Category Archives: Second Life

Our exhibit at Second Life’s 14th birthday community celebration

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This year’s theme for the SL14b Community Celebration is “Carnivalesque!”,

Looking at Berlin during the 1920s, it was not easy to find a connection between this city and the exotic theme.
Although the 1920s were a golden era for Berlin, for most people it was a harsh time, with extreme poverty, political instability, crime and in stead of living in brand new modern comfortable Bauhaus buildings most people lived in small dark apartments, such as the infamous ‘Mietskazernes’, rent barracks, the tenements.

But when doing my research I found several pictures and drawings (especially by the amazing Heinrich Zille) showing these same common working class people having dances, parties and even a circus in those typical Berlin ‘Hofs’, the courtyards that existed inbetween their tenements.

This inspired me for our SL14B exhibit.

I have created a typical Berlin “Hinterhof” as it could have looked in the 1920s.
A courtyard overlooked by lots of small apartments where big families lived.
The tenants are having their ‘Carnival’, the yard has been decorated, a biergarten has been set up in a corner, there is a little stage and the place is ready for a party, allowing our Berliner to forget their worries for a short moment.

Every day during the first week of SL14B, at 2pm SLT Berlin locals will gather here in the Hof and have a drink, dance and chat.
You’re welcome to join us.

The 1920s Berlin Project has been an vibrant community in Second Life for over 8 years and has allowed many thousands of people the opportunity to do not only try but share one of the most exiting adventures imaginable; Time Travel.

As a historical immersive roleplaying sim, people are given the chance to step back into the past to try and find out what life was like in this wonderful city before the Nazis took over.

If you want to come and visit us, click here;
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SL14B%20Wonderous/129/164/30

Keep in mind though, the sims won’t open to the public till the official opening at noon SLT on June the 18th.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Jo Yardley

sl14b berlin hof poster

 

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Visit 1920s Berlin at Second Life’s 13th birthday celebrations

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Only recently the world has re-discovered Virtual Reality, but those of us who are residents of a certain virtual online world have been living it for years!
Second Life is celebrating its 13th (!) anniversary and  that calls for a celebration!

As every year there will be a huge celebration.
17 regions full of displays, exhibits, parties and fun, giving you an idea of what kind of adventures you can find in Second Life.
And as much as there is, it is still only the top of the iceberg of what Second Life has to offer.

The 1920s Berlin is proud to have been invited back and we once again did our best to give everybody a little taste of our little community.
We build a little square and even brought our local bar where we hang out.
During the celebrations we will also spend our daily Happy Hour there.
Every day at 2pm SLT everybody is welcome at our ‘Tanzlokal’, so drop in for your daily dose of drink, dance and chat!
Come raise a glass to Second Life, I serve the best schnaps in Berlin!

The SL13B regions  open to the public on Sunday, June 19th, noon SLT.
And you can find us by clicking the following link;
http://secondlife.com/destination/1920s-berlin-project-sl13b

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Rod Humble’s avatar visits 1920s Berlin

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During our daily happy hour in a dirty old backstreet ‘Tanzlokal’ called “Der Keller”, Rod Humble’s avatar walked in and joined the locals for a drink, dance and chat.

Our bar is (infamous) for its dirty glasses, smelly old cat and lukewarm beer, but Herr Humble didn’t seem to mind.

As 1920s music streamed from the loudspeaker on the wall, he walked around and enjoyed the atmosphere.

Luckily our sim’s police officer did not notice his clothing and didn’t fine him for not wearing 1920s clothes 😉

I had invited Herr Humble for a free tour of the sim a while back and was told he would be dropping in today.
It was great to finally meet his avatar in person.

The welcoming community of 1920s Berlin was very excited to have him as a guest and we all hope his avatar will come more often.

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The Drax Files

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Recently the talented Machinima maker Draxtor Despres started on a new series of short videos about Second Life.

Especially meant to show the other side of this virtual world, those people and communities who are part of something, behave or are involved with those things that most outsiders don’t know are possible in our online universe.

That side of Second Life that is not just about shopping, chatting or virtual hanky panky.

Because, unfortunately, most people who are not themselves a part of Second Life, seem to think that that is the only thing that happens there.

I feel that one of Second Life’s biggest problems is it’s reputation.
So many people have no idea what Second Life is about, all the options it has to offer, all the possibilities.
And if they have any opinions about Second Life at all, they are usually negative.
Shaped by the horror stories from the media but also because Linden Lab isn’t actively trying to change that reputation.
They themselves often promote Second Life with images that reinforce some or all of the preconceptions people may have.

There is nothing wrong with that side of Second Life and I am sure many, if not most people here feel that shopping, chatting and the horizontal tango, are the most important sides of their online adventures.
Not something as boring as education and history.
But even if that is true, it can’t hurt to let people know that this too is a part of Second Life.
After all, the secret behind Second Life is that it is what we make it.
WE and YOU build it and we can make whatever we want.
Once visitors realise that, they stick around.
So I feel that Draxtor’s series is quite important as it is spreading that message as well.

The first episode was about Kriss Lehmann the owner of Botanical and creator of some very nice trees.
Our 1920s Berlin sim is full of them!
You can see this episode by clicking here.

I was very proud when Draxtor asked if he could make his next episode about the 1920s Berlin project and me.

Over the course of a week, Draxtor immersed himself into our little community and shot lots of film, eventually editing it together into the second episode of ‘The Drax Files’.

The episode turned out very nice and we’re happy to say that it has been received very enthusiastically.

But we’re also very happy that Draxtor felt so much at home in our neighbourhood and has been returning to our streets even after his work there was done.

You can see the episode here;

Trouble with Mesh?

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More and more stuff and even entire buildings in Berlin are being ‘meshed’, it makes the city look better, more realistic and eventually also less laggy.

