The White Pearl Salon: A Home for the Trans Community in Second Life (and in Real Life!)

Have you read my previous blogpost on Sex and Gender Issues in Virtual Worlds? Or on LGBTQ Spaces in the Metaverse?

The entrance to the White Pearl Salon

At a time when many red states in the U.S. are passing laws against drag performers and transgender people, it’s vitally important for LGBTQ people and their allies to have safe places in which to gather and find like-minded community, both in real life and in virtual life. Second Life has always been a welcoming virtual space for the LGBTQ community, with its own special landing page and numerous sims devoted to any and every aspect of the queer community (of which I, a cisgender gay man, am a part).

Last week, while club hopping as Vanity Fair, I came across the White Pearl Salon, an LGBTQ-friendly space which caters to the trans community. I received such a warm welcome from the staff and patrons of the club, that I have paid many return visits! I think I might have found my new hangout spot in Second Life, the first since Bray’s Place Blues club sadly closed its doors (you can read more about it here on my blog).

The White Pearl Salon is the brainchild of its proprietor, Robin Palmer (Robinpalmer7 Resident), who describes herself as “just a simple garden variety cross-dresser”, and who very kindly agreed to be interviewed for this blogpost, while she worked a DJ set at her club:

Robin Palmer (R): I was a guy first, then a woman.

Ryan Schultz as Vanity Fair (V): In real life, or in Second Life?

R: LOL… SL only. I came out as trans 30 months ago. I go to real-life trans parties when on the road (not in my town).

V: It can be a scary step to do in real life. I have a lot of respect for the trans people I have met at my local bars and elsewhere. And what is happening right now in some U.S. states just enrages me. So I fully support what you are trying to do here, Robin.

R: Oh yes. And it’s good that, in my experience, there is no judging.  Some are out, others in.  No pressure ever to “come out.”

V: First question: when did you join Second Life?

R: 12 years ago? Let me check. It was before this account. Yes, about 12 years.

V: When did you decide to create the White Pearl Salon, and why?

R: Well, first, my old avatar was a guy. I dated some ladies, and they told me [most] guys are creeps in SL. So then I created a lady account… this one…”Old Robin.” I created an entire sim dedicated to Victorian art and culture, a “Disneyland for Victoriana,” as a lady. About 30 months ago, I came out as trans. I visited the other [trans] clubs, and thought there should be at least ONE with a focus on relationships, not quickie pose ball sex. Thus the Pearl. 🙂

V: Tell me a bit about the art gallery in the Pearl.

R: Well, the one in this club is called the Gerda Wegener Art Gallery. Did you see The Danish Girl?

V: Not yet, no. It’s on my list of movie to watch, though.

R: Eddie Redemayne won an Oscar as a 1920s SRS [Sex Reassignment Surgery] trans. His wife was Gerda Wegener. Gerda was fem, but an advocate for trans in the 1920s, a heroic person and great artist. I created the gallery as a draw to real-life trans people. We can have exhibits that no other gallery in the real-life world can ever have. I want to promote trans and trans-friendly artists like Gerda. No porn, no BDSM; pride, dignity, beauty, and elegance only.

V: So you want to bring more real-life trans people into Second Life?

R: Exactly. I forget the figures, but the UN estimates at least 2% globally are trans. So, of 8 billion people….we’re talking millions.

V: Can you tell me what sets your club apart from other trans clubs in SL?

R: I’ve come to feel that a huge majority of current “SL trans” are cosplay trans… young boys playing games for some quick sex. And the other [SL trans] clubs are mainly part of the global “Adult Entertainment” industry…i.e. porn/BDSM.

V: And you wanted to provide an alternative space?

R: Yes. One tiny island of social engagement, love, joy, laughs, chat, romance. and relationships for SL trans people. I am liberal. I do not judge.  If you want porn/BDSM, fine… but I just want to offer an option.

V: How long has the White Pearl Salon been operating?

