It may seem hard to believe, but this year Second Life is celebrating ten years since the day it first became fully available to the public – not taking into account 2002, when it was still in closed beta stage, or its previous tentative incarnation, Linden World. For any online community, or for any product or service in the field of informatics, to celebrate ten years of continuous presence is quite an achievement and so, this 10th birthday is an important milestone in this virtual world platform’s history. Whereas other sites, services and communities have gone under, Second Life is still here, alive and kicking.
It is the significance and symbolism of this anniversary that prompted the organisers of 2013’s Community Celebration to choose “Looking Forward, Looking Back” as the event’s theme.
Let me elaborate a little on the meaning of the theme; as I wrote earlier, SL has been around for a long time. Some people who were there to witness its beginnings, as far back as 2002, are still here. DrFran Babcock of SL Newser recalls the very early days of SL, when it spanned a mere 16 regions and shows us what they look like today. Many others remember 2003 in Second Life and even more – myself included – remember the “golden years” of 2006-2007, when SL was the media’s darling all over the world and hyped for some time as the platform for businesses to have a corporate presence on.
Looking back is about our involvement in Second Life; it is about remembering and celebrating what attracted us to Second Life and, as the months and years passed, kept us engaged in it since our first (admittedly awkward) moments when we didn’t know where to go and what to do. Our SL age (i.e. the “age” of our avatar) is irrelevant here – one may be two months “old” in SL or even seven years old. The tenth birthday of SL is an opportunity for us all to celebrate what we enjoy in the virtual world, the places we love to visit, our communities, our favourite in-world activities and the way Second Life has entered our lives, how it has become part of our lives and how it has even changed our lives as it grew from a its first small grid to the vast virtual universe it has become today.
A key part of the celebration of Second Life’s 10th birthday is the “Community Celebration” concept: it is meant to be a large event in which ideas will be put forward and launched; an event and a place for us all to share what SL means to us, what it offers us, how we exist in it, how we express ourselves through it.
This aspect of the celebration is a chance for us – again, regardless of how long we’ve been involved in Second Life – to consider, discuss and imagine what SL can be like in the future: what will it evolve into? What will it look like? How will it engage us ten years on from now? Now, we have only touched upon what immersive 3D virtual worlds can offer for entertainment and practical purposes.
Will Second Life exist in 2023? What will it be like? Which direction will it go? Immersion? Or augmentation? Or a mix of these two approaches? How will we use immersive 3D environments ten years from now for our entertainment and/or work? SL10B will give you a chance to not only participate in a great event, but also share your ideas, thoughts and vision for SL and virtual worlds with others.
The event is open not only to volunteers, but also to performers and exhibitors.
April 15 Volunteer/Performer, Exhibitor Applications open
May 20 Volunteer/Performer, Exhibitor Applications close
May 27 Sims open to builders
June 16 Grand Opening
June 23 Official Birthday day
June 23 Final day of performances
June 29 Sims close to the public
July 1 All builds to be dismantled – sims go offline
For more information, please visit the Community Celebration’s official website and blog; also, Saffia Widdershins’s “Prim Perfect” blog provides a great deal of information on the event. And, of course, no post on an important in-world event would ever be complete without references and kudos to Exotix (Inara Pey), who not only has written an excellent account of the upcoming celebration, but also has given us a nice trip down Memory Lane, and Daniel Voyager.
Mona (formerly slutrix)
- SL10B – Community Celebration website
- The First Sims: Da Boom – by DrFran Babcock, from SL Newser
- The last and ten: celebrating a decade of Second Life – by Exotix (Inara Pey), from Her “Living in the Modem World” blog
- The SL10B Community Event is coming! – by Saffia Widdershins (Prim Perfect blog)
- Walking through the past – by Exotix (Inara Pey), from Her “Living in the Modem World” blog
- SL10B Community Event Announced – by Daniel Voyager
First posted at: http://wp.me/p2RycE-7M