But if your settings are not up to scratch, you may miss out and see Mesh not the way you should or entire buildings may even disappear!

Unfortunately the SL viewers don’t help us out by giving us the best settings automatically, so you have to go and tweak it yourself.

This is annoying and stupid, but that is just the way it is.

The same goes for sculpties, the standard SL viewer settings have the LOD factor set to 3, that means that when you zoom out a bit, sculpties lose their shape and start looking weird.
So you need to change this to 4 to see sculpties normally.
Annoying, but you may have received dozens of notecards with every sculpty object you buy that tell you to change your LOD.

With Mesh we have the same issue, so make sure you set your Objects & Sculpts LOD to the maximum setting of 4, you can easily do this without your SL experience suffering.
To do this click preferences>graphics>general.

But to stop Mesh from mysteriously vanishing you need to do the following;

-Click ctrl+D to add the ‘advanced’ tab to the options at the top of your screen.
-Click ‘show debug settings’
-In the Debug Settings look for ‘MeshMaxConcurrentRequests’ and change the value to 128, this will not have an impact on how SL will work for you but it will make mesh look better.

This all should prepare your viewer for full Mesh enjoyment.

But if you still have problems with the mesh, feel free to ask.

Roleplaying in 1920s Berlin

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When I first began The 1920s Berlin Project, roleplaying was not the most important thing on my mind.

I wanted to give visitors a nice experience of visiting an city from the past but didn’t want to force people to play a role or make it hard or impossible for them to discuss anything that was not authentic.

This was a good decision, Berlin grew rapidly as a community and the people here are very close, mostly, I think, because they get to hang out together and chat lots about their lives.

When you visit a bar in RL you want to discuss the things that are on your mind, our bar in 1920s Berlin feels a lot like a real bar so people want to freely chat there as well, not just about the 1920s.

BUT things have changed.

The sim is doing very well and has been doing so for over 3 years.
Many come to Berlin to escape real life or to try and immerse themselves in the past.
And when that is the case, discussions about what we do in real life, our computers or what we saw on TV can be the last thing the people around us want to hear.

On the other hand I don’t want to take peoples freedom away to chat about what they want to chat about.

So in this post I will be making a few suggestions and give you some ideas, in stead of creating lots of rules for our sim.

*Try and keep your non-roleplay chat in IM’s when other people are nearby.
Remember, anyone within 20 meters of you can hear what you say.
When you feel the need to discuss something that is not realistic or authentic for the 1920s Berlin scene, try and use IM for this.
It will also give you more privacy.

*If you want to discuss something non-1920s, but you want to discuss it with more then one person, or when it is just a short question or remark, try putting   it in brackets.
This way people know it is Out of Character (OOC) and it is still view able in public chat.
And thanks to SL this is very easy to do, simply hold down the  ‘Alt’ key when you press ‘Return’ after you have finished a sentence for chat.
Go ahead, try it sometime, it is very easy.

*Think of your bystanders.
It should be common courtesy to ask the people around you if they mind if you go OOC for a moment.
Try to stay in character for as much as possible but sometimes this may drive you mad and you just want to chat with friends in a group.
Just ask in public chat, if anyone minds if you go OOC for a bit, if they do, just don’t. But if they don’t mind, go ahead.

In short I would like people to try a little harder to avoid chatting about all sorts of modern things.
I know this can be hard, I am very guilty of doing this myself as well.
But I think that if we all play our roles and stop being our modern selves a bit more often, this would enrich your visits to the past.

You may find it difficult or a bit daunting to join our roleplaying, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are a few ideas and suggestions to help you fit in;

Berlin was a very international city, people from all over the world came here to work or to experience the freedom, culture and excitement.

So there is no need to be intimidated, simply pretend you are one of many tourists walking around.
Don’t worry about a background story, just say you’re from this or that country and that you know next to nothing about our city.

Berliners are a friendly bunch who enjoy welcoming strangers and telling them about our community, you’ll feel at home soon enough.

Although Berlin is of course a German city, the main language used is English, because after all that is the language 95% of our visitors speak.

There is no need to write or make up an entire background story for your character, but it is handy and fun to have one anyway.
Start with a so called passport biography; name, age, date of birth, etc.
The basics.
And you can add more to that later.

The best way to get involved in Berlin is to just be yourself, observe life and come visit the daily happy hour at Der Keller Tanzlokal.
Here we chat about all sorts of things and we are also very curious to talk with new people.

And if you are still not sure about what to do, feel free to start a group chat about it.
Our community is generally very willing to help new people out.

SL9B: 1920s Berlin project celebrates 9 years of Second Life

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On the  18th of june the virtual online world of Second Life is celebrating its 9th birthday.

As part of the celebrations a large group of volunteers has organised a huge event called ‘SL9B’.
Across several regions several selected sims, groups and organisations, were invited to build displays to show their vision of this years theme; Community.

The 1920s Berlin Project takes part in the celebrations by recreating the atmosphere in our sim right there in our own little parcel.
The theme suits us very well, we are one of the most successful Historical Roleplay sims out there and we have to thank our amazing and unique community spirit for that.

To give visitors to SL9B the chance to experience a little of what our sim has to offer, we recreated a little square with some of the sims buildings.
Come join us for a coffee in Cafe Elektric, learn about our amazing community at the Berlin Archives, see how kids are taught at the school, explore a tiny room of a poor person or join us at Der Keller for a drink, dance and chat every day at 2pm PDT.

During the SL9B celebrations we will be organising little gatherings here, we look forward to meeting you and giving you a taste of Berlin, 1929.

The link below will take you to our parcel that will be accessible for as long as the event is open to the public;
18th June 11am SLT till 27th June 2012.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Celebrate/185/9/21