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There’s a development build of the Second Life viewer (2.6.1-223988) lurking around that features two different user interface modes: Basic and Advanced.

Basic mode has hardly any controls at all. No inventory or menus, for example, and is limited to chat/IM, destinations, selecting an avatar from a predefined list, a mini-map, the profile, and a ‘how to’ section.

Notably, directions for mouse steering are reversed from the way they normally are (drag the mouse left to turn right, and drag right to turn left – the reverse of the usual Second Life and MMOG controls).

There’s a single ‘click to move’ system at work – though for some reason the avatar’s head tilts back and it looks down its nose as it does so. There’s no access to most of the usual shortcuts when you’re logged in. Even preferences is unavailable in Basic mode.

In order to change preferences (or go into the more usual Advanced mode) you need to shut the viewer down, then start it up and log in again.

At least you can sit and touch objects by right-clicking and selecting the appropriate option from the menu, and alt-mousing camera controls work as usual.

Oh, no snapshots, either, or buying anything, since that requires inventory. I guess that they’re advanced.

Basic mode is restricted to destination-guide destinations only – or you can walk (or fly) – without a map or landmarks you can’t teleport to arbitrary destinations.

Second Life 2 in Basic Mode

Click the image for a larger version

You can try the viewer yourself by downloading one of these versions:

Windows | Macintosh | Linux

Be aware that these are development builds, so if they eat your data, your inventory, your computer and your cat, I’ll be surprised, but not responsible.

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