Tag Archives: second life

SL12b is here, join us at Second Life’s 12th birthday celebrations

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The media is very excited about virtual reality, telling everyone its finally coming and that soon we’ll all be having the most wonderful adventures in digital worlds.

Yet some of us have been enjoying virtual reality for years… in Second Life!

Today Second Life, the biggest online 100% user created virtual world, is celebrating its 12th birthday!

And it is being celebrated with over 200 exhibits on 15 full regions!

There are 5 very impressive stages with interviews, performances, shows, etc.
Over 700 performers and speakers!

There will be several interviews with Lindens and I’ll be co-hosting one of them, so make sure not to miss those.

There is a lot more information on what to see and where on the official SL12B website, make sure you check it out by clicking here.

This year’s theme for the SL12B Community Celebration is “What Dreams May Come.

In our SL12B display we are giving you a little taste of what our sim has to offer by showing you a Berlin street, however all is not as it seems.
The entire street is part of a dream, the kind of dream that comes to us all sooner or later in our lives; nostalgia.
That homesick kind of feeling, those both happy and sad memories that take you back to your childhood years and flood your emotions with ‘what if’s and ‘if only’s.

At the entrance of our sim you see an elderly gentleman, he is looking at the photoalbum of his youth, back when he grew up in Berlin.
And as he in a melancholic manner thinks back to his school days, the playing in the street, his childhood comrades, the poverty, their small apartment above the hairdresser, he starts to day dream, the photos from the album, from his past come alive and as they fly free from the pages we can enter the photo of his street and see the place where he grew up.

We hope you drop by and have a look around,  enjoy exploring our street, feel free to look inside houses with open doors and join us for our daily (every day the first week of SL12B) Happy Hour in the Biergarten.

Beer is lukewarm but cheap!

You can find us by clicking here; The 1920s Berlin Project at SL12B

Thank you Uccello Poultry and Doc Gascoigne for helping me find granddad.

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The 1920s Berlin project celebrates its 6th anniversary!

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On May the 30th 2009 I opened the door to a little very basic, noob build bar and let the public in for the first time.
The 1920s Berlin Project was born!
Only 3 months after joining Second Life, barely understanding how to glue prims together, I had started something that would soon grow into a vibrant active community of wonderful people.

And there is more to come…

But first we need to celebrate the 6th (!) anniversary of our little neighbourhood and we’re doing this by organizing 6 days of fun events and inviting everyone to come visit.

You can find 1920s Berlin by clicking this link: http://slurl.com/secondlife/1920s%20Berlin/236/232/751

We look forward to seeing lots of familiar but also new faces visiting us.

Prosit!

Jo Yardley
Schedule of events:

Friday, May 29

All day: Open Door Day

On this day everyone is welcome to visit our sim and take a good look around and see more of the sim than you’re usually allowed to see.
Several of our tenants will also the doors to their private apartments and an ‘Open House’ sign will show you where you can enter and explore how the people in the city live.
The regular 1920s dress code is in place but being allowed to have a peek inside normally private residences is a lot of fun.

Berlin tenants who want to sign up for this, please contact Frau Jo Yardley.

2:00 PM SLT – Party Dinner & Tango evening at the Hotel Adlon
Saturday, May 30

1:00 PM SLT – Kids’ Pogo Stick race with prizes!
2:00 PM SLT – 6th Anniversary Dance at the Pariser Platz (At the foot of the Brandenburger Tor) with a show by Fraulein Sonatta Morales and with DJ Myron Byron

Sunday, May 31

11:00 AM SLT – Tea Dance at the Hotel Adlon
1:00 PM SLT –  Unveiling of the Community Quilt at the Library
2:00 PM SLT – Opening of the Biergarten!

Monday, June 1

 2:00 PM SLT – Open Stage at the Biergarten.
Simply show up and be brave enough to step up and share your (PG) talent!

Tuesday, June 2

2:00 PM SLT – Miss Berlin pageant!
Who will be Miss Berlin 1929?
Unmarried ladies can sign up by contacting frl Adele Kling.

Wednesday, June 3

Relaxed Rules Day: All day

On this day we forget the 1920s Dress code for 24 hours and welcome all kinds of avatars.
So if you are interested in visiting our sim but were not keen on wearing 1920s clothes or just don’t feel comfortable with a human avatar, this is your chance to walk around without our cops coming running after you.

But be warned!
We also allow our tenants to ignore all the other rules of the sim and this usually means they will go a little nuts…

More information and up to date news can be found on our facebook group; https://www.facebook.com/groups/265276560117/events/

6th anniversary poster

The 1929s May Day Riots are coming to Second Life

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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.
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 with 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.
They have been reinforced by Army and even local Navy units.