R: 25 months. We have 1,030 members now, and over 7.5 million views of our White Pearl Salon Flickr photo pool.

V: Cool!

R: Yes, we’ve been growing a lot after the “Covid drop.” As COVID restrictions eased, visits here fell. I guess it was true for all SL.

V: Yes.

R: Since January 2023, we have had strong growth We track traffic to the club. I try to run Pearl as a real-life business.

V: Oh, interesting. I notice that you also have a room devoted to a matchmaking and/or dating service. Could you tell me more about that?

R: Well, as a great part of my vision is relationships. I thought a direct dating service for trans would be useful. Again, not porn or escort stuff.

V: Understood.

R: This year, I’ll try to get some RL corporate sponsors…. perhaps Bud Lite? LOLOLOL!

V: You can always dream! Tell me your vision for the White Pearl Salon, Robin. What is your dream for this place?

R: To have 1-2 million members. 🙂 Truly, the global potential is almost infinite. Within SL, it is limited; Linden Lab does not [really] understand that at all. Of LGBTQ, the T can use SL the most. A huge percentage of global trans people are in the closet. Second Life can be a path out of that closet.

V: So you see SL as a way for trans people to step out of the closet.

R: Exactly.

V: Experiment with how they wish to be perceived by others.

R: Exactly.  🙂

V: Thank you! Before we end this interview, is there anything else you want to add, Robin?

R: One sec. About 20% of our Flickr photos have a text. Let me get it for you:

SECOND LIFE – A Path Out of the Closet

For the LGBT community, and especially for transgender Ladies and Gentlemen, Second Live ( offers a world of opportunities to explore new worlds, both romantic and exotic, adventurous and relaxing, beautiful and mysterious.

But most importantly, Second Life (SL) allows you to explore yourself – your heart, needs and desires – and to share your journey with thousands of other lovely people – both transgenders (TGs) and their friends and admirers.

Basic membership in SL is free.  Create your account, your avatar, your wardrobe and begin exploring.

Searching for a friendly companion?  Come to SL. Searching for a shoulder to cry on?  Come to SL. Searching for virtual romance?  Come to SL.

As in Real Life (RL), SL is not without perils.  We are all avatars—we all create our perfect self-images, whether close to our real selves, or dreamboats. But take a chance.  Step into a world of endless virtual possibilities.

And if you do, please visit the White Pearl Salon (in your Second Life client, Search > Places > “White Pearl Salon”). Here’s your limousine to the Pearl. Our calendar of exciting DJ dance and costume/theme parties is here. Photo albums of past and future events are in our award-winning 7,000,000 view Flickr albums can be found here (there’s also a visitor’s photo pool). We also run a fashion blog.

For transgenders, their friends and all people, the White Pearl Salon is dedicated to the principles of respect, dignity, pride, beauty, charm and, well, the best time ever in a virtual environment.  The Pearl is Second Life’s most “safe space” for transgender people.

So take the next step and join Second Life. Celebrate the woman… or man… within.

In addition to the main club, there is a small store, The Cultured Pearl, off to the left of the main entrance, selling fashions for avatars of all genders (along with a generous selection of fashionable freebies, no group required!):

A selection of gifts available for free from The Cultured Pearl

Also off the upstairs balcony are a changing room, a ballet studio, the previously mentioned matchmaking/dating services room (please click on each image in the gallery below to see it in full size).

Upstairs, you can also find the previously=mentioned Greta Wegener Art Gallery:

Please note that there will soon be a second art gallery on the same sim, the White Pearl Art Center (SLURL), which will have its official grand opening on May 7th, 2023. If you are an artist who is interested in having your work shown at any of the galleries, please contact the White Pearl Salon art curator, Juana Ametza (Juana Secretspy).

