Author Archives: Jo Yardley

About Jo Yardley

I run the 1920s Berlin Project in Second Life and record a podcast with Draxter Despres.

We’re banning face-lights



Face-lights are the lights people attach to their faces because they think being well-lit makes their avatar look better.
And it does, it is a great tool for when you’re doing a photo shoot.

However they can look rather odd for those around you, imagine being in a nice dark bar staring through the smoke filled air at the glowing face of your loved one as red light from a small table lamp shines on you both… as suddenly someone with a flash light as bright as a solar flare tight to their face walks into the place making it seem like an atomic bomb is exploding.
It can ruin the atmosphere, especially in a city like Berlin with many dark streets, small dingy clubs, etc.

We can disable them in our viewers but that won’t stop them being a nuisance to those who are new to SL and haven’t quite figured out how to do that.
That also doesn’t lower the impact yet another portable script & light source has on the sim’s resources.
In short; it adds to all those things that together cause lag.
And we all know Berlin has plenty of lag already.

Fraulein Morales was kind enough to demonstrate the effect of facelights on atmospheric locations;

Without facelight;


With facelight;


And of course during busy events there may be more people with facelights, all adding to the general brightness of the scene.
The facelight used in this screenshot (at medium graphics setting) isn’t even a very bright one!

So for the sake of immersion, atmosphere and lag I’ve decided to now officially BAN face lights.
I’m sorry if you love using them but I’m sure you’ll soon get used to being without them and will realise how it will actually improve your experience in our sim.

A sign will be added to Teleportplatz and visitors wearing one will kindly and politely asked to remove it, in IM, by one of our admins.

The 1920s Berlin Project at SL15B


Second Life is celebrating it’s 15th anniversary and  we’re proud to have a small corner of the SL15 land to give the visitors a little taste of our 1920s Berlin community.

The celebrations have just started so you can already come and have a look at what I’ve build .

The first week of SL15B we will have our daily ‘Happy Hour’ here in the exhibit in stead of back home in our sim.
Every day at 2pm SLT.
And of course, there is no dress code here and you don’t have to roleplay, so feel free to drop in and join us for a drink dance and chat!

You can find our Berlin exhibit by clicking here;

Schnaps is ready!

And this year we also have a Time Portal exhibit!
Walk through a street with houses from different centuries!
You can find the Time Portal exhibit by clicking here;

Happy Birthday Second Life!





1920s Berlin celebrates its 9th anniversary!


Yes it has been 9 years since the 1920s Berlin Project opened its doors to the public and amazingly, after all these years our community is as active, vibrant, exciting, fun and alive as always.
All the apartments are still rented and it is generally still very difficult to find a home!
We still pull in crowds at our events, even the daily one in that dark smokey pub with the cheap lukewarm beer from dirty glasses served by a grumpy Dutch barmaid!

In short, our time traveling community is still a success and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

As every year, we’re celebrating by organising a week of special events, starting with the annual dance at the foot of the Brandenburg Gate and ending with the Relaxed Rules day where we for 24 hours lift our strict rules and welcome everyone who doesn’t like having realistic avatars or wearing 1920s clothing.

Happy anniversary to all Berliners, Berlin’s friends and that poor Linden Lab server that must be crying every day keeping our busy, uber-laggy sim working.

Our anniversary schedule;

  • Wednesday 30th May 2pm
    Anniversary dance on Pariser Platz with Sonatta Morales & DJ Myron Byron
  • Thursday 31st May 2pm
    Special outdoor Happy Hour by the coffee cart on Unter den Linden with Morgan G Dowd and DJ Maegara Hesse
  • Friday 1st June 2pm
    Special Dinner with the newly unique 9th anniversary champagne followed by a dance in the Mirror Ballroom at the Adlon hosted by Morgan G Dowd and with LIVE music by Joaquin Gustav!
  • Saturday 2nd June 12pm
    Library reception & book discussion (Host Florian Blaisdale) 2pm Eldorado (hostess Sonatta Morales)
  • Sunday 3rd June 2pm
    Sailboat race & picnic at Wannsee (Hosts Florian Blaisdale & Amelie Marcoud)
  • Monday 4th June 2pm
    Opening Biergarten 3.30 Supporters & Long Term tenants only get-together at the secret clubroom
  • Tuesday 5th June
    Relaxed Rules Day

The schedule may change and events may be cancelled, altered or added to this list.
Keep an eye on posts in our Facebook group or inworld group for the latest news.