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 the police who has been ordered to make sure the groups of people to reach the ‘good’ part of Berlin where all the nice houses and big shops are.
Unter den Linden should remain off limits to the troublemakers!

The crowds will be upset, stones and bottles will be thrown and then a shot sounds…
It is not sure who shoots first, but chaos will follow.

blutmai run

For three days events will be cancelled, police and protestors will play a cat and mouse game, houses can be searched, Berlin is a city of fear.

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 and it may be too late to do that in time for the riots.

On May 1st, 2nd and 3rd, everyone in Berlin should wear our brand new combat HUD!
You will be able to get yours at Teleportplatz and the Amtshaus on Alexanderplatz.
Simply wear and give permission.
No more being teleported home when you get shot, now you actually get wounded and have to crawl to the hospital or a nurse may have to come to you before you can get better.
If you get shot you’ll have trouble walking, and eventually won’t be able to do much moving at all.
It can take quite some time to heal and you’ll be out of the fight for a while.

blutmai arrest

If you think that being a communist streetfighter, doctor, nurse, orderly, soldier or sailor does not match the role you generally play in our sim, it is perhaps a good idea to create an ‘alt’, a new avatar.
But please do remember that unless you temporarily add him as your co-tenant, he or she will not be able to rez and thus throw or shoot.
Remember though to remind me after the riot to remove the rezzing perms from your alt, this is very important.

We ARE looking into allowing everyone to shoot and throw things, we know this is possible but it is unlikely that we manage to work this out in time for this year’s riots.

Remember though that most workers 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.

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 banned since 1924 in Germany but this never caused any 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 street fighting and several deaths.
The Berlin Police President Karl Friedrich Zörgiebel then reinforced the ban on all public open air gatherings of 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 police 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.
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

1920s Berlin Project sponsors monument to World War two victim

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To us the 1920s Berlin project is more than just a roleplaying 3D world for our little community.

It is also about the past, trying to learn from history, envisioning what Berlin was like before the Nazis took over and trying to understand the dark times that followed and the damage done by the horrible things that found their origin in the 1920s.

When I heard about the ‘Stolperstein’ remembrance project, I wanted to support it.

“Stolperstein” is the German word for “stumbling block”, “obstacle”, or “something in the way.”
Throughout RL Berlin (and many other cities in more and more European countries) you can find, or stumble over, many of these little brass stones in the pavement.

These memorials commemorate individuals – both those who died and survivors – who were consigned by the Nazis to prisons, euthanasia facilities, sterilization clinics, concentration camps, and extermination camps, as well as those who responded to persecution by emigrating or committing suicide.

While the vast majority of stolpersteine commemorate Jewish victims of the Holocaust, others have been placed for Sinti and Romani people (also called gypsies), homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christians (both Protestants and Catholics) opposed to the Nazis, members of the Communist Party and the Resistance, military deserters, and the physically and mentally disabled.

The stones are dug into the pavement outside the houses where these people used to live.
A very moving and emotional monument to a single person can sometimes leave a bigger impact than a monument to thousands.
When I fist stumbled upon such a stone I must confess I had not heard about them and found it hard not to burst into tears on the spot.

Gunter Demnig is the artist behind these very impressive series of monuments which commemorates individual victims of the Holocaust and when I contacted him and his assistants about our project they were excited and promised to visit us in Second Life.

When, in February 2012 I mentioned the Stolperstein project to the people of 1920s Berlin everyone got excited and soon enough money was collected to sponsor one of the stones.

Together with the Stolperstein people we picked a name from a long list, much too long, of names of Nazi victims.

I picked Rosa Bleiberg who lived in a street that we also have in our sim.

She was born in 1926 and would have been a 3 year old girl in 1929, the year we are recreating in our simulation.

She was deported in 1943 and murdered in Auschwitz.

As every stone is handcrafted and installed by Herr Demnig in person it took a while before he managed to put the one we sponsored in front of Rykestrasse 52, Berlin.

But it was unveiled last month and I think we can be very proud as a virtual community to have given this almost forgotten victim a little monument of remembrance.

And I hope we will be able to sponsor many more so we will start another fundraise for these ‘Stolpersteinen’ in November.

Thank you everyone who put Lindens in the Stolperstein donation meter.

If you are interested in sponsoring such a stone, contact the people behind it on their site.

Photo; Paul David Doherty

Photo; Paul David Doherty

Oculus Rift co-founders talk about Second Life

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In this interview for www.allthingsd.com Palmer Luckey and Nate Mitchell, the co-founders of virtual-reality gaming company Oculus VR, mention Second Life.

After discussing Google Glass, they continue;

Luckey: It’s about being inside the virtual world, not caring about the real one.
Mitchell: You could put your Glass on in the virtual space.