The main floor of the White Pearl Salon is down the winding staircases. Tucked under the stairs is a cozy, well-decorated bar:

The dance floor offers both couples and singles dances, as well as one of those fancy synchronized dance floors! Just touch the gold ball next to the grand piano to dance in sync with the other avatars, or use the pink dance balls for couples and singles dances. There’s even a blind dance board if you want to find a dance partner!

The main stage at the White Pearl Salon

There’s an extensive calendar of events, with a list of DJs performing. Many days at the White Pearl Salon have a theme (e.g. Formal Friday, Hat Day, Angels and Devils, Spring Fling).

The recent Spring Fling day at the White Pearl Salon

I leave you with a two-hour Netflix documentary on YouTube, which Robin Palmer highly encourages those people, who might want to learn more about the trans community and why she created the White Pearl Salon, to watch:

Why not pay a visit to the White Pearl Salon? Tell’em Vanity sent you… 😉

UPDATED! Editorial: The Importance of Discoverability in the Metaverse

The Second Life Destination Guide has had an overhaul!

People whose introduction to the concept of the metaverse started with VRChat, Horizon Worlds, and other social VR platforms may question why I choose to write so often and so fondly about Second Life, a virtual world which was launched in 2003, well before the advent of consumer-grade virtual reality headsets. My answer is always the same: Second Life is the perfect model of a mature, fully-evolved virtual world, with a vibrant ecosystem and a still-thriving community, which many newer metaverse companies would be wise to study, learn lessons from, and (in some cases) emulate.

Recently, Linden Lab (the company which makes Second Life) announced a long-overdue overhaul to the Second Life Destination Guide:

The latest version of the Destination Guide offers a modern design refresh (the first since 2010!), while also adding some useful new features that enable easier discovery of Second Life events and experiences. Web visitors may welcome the addition of a much-requested Search bar so that you can better seek and find the places that interest you, while category and search result pages now also have a “Sort by” option in the upper-right corner that allows users to filter the directory by “Newest” entries and alphabetically (A-Z or Z-A). Mobile users will notice that the Destination Guide is now much easier to browse and explore while on the go – which may come in handy to accompany our forthcoming Mobile Viewer.

The new Second Life Destination Guide features keyword searching and results sorting

Of course, there’s not just an external directory on the Second Life website; there’s also in-world search tools as well. (They need a bit of improvement too, but that’s the subject for another blogpost!)

Which brings me to the topic of today’s editorial: the vital importance of discoverability in the metaverse. I believe that this is something which many metaverse-building companies tend to neglect, or treat as an afterthought, to the detriment of their platforms’ communities—and to their corporate bottom line.

Let’s take VRChat as an example. In February 2021, I blogged:

Since I have upgraded my Oculus Rift to a Valve Index, I have been spending more and more time in VRChat lately. VRChat in 2021 reminds me of nothing so much as Second Life circa 2007, when I first joined: the wonderful sense of exploration and adventure, never quite knowing where you were going to land up and who you would encounter!

However, there is still one problem that I encounter in VRChat, and that is the topic for today’s blogpost: the need to set up a better in-world directory of worlds to explore. I have written about this topic before, but the need has now become acute. Finding cool worlds in VRChat has become something of a crapshoot, a time-consuming, trial-and-error process.

And since then, the problem has only gotten worse! It is an exercise in frustration to try and find worlds by topic, or by searching for keywords which might (or more often, might not!) appear in the world’s name. VRChat badly needs an official, external directory website of created worlds which is better curated and has more than just the broadest of categories.

VRChat’s Discover Worlds features basically mimics the in-headset directory, with its unhelpful, overly broad categorization

There is a keyword search feature, but it lumps in user profiles, meaning you have to scroll down to the worlds whose titles and/or tags match what you typed in:

There is a desperate need for some sort of directory of VRChat worlds which offers the ability for people to describe their worlds in much more detail, and allows them to browse with more nuance (for example, sleep worlds). The closest thing to the utility of the Second Life Destination Guide is the volunteer-run Worlds on VRChat website, which seems to be mainly focused on Japanese-language worlds.

