Having begun where a closed-beta Resident would have — Natoma — I turn next to the region that contains one of the richest collections of the oldest constructions. Best known (by those who know it at all) as the site of Steller Sunshine’s Beanstalk*, it holds many other artifacts which have stood the test of time, the winds of change and “prim evaporation”, the vagaries of fashion, and the seemingly limited attention spans of latter-day Residents.
At the base of the Beanstalk is the Fallen Stone Giant (by Zebulon Starseeker, September 2003) — like most of us, just barely keeping his head above water. He’s holding up a “Beansprout”, which has a rotating fountain effect (and is free-to-copy). Behind and to the left of the Giant is:
Dawson’s Dive, owned by Dawson Murphy but built by Steller Sunshine on and around Groundhog Day, 2003. Some of the furniture inside (also by Steller) is as old as July 2002. In the background (and to the Giant’s right in that image) is:
Tweke Underhill’s Hat Tree; the lower half appears to have been rebuilt in 2006, but the upper trunk and branches date from March 2004. Long before the introduction of sculpties, trees like this were built entirely of prims, with “Linden trees” used as foliage. Inside the Hat Tree are — what else? — hats, displayed on hat trees; still for sale, with creation dates going back to February 2003.
All together now: “We all live in a…” Yellow Submarine, after the Beatles’ animated movie and the album of the same name. Built by Paul Zeeman in October 2003.
Finally (for the purposes of this blog, anyway): Saaz Roentgen’s Sandcastle, built in September 2003. More tidbits can be found in the Welsh section of “SL History, Part I : The First 20 Sims“, including a hardshell crab by Tweke Underhill, and a larger-than-life Viewmaster by Steller displaying a photo of Philip Linden in an unguarded moment.
* – In “The Persistence of Vision” I made as strong a case as I could for Steller’s Beanstalk being the oldest construction existing in Second Life, based on reports that she first created it on March 13, 2002. However, just in the last couple of days I discovered that Daniel Voyager has “unearthed” an artifact still older: a reproduction of a nickel (US 5-cent piece, for our non-American friends) created by James Linden in February 2002, a month before Steller joined Linden World as the first non-Linden Resident.
Do I want to engage in semantic quibbling about what constitutes user-generated content? Seems to me, anyone who logs in is a “User of the Service”, as the Terms of Service would have it, whether or not they’re an employee of the Lab. And, despite pervasive rumors that a large number of current Lab employees do not “use” Second Life, it is clear that, in the Elder Days, some of them were as actively engaged and creative as the non-employee Residents. So I will leave it as “an exercise for the reader” to decide if, and how many ways, to split categories of Oldest.