Nine years ago today — March 13, 2002 — someone who was not an employee of the fledgling Linden Lab logged in to “Linden World”, the alpha version of Second Life, and by doing so became The First Resident:
Legend has it (and I see no reason to doubt) that Steller stayed logged in overnight, building. First to be rezzed, a prim at a time, was this cabin:
Followed by The Beanstalk:
Not bad for a night’s work… and it says something important about the user interface’s learning curve, too. If you are (as I assume you must be, if you’re reading this blog) a current visitor/user/Resident/customer of Second Life, think for a moment about how much more rudimentary (and laggy!) everything was in Linden World than that which we complain about now… and understand that a person inspired by the possibilities could still accomplish all that on her first login!
When Linden World was taken down, replaced by 16 new regions, and renamed Second Life (some time around the end of October, 2002), certain landmark structures were preserved and re-rezzed. Steller’s cabin was not among them, but the Beanstalk was… and so was this:
Now known as “The Governor’s Mansion”, and located above the east coast of Clementina, it was Steller’s home in Linden World. It now has a basement level containing a slipshod attempt at a museum, which includes a display of this Linden World screenshot taken during construction (July 2002):
Notice the door in mid-air, in the process of being placed, and the Beanstalk at some indeterminable distance in the background. I have to guess that the avatar is Steller, and that she captured this image, but I feel my guess is on solid pixel ground, since the hairstyle matches this photo of Steller dancing with some guy at a party at her place after it was finished:
In the comments to the NWN post linked above, brinda Allen mentions that Steller’s in-world presence was noted as recently as a year ago. It’s nice to think that the Oldest of the Oldbies still logs in every once in a while…
Happy 9th Rezday, Steller!
(…and, coincidentally, happy ninth anniversary to “user generated content” not created by a Lab employee — to some, as important a milestone as Steller’s first login)
Note: The Beanstalk, and many other of Steller’s early creations, can be found on her land in the center of Welsh. There is also a surprise inclusion of prims she created the same day as the Mansion, as part of a build in Immaculate. The photo of the cabin comes from a web page Steller authored, which is still online. Two instances of the party picture can be found in-world: one is in Steller’s Viewmaster on the ground in Welsh; the other is in the museum on I-World Island.