Why is this important? It’s vital, because social VR is, by its very nature, all about the community. A metaverse platform fails or succeeds by its ability to attract an audience, and making it easier for like-minded people to find each other, form communities, and build things together. It is a factor in whether a user visits your metaverse once, wanders around lost, gives up and logs out—or finds a friendly space catering to her interests, and comes back again and again!

For example, I just love visiting 1029Chris’ delightful bird sanctuary in VRChat. Now, let’s assume that I am a user is a newbie, who has heard through the grapevine that there’s this cool place in VRChat where you can feel bread to geese, but doesn’t know how to find it. She doesn’t know the name of the place. Even worse, she doesn’t know the username of the person who created it.

She puts on her headset and goes to the in-headset Worlds directory, or perhaps instead she goes to the VRChat Discover Worlds page on the VRChat website, and starts hunting. She enters “geese”, and finds three worlds, none of which are what she is looking for (while Chris has helpfully added the word “ducks” as a tag to her bird sanctuary, “geese” or “goose” are neither in the world’s title, nor its tags).

The poor newbie doesn’t know Chris’ username (1029chris), so she can’t search by the name of the world’s creator, to find it via Chris’ profile. After a frustrating couple of minutes, she gives up. She loses out on an experience that would have engaged her, and perhaps brought her back time and again, and perhaps would have led to further good word-of-mouth among other people, including other people new to social VR and virtual reality—leading to potentially more business for VRChat!

And that’s a simple example. How about this one: you want to find this cool place that you heard about in VRChat, where all you know is that you can change the backgrounds to all kinds of cool animated patterns—but you don’t know that it was created by 1001, or that the name of the world is Treehouse in the Shade, or any of the keywords used to describe it? It’s like finding a needle in a haystack!

You could argue that it’s too expensive for a company like VRChat to devote resources to build and maintain such a detailed and helpful directory of worlds for its user base. I would argue that it is a cost of doing business, a cost of investing in your community. At the very least, VRChat should be working with its community to enhance the discoverability of the insanely creative spaces its users are creating!

OK, end of rant. I am now getting down off my soapbox!

Executive summary: discoverability is a key factor in the success of any metaverse. Build it into your product. Make it easy for people to find cool worlds that match their interests, find each other, and build communities.

UPDATE 12:42 p.m.: I just had an experience that underscores the importance of discoverability! My Second Life avatar was exploring the cafés listed under the Cafés and Hangouts subsection of the new Destination Guide:

She teleported into Little Whiskeria, and while she was looking around the café/bar, the owner Lizzy showed up, and we got to talking. Lizzy invited me to an event that is taking place at 11:00 a.m. SLT/Pacific Time, so I am now making plans to catch a live performance (singing/guitar/piano) at Little Whiskeria!

That’s exactly why discoverability is so important: it took me from my interest (coffee houses) and immediately met that need in a very satisfying way, which will probably lead me to tell my friends about this place and come back for return visits!

UPDATE 1:13 p.m.: Here’s a snapshot of the live show at Little Whiskeria, a really good German/English band is on stage and the summer folk music café ambiance is wonderful, just what I needed on a wintry Winnipeg day!

Live show at the Little Whiskeria café/bar

UPDATE April 8th, 2023: My friend Rainwolf told me about another website directory of VRChat worlds, called VRC List, which has a variety of search and sort options:

Thanks, Rainwolf!

Preparing For Second Life’s 20th Birthday Celebrations: Here’s How You Can Participate

On June 23rd, 2023, the pioneering virtual world of Second Life will turn 20 years old. The 20th annual Second Life birthday celebration (SL20B for short, in keeping with the customary style of abbreviation of previous years) will be held from June 22nd to July 11th, 2023.