9th anniversary poster.jpg

More prims!


I’ve just asked Linden Lab to raise the prim limit for our Berlin sim, that means we now have 10.000 (!) extra prims to play with!

Soon you’ll start seeing more things being rezzed everywhere, such as parked cars, litter, etc.
It will also help me avoid having a heart attack during huge busy events when we suddenly are down to 100 available prims!
Yes that has happened.

But some of these new fresh clean prims (they still smell of brand new plywood) can also be rented by the people of Berlin.

Tenants can already rent 50 prims extra on top of their allowance and supporters were able to rent 100-200 prims, but if you’re a supporter you can now rent AS MANY PRIMS AS YOU WANT!
And when I say as many prims as you want, I mean as many prims as you want as long as the supplies last.
I want to keep a healthy buffer of available prims for emergencies and big events so not all the 10.000 new prims will be available for rent.
So the renting of lots of extra prims is going to be allowed on a first come first serve basis.

You can use these extra prims to finally decorate your home the way you want or to build a private skybox high up in the air.

Extra prims for supporters cost 3 L$ per prim per week.

Just get in touch with me if you have any questions or if you want to rent extra prims.

To become a supporter, simply rent the empty portrait in the supporters gallery at the Amtshaus on Alexanderplatz.



Blutmai riots are coming!


During the first days of May we will be re-enacting an infamous riot that took place in RL Berlin 1929.

In this blog post you will find information about what is going to happen in our sim and the historical background to the real riots.

If you’re a veteran of these riots, please read the post again as we’re doing a few things differently this year!

blutmai poster kpd may

The 1929 Berlin riots in our Sim

We will try and recreate the real 1929 riots as realistically as we can within the limited options SL offers us.
Our sim is not like the Wild West, we are not a combat sim, so please make sure you know the projects rules and understand them before you take part in the madness of May 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

On May 1st at around 2PM SLT German Communists and sympathizers will gather outside the KPD HQ in the narrow Mieze Gasse, a side street of Friedrichstrasse.
There are rumours that the mayor has given permission for the march, other people may have heard that there is no permission but that the police said they wouldn’t stop the people… but the truth is that the ban on large public gatherings in the open air is still in effect and the police has been ordered to use brute force to stop any groups gathering.
Some of the people walking on the streets today will be hardcore communists, intent on marching and ready to fight.
But some may just be socialists on their way to legal indoor gatherings or innocent bystanders coming to see what is going on and kids just looking for adventure.

The group will march to Friedrichstrasse towards Unter den Linden but when they reach the Volksbad, they will realise that the Police is not going to let them trough.
There they will be confronted by officers who have been ordered to make sure the groups of people will not reach the ‘good’ part of Berlin where all the nice houses and big shops are.

The protestors will be upset, stones and bottles will be thrown and then a shot sounds…
It is unclear who shoots first, but chaos will follow!

blutmai run

On May 2nd at 2PM SLT there is still a state of emergency, but because the Police now has control over Friedrichstrasse a group of rioters have chosen to target the Reichswehr barracks.
Not, at first, to attack but to try and get the soldiers on their side.
Many of the soldiers are socialists and some communists, among the rioters may be WW1 veterans, so the initial contact is one of trying to find allies, trying to talk the soldiers into joining the rioters.
The rioters at this time have a point because police clearly reacted way too violently and maybe the army can bring peace back to the city or at least give the people some guns!
Of course the army does not respond as the mob has in mind and things get out of hand.
Will the barrack’s gates be forced open, will rioters climb the walls, will the soldiers barricade themselves in the building, will shots be fired, will people die?
It is up to you.

On May 3rd at 2pm SLT a severely wounded rioter is taken to the hospital on Alexanderplatz under police protection as he is their prisoner.
As doctors and nurses help the man and deal with stubborn and battle hardened cops, friends of the prisoner gather outside the hospital and decide to try and liberate him.

