of your littering should you choose to be a messy, thoughtless resident in-world. One of the unspoken golden rules of Second Life is: If you put it down at some point, pick it up when you’re done with it.
1. If you open a boxed item in a store because they haven’t set an auto-return time, then pick up the box (or delete it) once you’ve finished.
2. If you do #1 with a hunt item in a store then especially make sure you get rid of the box, or you’ll have hundreds of people coming in after you who think your ‘dud’ opened hunt item is the real thing. You don’t want to piss off hundreds of other people whom you may well bump into sometime in-world, right?
3. If the vehicle you’re driving/flying/piloting in some manner crashes and throws you off, go back, find it, and delete it or take it back into inventory. It will often have gone up into the air a bit, so don’t assume that just because that particle-spewing, roaring trials bike or monster truck isn’t on the ground where you last remember being it must be gone, because it isn’t. Take the time to fly around and look for it. If you didn’t get a chat message saying it’s been returned to your Lost and Found folder, then it’s still stuck in-world somewhere, and that ‘somewhere’ is probably right on the border of some poor person’s private land, where they can see it and hear it, but can’t get rid of it. And, dear newbie, karma is a bitch with a dry sense of humour, because one day that poor person with the spitting, roaring spaceship on their doorstep might be you…
Think you can get away with it, because nobody will know it was you that left it behind? Think again. Every single item in Second Life can be inspected by anyone, and it will bear the name of the last owner. So, if you don’t want angry IMs, and if you don’t want to be abuse reported for prim-littering (which, for many people, is the only resort when vehicles are abandoned near their land parcels), then pick up your mess!