I’m quite sure that many of the literally millions of people who have set up SL accounts and created avatars over the years (many of which were abandoned after a day, a week, a month, or a year) never dreamed that Second Life would reach this epic milestone. And for 16 of those 20 years, I myself have been in Second Life, part of a small but passionate user base who may have taken a hiatus from time to time, but never truly left.

Despite the doomsayers, SL is still going strong, and still makes a tidy profit for Linden Lab, the company which created and maintains Second Life. As in previous years, the SL20B celebrations will feature live music and many other kinds of performances, some shopping, and some amazing exhibits by the many communities and cultures which make their home in Second Life.

A featured news post on the community pages explains how this year’s theme was chosen:

This year we wanted a theme that not only reflects on where we have been but embraces where we are going. We are celebrating twenty years of Second Life. That is an amazing realization. Who could have imagined in 2003 the vibrant, engaging, and creative community we are in 2023? We are living the future that was only a dream twenty years ago. Now we are projecting the future we hope to see as we move ahead another twenty years as both a community and a world.

We are pleased to announce our Birthday theme for this year: Our Fantastic Future. The cornerstone of this idea is what we would define as eco-futurism including sustainability, a focus on our environment, and the next generation of our world. Some might call this science fiction, but what is science fiction except a dream for a possible future? In Second Life, we build worlds. Our worlds, our way. For SL20B, we invite you to show us your worlds of the future!

And you can be a part of the celebration! At the moment, Linden Lab is searching for musical performers:

To get things started, we are opening applications for Music Fest, to be held on June 22nd-24th. Music Fest will kick off the overall SL20B celebration with three days of live music performances featuring some of the most talented live musicians in Second Life!

To sign up for a Music Fest audition, please complete this application form by April 9th, 2023.

We are also opening up applications for the general performance schedule. Why celebrate for one day when we can party for a week?! We are looking for all types of performers to join the week-long festivities from June 25th to July 2nd. Are you a DJ who can spin up a great party set, or a live performer who can jam all night? You might be one of the grid’s amazing dance companies, or perhaps you’re a particle performer? One of the things that makes Second Life so vibrant and exciting is the wide range of performers who share their talent with our residents. Whatever your medium, we would love to hear from you!

Fill out the official performer application form by May 14th, 2023, and tell us a little about how you roll.

While we encourage all interested performers to sign up, please note that it does not guarantee a spot. We will review all submissions and extend audition invitations via a follow-up note in-world to the SL username that you provide.

In addition, there are calls for SL20B exhibitors and volunteers, with a deadline of May 14th, 2023 for each:

Share your Second Life passions with us. Your interests. Your communities. Your world! Every year we celebrate because of you, the amazing and creative residents who have chosen to call Second Life home. What has drawn you into this world, and what keeps you here? These annual festivities are an opportunity to show us what fuels your Second Life. Let’s celebrate that together! 

New this year, we are offering two types of exhibitor regions, General rated regions and Adult rated regions. 

If you would like to participate as an exhibitor with a presence at SL20B, then please fill out this exhibitor form no later than May 14th. 

We’re also looking for volunteers to assist during the celebrations. We are seeking Residents with great people skills and a passion to share the best of Second Life to help us make SL20B a huge success! 

If you have the Second Life spirit and stamina to promote SL20B events and serve as a guide for huge crowds, we’d love for you to fill out the volunteer application by May 14th!

There’s a Flickr pool of photos taken at past birthday celebrations here.

This freebie fashionista expects some truly epic gifts, both at the Shop and Hop event and at various locations on the SL20B fairgrounds.

So dust off your old avatar, and save the date!

Sixteen Years of Second Life Landmarks: A Trip Down Memory Lane

My oldest Second Life avatar, with the legacy name of Heath Homewood, was created on March 20th, 2007, which means that in a couple of weeks he will be sixteen years old! (And yes, I can blame a work committee at my university library for falling down that particular rabbit hole; more details here in a blogpost I wrote in 2017.)