Luckey: We could do that! We could simulate Glass… It’s not that hard. You just have a tiny heads-up display floating there. A really tiny one.

Mitchell: I like it.

“OK, Rift, take a picture. OK, Rift, record a video…”

Luckey: There’s actually Second Life mods like that. People sell heads-up displays that you can buy.

Mitchell: Really?

Luckey: And they put information in there like distance to waypoints and stuff.

Mitchell: Oh, that’s cool!

Luckey: Yeah, they overlay it on the screen when your character’s wearing it.

I never really “got” Second Life. Minecraft, I can wrap my head around quickly. But Second Life…

Luckey: It’s very difficult to get into. There’s a steep learning curve. The last time I went into Second Life was to buy bitcoins from a crazy guy who was selling them below market value, but you had to go into Second Life to meet with him.

Mitchell: The underbelly of the Internet.

Luckey: They’re actually working on Oculus Rift support, though. The kind of people who make games like Second Life definitely see the potential for virtual reality — being able to step into your virtual life.

 

It is of course a shame that the interviewer does not get Second Life, that Palmer Luckey hasn’t used it since he bought some bitcoins and that Nate Mitchell calls it “The underbelly of the internet’.

It is great that they know that Linden Lab is working on Rift support.

But it seems that most of the participants in the interview still only know about the adult and weird side of Second Life.

And that is of course sad!

Second Life is all about creating worlds, virtual surroundings and immersion!

To me it seems even more suitable to the Oculus Rift then any shoot-em-up game out there.

What could be more fun then exploring a virtual location… exploring a virtual location you’ve created yourself!

Hereby I invite both Luckey Palmer and Nate Mitchell to give Second Life another try and join me for a special tour of 1920s Berlin, the city I build.

I hope this will make them realise the huge potential Second Life has, especially for the Oculus Rift.

Drax Files about me and 1920s Berlin, to give you a taste of what Second Life has to offer besides all the icky stuff the press always seems to be obsessed with;

 

My roleplay Biography

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I enjoy creating a biography for the person I am pretending to be in our little roleplay world called “The 1920s Berlin Project”

Just so I can give my character some background information, some luggage.

It is not necessary to do this if you want to roleplay, but it helps and is just a lot of fun, for me anyway.

So here is the biography I wrote for my character.

Loosely based on some real events in my life and the life of my ancestors.

As you may notice I care little for romanticizing the past, I have always been more interested in the lives of the common people, the working classes, those who had it tough, then in the lives of the rich and famous.

My life story isn’t all fun and adventure.

You can find most of this out by talking to me in Der Keller.
So if you do not want to know what I didn’t tell you myself, don’t read this.

 

Around 1890 a baby girl was born in Scheveningen, a fishing town by the Dutch coast. She grew up in a working class family that was mostly involved in the fishing industry but her father borrowed money to take his wife and child away from this harsh life and managed to start a tobacco shop in the neighbouring city of The Hague.
Jo was taken out of school when she was 12 to help her father behind the counter.
She enjoyed the job but was frustrated that she was not allowed to educate herself more. Every spare minute was spend reading newspapers and chatting to the sailors, fishermen and tourists who came to the shop. She had a talent for languages and soon picked up English, German and a few words of French.

In 1910 a sailor entered the shop, his name was Karl Yardley, his great-grandfather was a Englishman who moved to Germany decades ago, thus the unusual last name.
Karl appeared to be a heavy smoker, he visited the shop almost every day to buy more cigarettes. Jo loved chatting to him to improve her German but soon she looked forward to his visits for another reason, she was falling for the charming handsome young man in his fancy uniform. Karl soon confessed that he didn’t smoke at all but just kept buying cigarettes so he could see the pretty Dutch girl again.

Jo her father was not very happy with Karl, he wanted a better life for his daughter then be the wife of a foreign sailors. He knew the reputation sailors have and was suspicious of Karl, would Jo become one of those famous ‘girl in each harbour’?
It took Karl a lot of effort and long evenings of talking to get Jo’s father his permission to take her out to a dance, escorted by some other people of course.

Karl courted Jo and it didn’t take long for the two to really fall in love with each other.
When Jo’s father heard that Karl actually missed his ship and thus lost his job because of this romance, he realised that the two young people were serious.
Still he wouldn’t let him get engaged with her until he found another job, his daughter would not marry a man without a job.
Luckily the next ship back to Germany needed a sailor and before his ship left he asked Jo to marry him.

When Karl went back to Germany he kept his word, he managed to find a steady job and send money to Jo so she could follow him. She said goodbye to her family and town, probably for ever and in the year 1912 she went to join her fiancee in a foreign country.
She had never even left the town she lived in and the nearby city.

