Linden Lab® has announced Second Life’s coming ninth birthday in June. It is a small announcement, 158 words. See: Help Us Celebrate Second Life’s 9th Birthday! If one had no history with Second Life® the announcement would just be an announcement, neither good nor bad. But, those having history with Second Life are having various reactions to the announcement based on their history, expectations, and perceptions of Second Life and Linden Lab.
Tateru in an article on Dwell On It, Anniversary time. Everything new is old again, recalls what, to her, is probably the best SL Birthday in all time: SL3B. Tateru see this announcement as possibly opening the best opportunity for a great celebration in years. She goes on to speculate on why the Lindens are proceeding this way, but that is speculation.
Innara Pey at Living in a Modem World sees it as a shame. For her the collection of regions devoted to the celebration and the large number of builds for the Second Life 8th Birthday (SL8B) made for a great party.
I was somewhat disappointed with SL8B. I like to see great builds. I like to see creative ideas well expressed. I love things like Kerryth’s lacy, fairy like buildings. I like the interactive art. I like finding a bunch of friends parting and having fun. There were 3 or 4 builds in all the dozens that fascinated me. I want to be endlessly fascinated. But, such builds take a huge amount of effort. Building just for a few days and then seeing the build disappear has to take its toll.
Repeating that gigantic and creatively expensive task while putting it to a schedule seems self defeating to me. Creativity doesn’t play well on demand. It comes when inspiration moves people. I’ll assume this year’s change in how the Lab wishes to celebrate SL’s birthday is a good thing. I can assume anything I want. I can’t see why people choose to assume a negative when it is about something they can change.
For me I’m curious what we will see this year.
I remember my first Second Life Birthday: SL5B. I came to it from the recent demise of my favorite MMOG: Myst Online: Uru Live, which is now back online… sort of. A couple of hundred refugees moved to Second Life in Uru’s most recent closing 2008. The Myst community has seen Uru Live close a few times now. And the closing in 2008 was not the first closing. So, there were already many refugees from our community in Second Life.
I think the majority of the Uruites or Dni Refugees, depending on where a Myst fan is in-character or not, and certainly I, had no prior history with Second Life. We took SL5B as an opportunity to get our community together and whole heartedly joined the celebration. I think SL5B is the best SL Birthday in my experience. I suppose first’s have some emotional attachment and that ‘new’ thing.
I suspect some in the community with experience in SL and with the Lab helped get our part of the party together. I wasn’t heavy into the MMO at the time and was too new to know what was happening behind the scenes. Not knowing any reason not to, I had a great time. Even if I was still pretty much a wall flower.
This coming birthday celebration will be whatever the residents make of it. Listening to Tateru the SL3B was far better than SL5B. Inara seems to think SL9B cannot be as good as SL8B because the Lindens aren’t involved and giving out free land for the party. I think SL9B will be whatever we make it. I think that is what Tateru is saying.
I visit the D’ni Community as opposed to hanging there. We are assimilating into the Second Life culture and the greater realm of MMOG’s. This is another year when the D’ni community, like other SL communities, could pull together and put on a great party. Community events are to be given some kind of SL9B Status in the Destination and Event guides this year. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org to add your part of the celebration.
We can see those that want things to be done for them and those that do something. For me this is a miniature reenactment of patterns iRL. This year people will choose to use the freedom to create their own experience or sit around and sulk and complain that the Lindens, government, didn’t take over and tell them what they can do, so they can be entertained and grip about the poor quality of SL9B…
Creativity comes from chaos and freedom not control and rules. The D’ni community and other communities may use the freedom of this opportunity to promote their communities and the incredible things they have built, while having a fun time. Or they may look to others to do it for them. This year will probably show the trend in Second Life.
SL9B will be whatever we make if it. I plan to have fun and be positive.
In the mean time, I have a lot of SL news to get written up.