This evening, on a whim, I loaded Heath up, opened up the landmarks folder in his voluminous, never-cleaned-out-in-sixteen-years inventory, and tried teleporting into various saved landmarks, out of curiosity, just to see if they were still around.

Many were long since gone, of course; over 16 years, sims had often changed hands. More often than not, I got an error message that the non-mainland destination no longer existed at all on the Second Life grid. Sometimes, the new owner of the sim or parcel had set up an intruder alert system, which warned me that I was trespassing on private property and that I needed to be somewhere else within X number of seconds (the rude ones set it to 5 seconds, and in one case, 1 second!).

The virtual recreation of a Tim Horton’s coffee shop, one of the few places where I could meet up with other Canadians in Second Life, has also vanished into pixel dust now. (I have fond memories of sitting around a campfire set up outside the store, swapping stories with my fellow avatars. We used to get quite a varied crowd! It’s amazing how many virtual worlds recreated the concept of a central campfire as meeting spot, a concept we have seen again in newer metaverse platforms like AltspaceVR and VRChat.)

Similarly, the extremely detailed virtual recreation of Dresden’s Old Masters Picture Gallery, where I spent many hours wandering around the paintings, is no more (but you can get a sense of it from this September, 2007 WIRED article). Of course, Second Life is home to countless art galleries and museums, but I wish that this particular build were still around! It was a wonderful showcase.

Likewise, my landmark to the Body Doubles store, where you could purchase shapes and styling cards (with detailed information on what to buy where) to create avatars which looked like celebrities, past and present, is long gone. I suspect that they might have gotten into some trouble with the real-life lawyers representing the real-life agencies who owned and/or managed the rights to famous dead and living people!

However, I still have my Marilyn Monroe alt (no doubt created using the style card from Body Doubles), and I like to trot her out for special occasions, just to surprise people. I likewise have a late-stage Elvis Presley avatar, complete with black sideburns, sunglasses, a white glittery jumpsuit, a microphone with singing animations, and even some wearable, white-hot stage spotlights! I still pull him out from time to time, and have him sing and gyrate in some unsuspecting public space, like London City, just for the hell of it. Or have Elvis wander around the grid, looking for Priscilla… 😜

But amazingly, my first-saved and oldest landmark still worked after all these years! The Lost Gardens of Apollo is one of those historical builds which appears to have been preserved for posterity by Linden Lab (which does happen sometimes), and it remains very much the same as it was when I first visited it in 2007, with no modern mesh additions or replacements.

The Lost Gardens of Apollo

You can even take a self-guided balloon tour of the sim (with narration in one of nine different languages), to explore the fantastical architecture: the harbour, the soaring towers, and the floating islands. This used to be a popular place back in the day!

You can tour the Lost Gardens of Apollio via balloon

Another venerable Second Life landmark, the Ivory Tower of Primitives, functioned as an immersive teaching centre, where the first generations of SL builders learned how to create, modify, and assemble primitives (prims), well before the advent of mesh on the grid. It sits on Natoma, one of the first 16 so-called “mainland” sims created by Linden Lab in 2003.

The importance of this place cannot be underestimated. Innumerable Second Life content creators, who perhaps have since moved on to design for other, newer metaverse platforms using tools such as Blender, first got their start by working through the detailed, step-by-step tutorials at the Ivory Tower of Primitives! I was one of them myself (although I never really designed anything truly beautiful or useful, or ever set up a store for my rather limited creations).

There were a few places in Heath Homewood’s landmarks folder that still are around, even sixteen years later! The oldest store landmark that still worked for me was the Bahia Tiki beach house and decor store, which is still in operation (albeit with more modern, mesh offerings). I must have bought something there for my very first set up, a sandy beach on the Maso Ariol sim, a parcel I bought in 2007 and built on and tinkered with to for a little over a year, until I became one of the first tenants in the Bay City mid-century-themed neighbourhood in May of 2008.