As you can see we’re having 3 events on all the 3 days of the rioting at 3 different locations.

For these three days all other events will be cancelled, police and protesters will play a cat and mouse game, houses can be searched, Berlin is a city of fear.
On the first day it will be rioters VS Police, on the second day it will be rioters VS police and army at the barracks, on the third day it will be rioters VS police VS hospital staff.

The police will block off part of the city, patrol, check people and will open fire at houses with red flags and people gathering.
Please be prepared to be hassled by them, even questioned.
If you don’t want to be part of this you may have to avoid the city or at least the working class district (west of Unter Den Linden).

Communists and other rioters will walk around with red flags and build their own barricades.
Shots will be fired, avatars may die.

For these 3 days Berlin will be in a state of emergency.

What to do

First you choose a side, do you want to be a protestor, part of the law enforcement side, a medic or simply a bystander.
Keep in mind that you can’t just pretend to be a soldier, nurse or police officer, you’ll have to sign up, invest in an uniform, weapon, etc.

If you choose to be a rioter, remember that you are NOT allowed to use a fire weapon unless you’ve been given permission by the KPD leadership!
During the real 1929 riots there were very few guns involved besides the ones used by the police, we want to make our riots more realistic even if that means there is no balance between the two sides and it won’t be a fair fight.
We’re going for historical accuracy here.
Of course, not having a gun does not mean you can’t have a weapon.
You can use sticks, stones, knives, etc.

This year we will NOT be using the HUD, in stead we’re using the old basic SL damage system.
Being shot will teleport you back to a spot you’ve set as home.
You may want to consider setting a neutral spot in Berlin as your home for these days, if you haven’t already.
We are doing this to see how it works (or doesn’t) and so that we can compare it to how the HUD worked in previous years.
With the knowledge of both systems we will then start work on a Linden Lab Experience based system for next year!

Of course this means that this year the emphasis will be more on roleplay than on combat and if you get wounded and teleported back home, it is up to you to decide if you want to run straight back to the battle or want to go to the hospital and RP getting help with your injuries.

Remember that if you choose to roleplay a brutal dramatic and very public death, it will be very difficult for your avatar to explain returning to Berlin after the riots, it may also be quite tricky to explain why you, as a high society fancy lady were seen dressed in working class clothes fighting for communism.
Just like it is also a stretch of the imagination to see your neighbour who is generally just a lazy playboy suddenly as a tough police officer.
For these reasons it is highly advisable to create an alternate avatar, an alt, just for these riots.
That way you don’t have to worry about any repercussions like losing your job, losing friends, having to go to jail and losing your home or having to live without a leg!
Of course having an alt can also be useful if you want to go have a wild party at the brothel without ruining your reputation or upsetting your wife….

blutmai arrest

Please remember that most common people  would not own guns, they would use whatever they could find to throw at the police and of course some would use knives.
There are some rather interesting weapons available on marketplace that use animations and can knock your opponent out, like the truncheon the police uses.
And those work even without rezzing permissions which your alt probably won’t have.

People who play gangster, who start shooting like crazy, who ruin roleplay, who use modern or weapons we don’t allow, risk being kicked out of the sim and even (temporarily) banned.
Again; an interesting history based roleplay event is what we have in mind, not a crazy shoot-em-up.

Another tip would be to look for wounded tattoo layers, bloody bandages or other things like that to make yourself look the part when things go wrong.
It adds to the realism and you can’t be sure you like the stuff you can get at our hospital, if there is anything at all.

Join the KPD group to communicate with the other revolutionaries.

We hope to see you here on May 1st as part of the communists, the police, the navy, the army, the medical staff or as a bystander.
Please remember that if you have not been to Berlin before, that we have a strict 1920s dress code.

blutmai officer

The REAL 1929 may riots of 1929

Demonstrations in the open air without special permission have been illegal since 1924 in Germany but this rarely caused any serious problems.
But by 1929 the political tension in Germany had heated up so much that trouble was brewing.
At the end of 1928 Adolf Hitler’s public speech ban was lifted and he had started agitating the situation in the country right away, causing even more street fighting and several deaths.
The Berlin Police President Karl Friedrich Zörgiebel then reinforced the ban on all public open air gatherings of a political nature in Berlin.
When in April 1929 the Communist Party (KPD) started calling workers to come to the May day rally, it was announced that this public gathering ban would also be valid on may the 1st.
The communists were furious and threatened to have their rally anyway.
The police started preparing for riots and street fighting, extra troops were called in. On April the 30th the KPD handed out leaflets claiming the political gathering ban had been lifted, but it was not.

