June 29, 2006

A Brief History

A Baedeker often begins with a brief over view of the area of interest as well as some general historical information. I will not bore you with yet another round up since many others have done a splendid job with the subject.

When you have finished exploring the Second Life Website and many of the links in my side bar, you might enjoy visiting these Areas of Historical Interest within the world:

  • SL Historical Museum, Phobos (217, 166, 33) - Created by Oz Spade, the Historical museum is dedicated to "chronicling and preserving the history of Second Life. The objective is to remember our past and where we have been and come from, while we continue to move forward into the future." It is well done and informative.

  • Second Life's Wall of History, Kirkby (133, 164, 24) - The Wall of History was created for the Second Birthday (by Pathfinder Linden, of course). While some of the information is outdated, much still has pertenance. There are some wonderful pictures from Alpha. The rest of the area is also worth exploring, there is a great deal of information about the various activities in Second Life, and an art gallery.

  • Governor Linden's Mansion, Clementina (188, 122, 62) - Preserved from Alpha as a monument to the early creators, the mansion is the oldest building in SL. The basement houses a photographic exhibit and the original time capsul.

  • Beta Monument, Plum (128, 53) - as a Resident of SL, it is important to reflect upon the Avatars that came before us. I strongly encourage a visit to this monument where the 1593 names of the Beta Testers are enscribed on the walls. Many of these individuals can still be located in "Find" indicating that their involvement in our world continues. You will recognize some of the names.

Visiting the Beta Monument

As a bonus: an RL historical display (This is not at all about the history of SL, but I discovered it while I was locating the coordinates for the museum and found it interesting).
Second Life Library History Gallery, Info Island 178, 159, 33
I am fond of endeavors to bring Real Educational Experiences into the Virtual World.

June 27, 2006

The Office of Second Life Tourism

So here's the thing.

In the virtual world of Second Life where the landscape changes every day, where the builds can come up and go down in a matter of seconds (depending upon the speed of one's graphics card), "seeing it all" can be a bit tricky. There are no historical markers, there is no board of tourism complete with pamphlets (although Pathfinder's Picks can be a good start), there is no tourist agency to help plan virtual sightseeing. When I first came in-world, I found this to be rather tragic. I was a little surprised that in a world where building was such an integral part of the culture no one was really highlighting "Tourist Spots." There are so many people making so many incredible, wacky, disturbing, unusual, impossible things. Where does one start? How does one know where to look first?

The RL Victorians had the same problem. The middle classes, finding themselves with the cash and leisure time for travel, needed aid in understanding the cultural value and significance of the sites that they were visiting. Karl Baedeker solved this problem with his Travel Guides, which were published from the 1830s until WWII.* In short, one's Baedeker told one where to look and what to think about it. While I am not particularly interested in shaping my Dear Reader's opinion (I am quite sure that my Reader is capable of articulating personal likes and dislikes), I think it would be valuable to be kept abreast of where to look in-world.

In the rapidly-changing world of SL, a published book wouldn't do a bit of good. It would be out of date by the time it came out of the THiNC Printing Press. But a blog. A blog is flexible. Agile. Ever changing.

And here we are.

*Incidentally, there appears to still be a German company publishing under the name of Baedeker. But since I do not read German, I can't tell if they are kin to the original. You may view their site here.