The Bahia Tiki store is still around!

Another sim from my landmarks folder, which has stood the test of time is Neufreistadt, inspired by the pubs, cafés, and narrow streets of the real-life Bavarian town, Rothenburg ob der Tauber (here’s a SLURL that takes you to their Marktplatz, where there is a charming bookstore which I had landmarked back in 2007). It was somehow reassuring that, in a virtual world that was full of changes, I had found yet another place where time seemed to stand still.

An aerial view of the town of Neufreistadt

Neufreistadt is one of six regions operating under a long-running, over-arching government, the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, which bills itself as the oldest democracy in Second Life, dating back to 2004 (you can read more about its rich and eventful history here).

I then loaded up my librarian avatar, Notecard Writer, whom I created March 21st, 2007, as my “professional” avatar, as opposed to my “fun” avatar, Heath Homewood. And out of curiosity, I once again began checking out a few of the locations I had saved in the landmarks folder in Notecard Writer’s inventory, dating back to 2007.

Of course, the virtual library reference desk at the Second Life Library, where I used to volunteer evenings and weekends, and the other buildings at Info Island have long since been shut down, as part of the scaling back and downsizing of library services in Second Life (I wrote about it here in 2018). It turns out that expecting patrons to learn how to use SL to ask a reference question was too steep a learning curve, which makes sense. It was an interesting experiment while it lasted, though.

However, I am happy to report that one of Notecard’s landmarks, which still worked after 16 years, is the beloved International Spaceflight Museum, an educational project which was started in late 2005, and which has been at its present location on the Spaceport Alpha sim since early 2006. Here, you can explore models of the many rockets and shuttles which have taken humans into outer space over the decades.

The International Spaceflight Museum

Another spot still around after sixteen years is the Renaissance Island historical roleplay sim, which features a virtual reproduction of the Globe Theatre (exact SLURL), where works by William Shakespeare and other 16th and 17th century playwrights were produced. I don’t think the virtual version has been used for plays for several years now, though (and yes, that was definitely a thing!).

The Globe Theatre on Renaissance Island

Another SL store which has stood the test of time is The Omega Concern, a military vehicle vendor still in the same location after 16 years! I’m not even sure why I saved this as a landmark back in 2007, since I am not into military roleplay at all. I checked my inventory, and lo and behold, it turns out that Notecard Writer bought an anti-griefing tool called the Omicron from this store, to use while working shifts at the reference desk at the previously-mentioned Info Island! I believe the Omicron was recommended to me during my virtual librarian training, to keep those early SL griefers from launching me into orbit… 😜😜😜

The Omega Concern has been operating in the exact same location for 16 years!

One thing that I struggle to understand is why some long-disused locations are still up and running. For example, the NMC Campus sims are still on the Second Life grid, but utterly deserted; I can’t even remember the last time that any of them had been used for events. The notecard you receive upon teleporting in, which appears to date from 2010, speaks glowingly about the project and the first four years of its history, but frankly, most universities and colleges have long since moved on from Second Life at this point.

The NMC Campus sims appear to have been unused for quite some time
An aerial view of the deserted NMC Campus

But, apparently, somebody is still paying Linden Lab for the five non-mainland sims for the NMC Campus, even though nobody seems to have been using it for years. Or perhaps LL has taken those over as historical regions, as well. Strange. I wonder how many of these “ghost” sims are still on the grid.

I spent a very enjoyable evening teleporting around Second Life, and I plan to spend some more of my off-hours revisiting old landmarks in my avatars’ inventories, and take a trip down memory lane! I have (re)discovered places that I haven’t thought about—or visited—in years!! It was fun.

I hope that, as we approach the 20th anniversary of the surprisingly resilient virtual world of Second Life, this blogpost will make you decide to shake the cobwebs from your landmarks folder in your own SL inventory, and perhaps pay a return visit to some old haunts. You might be surprised to see what’s still around!