Originally, during the Alpha period, the grid was known as Lindenworld. As we were getting ready to launch the Beta, we decided we needed a name that would convey the expansiveness, involvement and complexity we hoped would characterize this world as it grew. We started by debating the merits of a ‘place’ name versus a ‘descriptive’ name. We believed a place name would give people a sense of destination, and possibly some added layer of meaning. And we thought a descriptive name would help people understand this new concept of a shared, 3D collaborative space.
We had a lot of ideas for place names — one of my favorites was Sansara, which was not only euphonic, but had an interesting meaning in the original Sanskrit, meaning roughly ‘ever changing world’. Ultimately, though, we chose to go with a descriptive name, and looked at many derivatives of Terra, Viva, and life. We kept coming back to Life2, and then landed on Second Life as more interesting, more evocative and more what we hoped the world could become as it evolved and grew to be as big as life.
And that’s how it came about! – Robin Linden, former VP of Marketing and Community Development
Second Life grew out of Linden World and it landed with Da Boom. Da Boom in this case being the first region to be born in Second Life.
This quickly grew to sixteen regions :
Da Boom, Ritch, Zoe, Stanford, Federal, Freelon, Minna, Natoma, Taber, Welsh, Clyde, Hawthorne, Shipley, Clara, Varney and Stillman. Those sims are all still there by the way and you can happily explore them.
The first resident, Steller Sunshine, was a busy bee and there’s a climbable beanstalk in Welsh.
Taber is the home of Fairchang Park which offers freebies and has a lot of old original character to it.
The park is also dedicated to Garth Fairchang and there is a bench there with his name on it.
Further afield is an old sim but not one of the original sixteen. That sim is Clementia and that also has a park.
Clementia is also home to another Steller Sunshine build, Governor Linden’s mansion where you will find a list of old Linden Lab employees, including an odd one by the name of “Hacker Philip Linden“.
However if we go back to those original sixteen regions we find a place of the utmost importance. Long before Mesh arrived in Second Life, people found new and interesting ways to shape prims. The place to learn many of those techniques was at The Ivory Tower Of Primitives. Located in Natoma this is still a busy location and still contains some excellent tutorials. Prims still have a part to play in Second Life.
Later on another excellent content creation resource would appear. Many regions away from the orginal land mass lies The Particle Lab. This is still the place to go if you want to learn all about creating particles in Second Life and like the Ivory Tower of Primitives, it’s still quite a busy location.
Linden Lab also made their presence felt in terms of providing tips, resources and safe havens. The info hub in Murray is generally quiet these days, but it still has an excellent touch of nostalgia about it.
Waterhead also takes us back in time in terms of tutorials. There’s also a sign promoting the use of Second Life by real life educators.
Linden Village is not what it once was. I can remember heading there and seeing a crowd with pitchforks after a controversial decision by Linden Lab. I can’t quite remember the controversy! Yes there have been a few. However you can still find a balloon offering tours of the Linden Village.
Here’s a video from 2001, whereas Second Life did not quite go in this direction, it’s interesting to see what the thinking was back in 2001.
The fun thing about looking back into the origins of Second Life is that you can appreciate just how much it has changed. Older residents will still get a tingle of nostalgia whilst visiting these locations, and then whip out their new Mesh outfits and builds when they get back to their usual hangout, but that’s part of the fun!
There are many more places that contain information about the history of Second Life and a really good place is the Destination Guide Second Life Origins section, for example :
SLURL To Particle Lab : maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Teal/178/50/21
SLURL To Da Boom : http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Da%20Boom/128/128/35
History Of Second Life on the Wiki : http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/History