The SL Oldbie Project

DrFran Babcock is seeking insight from oldbies as part of a project entitled “The SL Oldbie Project“. What is the SL Oldbie project? Well I’ll let DrFran’s words explain it a little:

My aim, in attempting to contact early members of SL, is to explore what the experience was like for them. Things now are so different than they were when I rezzed in 2006. I can’t imagine what it was like to operate in a world that really was being created by the people who lived in it in 2002, 2003, and 2004. I am hoping that a number of interviews with oldbies will shine a light on the birth of this virtual world.

To date DrFran has only received one reply, which is a shame but also understandable as many oldbies have moved on or are busy. However that one reply provides some fascinating insight into the mindset of an oldbie. The oldbie in question is Malachi Petunia. Someone called Malachi taught me how to play Greedy Greedy at the Forum Cartel hangout some years ago, but for the life of me I can’t remember if the surname of that Malachi was Petunia.

The interview, which is definitely worth a read, can be found at:

Malachi doesn’t log in to Second Life much these days, but he has a lifetime account and was born to the Second Life universe on September 21st 2003. The interview touches upon how small the new frontier was back in 2003, how the world has changed so much in terms of capabilities but more importantly it captures how people just get on with things when the tools aren’t available.

The interview also highlights the fact that there have long been frustrations with Linden Lab’s decision making process, Malachi is quoted as saying:

SL is a lovely case study of something that could have been really cool but died through managerial ineptitude.

Malachi also cites the addition of the real money economy as being a negative, which many people will disagree with but how many of those in disagreement joined in 2003? People who joined later will have a different perspective and different desires as to how they want things to progress.

Malachi talks with warmth when recounting some of his early experiences, how he enjoyed the building and scripting despite the limitations of LSL. Really, it’s a very good read and well worth your time reading it.

I hope DrFran does get more responses regarding this project, insight into the early days can be found in some places but an interview process such as this generates a much greater level of richness.

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