There were also rumours going around the city that the police would look the other way and ignore the marchers, they would not.

On May 1st thousands of Berliners started gathering and went on their way to the center.
For them this May day was more important then usual.
At this time the newspapers were full of the trial around the murder of revolutionary leaders Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in 1919 and it seemed that the murderers would be very mildly punished, people were angry.
They also wanted to celebrate their 10th anniversary of the Komintern.
To add to all this, the government of Germany was led by the Social Democratic Party, a left wing party.

Having a party with who the Communists shared several ideologies but also be their oldest and perhaps biggest opponent, tell the KPD they couldn’t march was like rubbing salt into a wound. And of course the Nazi’s were growing and becoming louder and more aggressive all the time, it sometimes seemed like they were not being stopped by anyone while the Communists were not allowed to do anything.
The communists were furious, the city was tense.

The City Council told people that they were permitted and celebrate May Day but only indoors.
Many people did just that, having huge gatherings in halls and public buildings.
But others did not receive that information or just felt they had to right to march outside.
blutmai police

When the police saw large groups of people marching trough Berlin with red flags and armbands, they took action.
They attacked people with batons, used water cannons and warning shots were fired.
The Social Democrats had followed the outdoor gathering ban and had had their may day meetings indoors but unfortunately they had to go outside to go there and to return home.
After his return home from such a meeting Max Gmeinhardt was shot when he didn’t close his window fast enough when the police ordered him to.
Other groups of innocent bystanders, civilians and Socialists simply going to or returning from permitted gatherings were set upon by the police.
With now also the social democrats, workers and poor people in general becoming furious, the conflict escalated rapidly.
In the afternoon barricades were erected to make it harder for Police cars to reach certain areas.
In the evening the police started using armoured vehicles with machine guns, only meant to be used when the police was fired upon.
Police start shooting at houses with red flags.

On May 2nd the KPD called people to go on strike as a reply to the police violence.
On May 2nd and may 3rd the police combed trough the working class areas, searched houses and arrested countless people.

In total 33 demonstrators, workers and bystanders had been killed by the police, most of those on just the first day and at least 80 were seriously injured. The Berlin police, under control of the supposedly pro-labour social democratic government, had fired a total of 11,000 rounds of live ammunition.
This incident, remembered in the German language as Blutmai (“Blood May”) deepened the split between the SPD and the Communist Party, which indirectly helped the German right wing parties and the eventual rise of the Nazi Party in the German parliament.

blutmai barricade

New amazing machinima about 1920s Berlin made by Amelie Marcoud


Long term resident, active member of the 1920s Berlin community and talented machinima maker Amelie Marcoud has made a fantastic video about our sim.

You can see it here;

And if your French isn’t up to scratch, here are the song lyrics in English;

In the desert sands
On the seabord dunes
Even if you get lost
Look for the rose

In the jail toilets
Where we dream of forgiveness
Where a song dies down
Look for the rose

Under the bogs and nettle leaves
In the puddles of rain
On the forgotten graves
Look for the rose

Where the suburbs get sad
At the blinds’ and at the deaf s
Where night dreams of day
Look for the rose

And roaming all around
If you didn t find it
At least you’ll have dreamt of it
Look for the rose
Look for the rose

The rose…

The rain season has started in Berlin


Just before winter strikes, rain reached Berlin.
It goes on for days, making life miserable for many but also cleaning the dirty old city, preparing her for the white blanket of winter.

It will rain in our sim till Christmas eve and then it will start to snow.
Enjoy the autumn look of our city and the neighbouring Tiergarten park.
Setting it up has taken a LOT of time and work but I think it was worth the annual effort.

