Second Life – It’s already been ten years


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:

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.

Second Life in its very early days

Second Life in its very early days

Community Celebration

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.

Looking Forward

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.

Key dates:

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.

Be there!


Mona (formerly slutrix)


See also:




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