"Welcome to Second Life" – a pictorial review

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I’ve mentioned my ongoing “history project” previously — it’s coming along pretty well, though I’m still less than halfway through the sims that existed on Opening Day. But, I got sidetracked the other day after visiting Ahern and Dore regions as part of that project. The crowd that hangs out at Ahern Welcome Area has been notorious, in some circles, as the spoiler of many a new user’s “first hour experience”, yet Ahern is also the longest-surviving location of its type in the World and is still, 7 years after its appearance, the primary site (one might well say “dumping ground”) for new avatars.  However, just over the border in Dore is a gorgeous example of very early SL architecture — referred to on the old maps as “Shangri La” — which also is one of those places where you could, and still can, refresh your basic skill set.

The recent opening of the Viewer 2-specific Welcome and Discovery Islands, combined with my discoveries so far — and with an increasing urge toward historical preservation — sent me off on a tangent. Here, in order of their appearance on the Grid, are the locations created to ease new users into Second Life.

The Lost (Linden) World

The sign beneath the tower reads “Learning Center”.
 Uncredited image obtained by clicking a treasure chest hidden at
the bottom of the pond at the Violet Welcome Area (see below). 
 
The Newbie Corral, Natoma

The first Welcome Area, in the closed beta version of Second Life.
Uncredited image on display at the Governor’s Mansion in Clementina.
  
Orientation Island
Image retrieved from the Second Life Wiki
 
Orientation Island Public
 
Help Island Public
 
Ahern, then and now
2005 image retrieved from the Second Life Wikia

Yamato/Shangri La (Dore)
Plum
Waterhead
Hanja
Violet

All of the above and many more — along with what I hope are informative notes, and links to more information — can be found at my Picasa album SL History Part III – “Welcome to Second Life”. Comments on the images are welcomed, especially those from “oldbies” who were there.

The new system of Welcome and Discovery Islands renders all of the above places obsolete, but they (and their adjacent sandboxes) are still visited and used by Residents.  Not one of them was empty when I visited.  As unpredictable as Linden Lab can be about almost everything they do in, about, and to their “product”, they at least — so far — seem to have a sense that history deserves to be maintained.  I hope that continues.

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Note: all otherwise-uncredited images were captured in situ by me over the past few days.

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7 responses to “"Welcome to Second Life" – a pictorial review

  1. Wonderful! Thank you.
    Knowing that the end was near for Help Islands 201 through 240 a month or so ago, I did get a couple of pictures in their last days. I'll send them to you in-world.

  2. Wow, I had no idea there was anyone else interested in imagery from Second Life in days past (with a literal observance of chronology)! My family thinks I'm crazy for cluttering up my hard-drive with SL photos. I haven't been around as long as you, it will be 3 years in Sept. (I don't like the expression “rezz day”, I'm not sure why). I've really enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your pictorial history.

    Cartography of SL is my favorite, as well as photos of the many lovely sims now gone. Let me know if you'd like to see my photo of a photo of the 2004 SL grid. I took many of Jigoku Hell sim too. Where does Buddhist Hell go when it departs Second Life? Third Life? Second Heaven?
    ;@)

  3. Thank you! There'll be plenty more in weeks to come, too.

    And yes, I'd love to see what you have. IM me inworld, please.

    (btw, you're “older” than me by three months; my 3rd anniversary will be in December)

  4. Thanks, Lalo. You know your images may be all that is left in a few years? Given the stupid moves by this company, that seems likely. Thank you for posting stuff from better days in SL.

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  6. Pingback: Seconderth (a deep map) : Plum & Lime | Telling: Like it Is

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