Teen Second Life is a version of Second Life reserved for teenagers, running on the so-called "Teen Grid." It was officially opened to the public on February 14, 2005 for people aged 13–17 to use Second Life, without entering false information to participate in Second Life (reserved for people aged 18 and over). On January 1, 2006, Teen Second Life's operating hours were increased to 24 hours a day, whereas it was previously open only from noon to 10 pm Pacific Time.
Upcoming closure of Teen Second Life
In August 2010 Terrance Linden announced that Teen Second Life would be closing on December 31, 2010. In concert with this, the minimum age for Second Life registration would drop to 16, and TSL members who are 16 or 17 years of age would have their avatars migrated to SL.
Second Life and Teen Second Life are different in several ways:
Registering in Teen Second Life is free for the first Basic account. Currently, to register for Teen Second Life you are required to provide identity verification via either a North American SMS enabled phone or a Paypal account.
Many users are experiencing problems with registration with PayPal, since the Second Life link appears to fail to bring users back to the Second Life website and confirm the PayPal billing agreement. For more information see the pJIRA (Bug Tracker) article: WEB-734 The only way to resolve the issue is to create a support ticket at Second Life's Support Portal.
- Teen Second Life users are transferred to Second Life once they turn 18, taking all content and private islands with them.
- Underage users found to be violating the Terms of Service by accessing Second Life may either be transferred to Teen Second Life or be restricted from accessing either area entirely. In the case of transfer, all inventory is erased in an effort to prevent Mature content being transferred to Teen Second Life.
- Overage users found to be violating the Terms of Service by accessing Teen Second Life face banning from all areas of Second Life (website, TSL and SL)
- Open Registration was implemented, but quickly removed for Teen Second Life, to increase security against users over age 18 from entering Teen Second Life.
- Adults are allowed on Teen Second Life on a limited basis, provided they pass a criminal background check. Up to this point, these adults, called approved adults, have all been educators or non-profits. They are required to stay in adult owned islands and may not join teen created groups, nor can they under any circumstances visit the mainland of Teen Second Life. See more in the Educators Working with Teens section of this page.
- Teen Second Life, unlike Second Life, is primarily made up of residents from the United States and Canada, due in part to restrictions intended to deter adult registration.
- The average Teen Second Life resident is 16 years old.
- Teen Second Life residents invest less money, or Linden Dollars, on land than their Second Life counterparts.
- The average Teen Second Life resident spends more time inworld than the average Second Life resident by roughly 25%. Teen Second Life concurrency tends to be affected significantly by the school calendar.
- Teen Second Life is highly appreciated by adults for its high safety standards and its education areas.
- Teen Second Life is significantly smaller in the size of its userbase, the amount of land and concurrent Resident population at any given time.
- The Teen Grid is a fraction of the size of the Adult Grid, and has significantly fewer Resident-owned estates.
As of January 2, 2010, the Teen Grid has 93 Mainland regions, 7 resident-owned estates, and 97 educational/project estates.
- The Teen Community Standards prohibit mature content, including strong language, strong graphic violence and nudity.
- As well as social spaces, education groups are exploring the potential of Teen Second Life as a learning space. See section below.
- Teen Second Life has a few small 'military' groups, organized to stage various wars in the Teen Grid's few combat sims. Members of these groups comprise a significant portion of the overall population.
- Teen Second Life has somewhat different economy compared to Second Life. Land prices and in-world object prices are known to be different, as the average income for the people that play these grids differs.
- LindeX (The Linden Lab endorsed trading service), however, takes from the same pool of Linden Dollars (L$) for both Second Life and Teen Second Life.
- Teen Second Life economy revolves around avatars, accessories, weapons, armies, scripts, and land barons (Residents who squat land in order to resell it, usually at an inflated price). The majority of Teen Second Life's residents are basic accounts without weekly stipends, so the L$ has slightly, nearly significant, more value on Teen Second Life than on Second Life, but due to lesser demand on content, content can be bought for significantly less than on Second Life (Comparing sources such as Second Life economy and Teen Second Life economy + Content). For example, a "Second Life-quality" car with similar features can cost L$100 (100 Linden Dollars) on Teen Second Life, while it may cost up to L$1,000 (1,000 Linden Dollars, or 1k) on Second Life
Teen Second Life shares asset server space with Second Life, and both are equally affected by unusually heavy concurrency or database issues.
Teen Second Life Educational Projects
Linden Lab allows educators to enter Teen Second Life to set up projects on islands they buy or by participating in Campus:TSL, a Linden Lab run program that provides free land to middle school and secondary educators on a short term basis.
The educational projects in Teen Second Life fall into two categories; those that are accessible to all residents of Teen Second Life (public projects), and those accessible to teens associated with a particular project in 'real life' (private projects). These private projects are most often inaccessible to Teen Second Life residents.
- Global Kids Island - a place for teen residents to learn about important social and world issues. It was created and is run by Global Kids, a non-profit organization based in New York City dedicated to developing youth to become global citizens and community leaders. Global Kids was the first educational organization to enter Teen Second Life, opening an island in March 2006 when it hosted a digital media essay contest, created the SL version of the Save Darfur charity wristband campaign, and brought in a real world photo exhibit from students it worked with in Brooklyn, NY. In the summer of 2006, it held Camp GK, a four week intensive program where Teen Second Life residents engaged in workshops on foreign policy and human rights issues. In the Fall of 2006, it partnered with UNICEF to host the World Fit For Children Festival, and invited media scholar Henry Jenkins to give a lecture/dance party where he spoke about media and learning. In the academic year of 2006, a real world machinima program, the Virtual Video Project, and a real-world gaming program, Playing 4 Keeps, both using TSL, were launched in New York City schools as after school programs. These projects were Global Kids' first uses of Teen Second Life with students in a face to face educational setting.
- Teen Second Life: A Virtual World for Teens – Official website