Come and enjoy this weather while you can, before the city turns white with snow.
Although it doesn’t make Berlin any less laggy, it does make it look amazing and brings with it some fantastic photo opportunities and gallons of atmosphere.

The rain consists of mesh blocks with weather textures on them, they may get in the way of things you want to click, such as doors.
Try getting as close to the door as possible, zoom in or if all that fails, right click in stead of left click.

If your computer finds it all a bit too much and SL slows down beyond what you find acceptable, turn down your draw distance.
And don’t worry, I will only turn the system on a few days and it won’t rain or snow too often.
After Christmas the weather will be removed again to cut down on lag and prim usage.


Fall Festival

Fall is coming to Berlin, time to celebrate!
We’re having four days of events coming up;
October 18th – Farmers Market Opens/ Kid Hay Maze (starts at 11 am SLT, opened through out the festival)
October 19th– Wine tasting at Chateau Eloise, Boat ride around Wannsee, 2pm Happy Hour
October 20th – Pumpkin Hunt 12 pm SLT (whole day)
October 21st – Picnic at Wansee at 11- 1pm SLT

The Supporters program upgrade!


By paying L$5000 a month people can become a Supporter, helping the 1920s sim not just survive but also to thrive.
Thanks to their generosity I can justify spending even more time than I already do running the place but it also helps me invest in the future by continuously improving and updating the sim but also work on other new exciting projects like Time Portal and one day 1940s London.
It brings a bit of security to a very insecure and uncertain career.

To thank these Supporters membership of their club comes with several benefits, like increased land impact allowance, a portrait in the gallery but also access to some exclusive locations.

But I wanted to do more so I’ve decided to make make being a supporter even more rewarding!

For starters, I’m combining the 1920s Berlin Support program with the Time Traveller’s Society membership, a brand new initiative I’m creating for Time Portal.
It works exactly the same as the Berlin Supporters program, but you join both automatically.
So once you become an 1920s Berlin Project Supporter, you also become a member of the Time Traveller’s Society, that means you’ll get to enjoy the benefits of both clubs but without your fee going up.
You’ll still pay L$5000 a month, but get to enjoy double the benefits.

1920s Berlin Supporter benefits;

  • Portrait in the Amtshaus
  • 50 prims to use in Berlin or extra on top of on your tenant prim allowance
  • The option to rent 100 or 200 extra prims.
  • Exclusive access to the Long Term Tenants & Supporters Club Room
  • Exclusive use of the Hotel Adlon penthouse
  • No eviction for a week after being behind on rent in stead of 3 days.

Time Traveller’s Society benefits;

  • Portrait in the Time Machine Laboratory, once the to be build Time Traveller’s Club opens, the portrait will move there so everyone can see who the honoured members are.
  • 50 prims to use in Time Portal
    For instance to rez props for a photo-shoot, to decorate a home you rent there or maybe just to use for a little private skybox to work in.
  • The option to rent extra prims.
  • Exclusive access to special Society member only events, such as sneak preview of new Time Portal areas, a tour of a new exhibit, etc.

And once more, if you join one, you automatically become a member of both!
So you will get the benefits for both clubs regardless of which one you join.

Yes, you Berlin Supporter now have 50 prims to use in Time Portal (if you can’t rez yet, let me know!), a great excuse to rent a place or hotel room if you haven’t already.

To become an 1920s Berlin Supporter pay L$5000 to an available Supporters portrait at the Amtshaus on Alexanderplatz.


Berlin goes camping!


This Friday Berlin is holding a role-play camping event on one of our tiergarten parcels.

The event begins August 25 at 12PM SLT and will end on August 26 10AM SLT.

It is our hope that Berliners young and old will find time to visit the camp, have a drink, go for a swim, or sit around the campfire telling stories. Food, drink, tents, sleep pallets are all provided. Henry Payne has dragged a phonograph out to the woods so there will be music and perhaps dancing. Everyone is encouraged to dress down for this event, and wear what a person in 1929 would have worn for a trip into the woods. Hope to see you there.

You can find the clearing with the tents by clicking here.

The landmark will drop you at the start of a path through the woods that will lead you into camp. There are candles in place to light your way. The windlight setting for the parcel is called Raymond’s Night which provides a nice dark setting for camp.