Well, I just got back from my favorite RL hangout, Barnes & Noble. As I was perusing the aisles at random, I came across the video game guides section and, to my surprise, they had a copy of Second Life: The Official Guide in stock. Having read about it in multiple blogs across the net, I had been mildly interested in its content, so I grabbed it off the shelf and sat down in the aisle to scan through it.
Overall, I have to say that I was fairly impressed by the quality of the information put into the book. Plus, it was even more fun seeing photos of people I’ve met and, in some cases, know published in book form.
From a fairly general stand-point, I would say that the book would be a great investment for anyone who wants to learn about the world of SL with the least amount of hassle. However, if you are a fairly established resident (i.e. you’ve regularly been in SL since at least summer ’06), DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK! The $35 USD that you would pay for this could be spent on much better things, such as L$9,299. ;)
Most of the information that is presented in the book is readily available from most of the main SL-related blogs or the SL History Wiki. Sure, you may have to do a little bit of searching and rummaging through the archives, but it’s all there. Heck, it’s how I learned what I know about SL’s history and community even before I joined!
My other beef with the book is its little burbs, mainly in the section about making Linden dollars, that are basically classified for writers to models. With the way SL changes, those positions are sure to be filled by now. How many times will the people who have offers in the book receive an IM from someone about a job they needed filled a year ago?
To close on a happy note, I was glad to see the Shelter (
main original locale) mentioned in the places to visit section and it was nice to see a small bio on Frogg Marlowe in there too.
Conclusion: Buy it if you don’t want to spend a bit of time searching for SL’s history or fun places, but don’t buy it if you’ve been in-world for a few months because about 70% of the book will be useless to you.