Whilst reading this week’s Highlights From The Destination Guide by Linden Lab, Sniper’s Siemens’ The Story – Second Life, called out to me. There’s an accompanying video which gives a great overview of the exhibit, which I will embed near the bottom of this post.
The Story – Second Life is a Linden Endowment for the Arts project, created by Sniper Siemens which tells a year by year story of Second Life, starting in 1999, before Second Life was considered a viable project as a virtual world. Linden Lab were originally looking at hardware and researching haptics, indeed they had been working on something known as “The Rig”, nobody is quite sure where “The Rig” is these days.
To test the hardware being developed, Linden Lab needed software and that’s where LindenWorld comes into the story, LindenWorld would eventually be renamed Second Life, although I’m still convinced that the Lindens have a top secret LindenWorld bunker somewhere on the grid. Blondin Linden would never allow me secret access.
Sniper Siemens exhibit is a visual and textual story of Second Life. There are boards with information and buildings that represent events, such as the above picture which tells the story of the great Second Life banking crisis, which was a coincidental forerunner to a physical world banking crisis with far more serious consequences.
There are representations of things you may remember, and things you may not. Plastic Duck (AKA Gene Replacement) gets a mention, as does VAT. There are references to technical progress, changing CEOs, projects that came and went such as Avatars United and much much more.
Obviously there will be plenty missing too, there’s only so much you can fit into a space, even a virtual one, but this exhibit does an extremely good job of telling its story.
The exhibit can be experienced on foot, or by way of a rail car, but be warned, although there’s plenty missing, there’s plenty to see and a full visit may take some time.
I am a fan of history, in all its guises, so this sort of exhibit is very much right up my street. However an exhibit such as this does raise questions of its own, whereas we can record the history of Second Life in terms of words and images, will we ever be able to preserve its history in any sort of 3D form? This is a question that archivists have been asking relating to video games, but I’ll save that discussion for a post in a galaxy far far away.
Whether you’re new or old in Second Life, this exhibit is worth seeing, it’s informative, very well presented and I even find some of the old controversies of the past rather heartwarming many years on, maybe that’s a sign of me mellowing in my old age.
As I said earlier in the post, there’s a lot to see, look out for clickable notes too as they provide more information and as a bonus, there’s even a tribute to Burning Life.
This is an enjoyable experience, especially for those who like history.
SLURL To History of Second Life : http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA25/134/79/21/