Second Life 9th Birthday – Perception

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.

D'ni Refugees at Second Life 5th Birthday

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.

Wallflower Practice - Finding a corner was hard

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.

The Point

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: 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.

3 thoughts on “Second Life 9th Birthday – Perception

  1. Actually, my point is not that LL aren’t involved per se, but rather than they’re not even providing the simulator space for people to come collectively together, roam, discover, and entertain one another.

    Part of the appeal of SL8B on back to the dawn of the centralised venue is that one could roam and explore and stumble upon things. With the celebrations potentially scattered across the grid, this ability, teleporting notwithstanding, is to be lost.

    Also, there’s the fact that anyone wanting to put-on any large scale event for the week of celebrations is at an immediate disadvantage. For one thing, they have to make the space, for another, they have to find a means to cover tier.

    Sure, clubs and venues across the grid can hold “one-off” parties – but is this really such a differentiator to anything else they run? Is it a spectacular community themed event that distinguishes the celebration of SL anniversary?

    If a group comes together and can co-ordinate things, that that would be wonderful – although the issue of tier, etc., still stands.

    Personally, I’d like to have seen more of a half-way house offered up, with LL providing some “centralised” space while also encouraging other bodies within SL to take the lead in organising events and activities – such as those in the Arts co-ordinating matters so that there might be various celebration-themed “art” events at the LEA and among private art sims.

    As it is, the idea that LL want to celebrate the theme of “community” while effectively stepping away from the community – is, to say the least, ironic.

  2. I do so agree, the small parties idea is good in principle, but it will mean that people just go to the same places that they have always gone to, and those places will have special events, just the same as any other time.

    It seems that LL want to distance themselves from SL now.

    If they really want the ‘residents’ to do the work this year, then allow a group to use some sims that LL can provide to do the whole thing properly. There are a lot of people who have been involved in previous parties who are waiting in the wings to do it all again.

    All we need from LL, are a few sims, ( cost, very little), and some advertising, ( cost even less). And we would be happy to get LL approval if that is what is required.

    • I disagree a bit. Your point that people will go where they have always gone is reasonable and to some extent is what will happen. I believe a large number of people in SL are ‘unaffiliated.’ They will visit places according to what they find interesting from the Events Guide. I suspect those that write interesting and fun sounding descriptions for the Events posting will have lots of visitors.

      Having a centralized set of regions does mix people together.There are good and bad things about having a central meeting place. This year we deal with not having one.

      I disagree about LL distancing from SL. In some ways that’s like saying one is trying to distance from their self, not really possible. I think the Lindens are busy and in a no win situation. In many ways I think we, the community, have pushed them to step back. I suspect no one in the Lab wants the thankless job that will only draw negative respnses. I suspect resistance to taking the job was so strong management decided against forcing it on anyone… and I could be wrong.

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