Travel the Mainland by Plane!

If you are a new resident in Second life you don´t know much about the geography off the Second life grid. Most regions I described here in the blog are actually on private estates with the exeption of Kuula and Hollywood airport. 

In fact I have seen many people who have been months in Second Life already and never even heard the word mainland and never actually accessed the mainland other than on orientation island (the place we all start at when we join Second Life).

Such person I met recently. Kent noticed in my profile, that I am into flying planes in Second Life. This caught his attention and he came up with an interesting idea. He suggested exploring Second Life by plane. As he owns a region together with his Second Life partner (girlfriend in SL), he wants to store a plane there, build a runway and use this as a base for trips by plane around Second Life.

Cool, I thought, that means he must have a mainland region. So we went to his sim to check it out. I was utmost surprised to land on a private estate and told him, that I expected a mainland region, for reasons that appeared obvious to me. He answered:

“What is the mainland?”

Now I was really confused. How comes a sim owner does not know the difference between a mainland region and a private estate? He was actually under the impression he could fly from his region to any other region on the grid.

Ok, then it became clear. It is his girlfriend Daisy, who manages the estate. She joined our party and we had a little chat. She gave me a tour of her property: The sapphire beach club, an adult region for couples and singles who are into the swinger lifestyle (Kent and Daisy are in an open and liberal relationship too and enjoy the lifestyle). I will write about the club and the associated 15 store luxury beach hotel in a separate article.

Kent is relatively new to Second Life and never has been told the difference between mainland and private estates. Everything related to running the sim is done by Daisy herself.

Nevertheless, I find the idea itself very intriguing to explore the mainland by plane. Hence we agreed to go on this mission together (Kent and myself). I will write about that mega-trip on this blog of course. Stay tuned it’s going to be fun

So what the fuck is this mainland thing?

The Second Life mainland, is as the name suggests the main part of the Second Life surface. It is land which was originally provided and sold to residents by the “Lindens” (In-World name of the owners of Linden Research Inc., the company behind Second Life).

It consists of several so-called continents which are each formed by several hundred (!!) regions attached to each other in direct contact. This is actually the main difference between the mainland and a private estate: The regions are joined together and you can actually move your avatar on almost the entire continent, crossing the different regions (unless the owner restricts access).

Private estates are isolated regions. You cannot enter or leave the region physically. You have to teleport in and out for access and departure. Some estate owners run more than one region and have them attached to each other as well. It just looks as if the estate was an island and you see ocean and horizon in all directions but around this estate or group of regions there is literally nothing.

That means you can fly your plane over your estate(s) until you reach the borderlines of the sim(s) and that’s basically it. On the mainland, you are able (with certain restrictions) to fly over the entire continent and even from continent to continent. Now you certainly understand why I was expecting Kent´s home to be a mainland region.

Another difference between the mainland and a private estate is this:

The difference between them is that ‘mainland’ land is run by Linden Lab and associated tier fees are paid directly to them. Mainland is originally purchased through an open auction system and then generally resold to the public in world by the auction winners. Private Estates are purchased by individuals or companies and while Linden Lab owns the servers, the estate owners have control of the land and can do with it whatever they wish within the Terms of Service rules. You must be a Premium member to buy land on the mainland; however you may rent land on the Mainland or an Estate, or buy Estate land as a basic member. So, the mainland is run by Linden Lab, and private estates are run by whoever leases them from Linden Lab.

How do I know if I am on a mainland region or a private estate?

Here’s how to tell if land is on a private estate or a mainland region. If you’re on the land, you can go to ‘about land’ using the pie menu and look up the covenant tab. The information there will tell you if you’re looking at a private estate area or a mainland area. If you’re just browsing the land sales listings, then the ‘show on map’ button helps – just click it to find the area for sale, and zoom in/out to check if it is part of the big mainland continent or not.

Next step is for us to decide from where we start our trip. There are actually 9 different continents and some sub-continents. Airports are available on most continents. My personal preference would be starting at the oldest continent in Second Life: Sansara.

First stop: the biggest city in Second Life, the unofficial capital of Sansara and one of the most thought after real estate locations on the entire grid:

Bay City!
I somehow have the feeling we are going to have a lot of fun in Bay City, don’t you too?

Helpful Links:

Here you have a map of the entire grid.

Interesting information about aviation on the grid:


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