At it's best, SecondLife is like a portable art colony. Portable in that it's on the Internet so we can access it wherever we happen to be at the moment and an art colony in that the main focus and drive of the place is to create for the sake of creation.
That's not to say you have to enjoy or have a talent for creating to enjoy being here, but it's that spirit of creation and the product of it that makes it worth being here.
It's perhaps one of the greatest art colonies ever, because we live and move and interact with the art to an extent never possible before. Sure, there are people here just trying to make a buck off it all, but, for the most part, SecondLife creators create for the love of creation and nothing more.
So that birds of a feather may flock together, we break the colony down into quarters or boroughs. There's the steam punk borough, the goth borough, the cyberpunk borough and etc., and each of these feeds off of and competes with the other to raise the over-all level of competency for each.
In the spirit of all great art colonies, there's a lot of teaching that goes on. Both organized and informal, even the best creators in SecondLife are pretty free with their techniques, just for the satisfaction of seeing the overall level of art rise.
The platform itself promotes this attitude. Creating in-world is free and a great place to begin. When people reach a certain level though, they have to begin incorporate off-world tools, but there are free versions of tools like gimp and blender and audacity and a great deal of support for them amongst the users in-world.
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