A sandbox is an area in Second Life where residents may build objects. Most, but not all, sandboxes have scripts enabled. This is a good way for new residents to learn basic building skills, as well as providing a place for fledgling business owners to develop their wares before they buy or rent land. Most sandboxes have an automatic return feature, meaning after a certain amount of time after an object is rezzed it is automatically sent back to its owner’s Inventory. Objects set with No Copy permission will be deleted instead of returned to your inventory.

There are two types of sandboxes, private and public.

Private Sandboxes

These are exactly what they sound like, a private place for residents to work. These areas often require a resident to be part of a specific group in order to build. Some are accessible to anyone, but not build, while others require permission to enter them. Object return is set to however long the owner prefers.

Public Sandboxes

Some privately owned sandboxes are open to the public, and may be listed in Search. Be sure to read their rules before you start building.

Linden Sandboxes areas provided by Linden Lab for anyone to use, existing on Linden Land. There are six main Linden sandboxes –

– Sandbox Island and its Extension (scripts enabled)

– Sandbox Cordova (scripts enabled)

– Sandbox Goguen (scripts enabled)

– Sandbox Newcomb (no scripts)

– Sandbox Wanderton (no scripts)

Sandbox Island and Extension are isolated near the coast of the mainland. The other four are on the continent and are arranged in a chain on the coast.

Linden sandboxes currently have an object auto return time of 5 hours (300 minutes), meaning once an object is rezzed, it will be sent back to your Inventory| exactly 5 hours later unless you pick it up or delete it first. Again, objects set with No Copy permission will be deleted instead of returned to your inventory.

Vehicle Sandboxes

Immediately to the north of these regions are the Vehicle Sandboxes, where residents can drive and test out all manner of cars, motorcycles, airplanes, even boats in the lakes and rivers. These allow rezzing only in small marked areas, rather than the entire region, in order to avoid clutter and provide ease of travel. Such regions include Georgean, Fame, and Fortuna.

Sandbox Life

Over the years, the public sandboxes have developed their own subculture. Many scripters and builders – the “sandbox rats” – spend time here, creating all manner of cutting edge devices and toys, trading tips and tricks, and just chatting.

Most people in the ‘boxes range from new residents discovering what they can do in SL, to old guard who have been in the sandboxes for some time and like it there, with any number of middle-of-the-roaders present.

It’s not advisable to buy objects for sale in a sandbox if you don’t know what it is, or don’t know the seller. Merchants often build their items here, and you may be purchasing an item that has not been completed yet. Also, the occasional shady type will set out freebie items for sale that can be found at no charge elsewhere (if you see this happen, contact the creator of the items and let them know this is going on. See the Warnings and Cautions page for more information).

Griefing can be common here at times, as anyone can build anything. Few areas in SL allow this anymore, so the ‘boxes have become the default target. Also, “lulz” can be had by attacking new residents and convincing them that Second Life just isn’t worth their time. The regulars have developed strategies to deal with griefers (some of them very much against the TOS, but these usually stop once a suspension occurs). Most times, the public sandboxes are calm and stress-free, so go have fun learning and building.

Safe Zones

Each sandbox has a “safe zone,” or “dead zone.” Autoreturn is set to between 1 and 5 minutes. Follower objects can usually be led here, and will disappear quickly as long as the person they’re following doesn’t move away. Physical litter can be removed by pushing it here. For example, if there is a pile of physical litter by the northern hills of Cordova, it can be moved to the safe zone instead of pushing it all the way to the shore (and trying to avoid residents in the process).

The edges of a safe zone can be seen when “View Property Lines” is enabled, but that’s not really necessary most of the time, as the zones are always around the sandbox signs.

Sandbox Island and Sandbox Island Extension have safe zones on the border between them in addition to the zones near the center of each isle.