Karl found a new job and little apartment in Berlin and when Jo came after him they soon got married. Life was not easy, Karl worked a lot and Jo was alone a lot, she needed to improve her German quickly and it took some time for her neighbours to accept her. But eventually the couple settled down and feel at home in the backstreets.
When Karl, with some help of his Dutch in-laws, managed to get his hands on cheap but good Dutch import tobacco and the two opened a tobacco shop.
With the Dutch connection and Jo’s experience, business starts to go well.

9 months after they got married they have one baby, a boy they decided to call Heinrich, sadly the little child died after a few weeks. A traumatic event only helped by the fact that this was a common thing, many children died young and most of the women in their street had experienced this and were able to support Jo and share her grief.
No other children are born.

In 1914 war breaks out and Karl is forced to join the army regardless of his experience at sea.
He is part of the 2. Armee Oberkommando (2nd Army), the 99Regiment.
This unit fought on the Western Front and took part in the Schlieffen Plan offensive against France and Belgium in August 1914. Commanded by General Karl von Bülow, the 2nd Army’s mission was to support the 1st Army (Germany)’s sweep around the left flank of the French Army and encircle Paris, bringing a rapid conclusion to the war. The 2nd Army laid siege to, and took the Belgian fortresses around Namur, and fought General Charles Lanrezac’s French 5th Army at the Battle of Charleroi on August 23-24, 1914 and again at St. Quentin on August 29-30, 1914.

A large proportion of this regiment would be wiped out during the joint Anglo-French offensive on the Somme.

Karl was one of the men who died.

Jo didn’t find out for months.
When she finally heard about his death she had a total breakdown and had to be taken to hospital for several weeks.
By the time she left there, the house, the shop and the tobacco stock was all gone.
The war made it very difficult for her family to send her anything from Neutral Holland and she was truly alone.

For a while it was very hard to survive, a few dark years followed. Jo had no income and could not pay the rent, she was depressed, homeless and heart broken. She got lost, did whatever it took to make money and find a place to sleep. A time she has tried to forget and does not want to be remembered of.
Salomon Levi, a lonely old man, living in the Jewish neighbourhood near Friedrichstrsasse bumped into Jo a few times and felt sorry for her and offered her a job in his sweatshop where women spend day and night making cheap clothing. The workshop is in a basement under the apartment where the man lives.
Jo has to work hard but is glad to be off the street, the man lets her sleep there as well.
It soon becomes clear that the man has certain intentions with Jo, when he one day tells her how he feels, Jo tells explains to him that she is still in love with her husband and could not be with Salomon. She is scared and expects the man to fire her or even assault her there and then. Luckily the old man is a gentleman and accepts that Jo is not interested. Happy and relieved she is allowed to stay there.

Once this delicate matter is taken care off and both Jo and the old man realise that there never will be any kind of romantic relationship, they actually become better friends.
They spend more time together, Jo cooks for him now and then and after work is done they often spend hours chatting and drinking schnapps. Of course everyone in the neighbourhood gossips about the old man and the Dutch young war widow but nothing ever happens. The old man now sees Jo more like a daughter.

Then the depression strikes.Hyperinflation, destruction of economy, riots in the streets, and even more poverty. The old man becomes very sick and Jo looks after him, her only friend, till he dies. She is already packing her bags, expecting to be out on the streets again when she is told that the old man left her his sweatshop and apartment. Sadly the bad state of the economy has destroyed the clothing industry and Jo has no idea how to manage such a workshop anyway.
But nobody is interested in buying the business either.

Then she has a plan.
She decides to trade the sewing machines, fabric and clothing with the people in her neighbourhood in exchange for their work. People bring her chairs, tables, artists paint on the walls, a stage is build by a carpenter who needs a new sewing machine for his wife, etc.
As most of these men are out of work and/or war veterans, they are happy to help out.
And of course the neighbourhood is desperate for a place to go drink, dance and chat.
Most places that offer such escape from reality near where they live are on Unter den Linden and not meant for their class of people.
They help her turn the old workshop into a Tanzlokal and against all odds it succeeds.
And while Berlin is feeling the depression, shops are closing and people are totally running out of money, Jo manages to open up a bar.
‘Der Keller’ opens.

And there she is, in her late 30s but with a old scarred and damaged soul.
She is older then most people who come to the bar, the place has become the spot where hip, modern and bohemian artists, chorus girls, prostitutes and sailors hang out.
This modern world is too modern for Jo, she doesn’t get the freedom, the short skirts, the girls being like boys, the men being like girls, the negro jazz music, it is all too much for her.
She enjoys watching this exciting new world from the sidelines though.
But secretly she dreams of the village by the sea where she grew up, the son she never had and the man she just can’t forget.