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Looking Back To The Birth of London In Second Life

June 4, 2013 • Uncategorised

As it is Second Life (SL)’s 10th Birthday (SL10B) this month, we cannot overlook that it is also London inSL’s 7th Birthday (LISL7B) this year, and June is the 6th anniversary of the BBC2 Money Program’s screening of Virtual Worlds, and London’s place in this virtual theatre.

So lets find out some background to London…

“What made you build London in Second Life so accurately?” – Debs Regent get asked this question a lot, so it is time this answer was put down on record.

In RL Debs went to school in St Albans, England and there she met her best friend Fiona. London in Second Life exists from a blessed reunion between these two best friends after 20 long years apart. Debs and her childhood best friend, known in SL as Fiona May, initially reconnected through Friends Reunited. Strangely enough they found their pasts to be very similar and had both held high-level jobs in marketing for large IT organisations.

In the real world, they met in Knightsbridge, London. After lots of hugs, reminiscing and reconnecting, they went for a meal at the restaurant in Harvey Nichols on Sloane Street to celebrate their reunion.

2007 Harvey Nichols Artistic Interpretation

At this time, Debs lived in Portugal. The reason Debs was in London was to be with her husband who was in London to have a life-saving operation. After his operation life was beginning to look better for them both.

2013 Harvey Nichols Artistic Interpretation

Before she met Debs, Fiona was a leading light in the virtual world of Second Life and lead the project there for Sun Microsystems (sadly the sims are now gone and the company is part of Oracle Corporation). Over dinner, their happiness at meeting again and Fiona’s enthusiasm for SL touched Debs with curiosity.

Debs decided to see what all the fuss was about so opened her own account as ‘Debs Regent’. She started life in the region then known as ‘Ahern’. A place famous for griefers and all kinds of oddities, but she persevered and her friend teleported her out of there.

Knightsbridge inSL

She spent months looking around and discovering Second Life and realised that, although it had a Dublin, it had no London. She was shocked at this and spoke to Fiona about recreating the location for the wonderful event of their reunion. Fiona agreed and they decided to do this thing together.

She bought the sim and named it Knightsbridge in 2006. Unfortunately at this time, Fiona became so busy at work that she didn’t have time to develop Knightsbridge with Debs, so Debs had to decide whether to do it her self on her own or let the whole thing drop. She decided to carry on.

She was helped initially by Shukran Fahid, a known builder in Second Life and after learning how to build basic buildings, she was joined by an avatar called Joe Fabre. Her friends Kiwispud Sakai and Xarianna Talon also helped her by laying the road down and making London’s first pub.

The sim started to take shape and Ligeia Westwick was approached to manage the building process there. She took that position for a while and built several of the houses and shops in Knightsbridge. Soon after Gustavus Hapmouche joined as a newbie. He began in London as a rookie builder and learnt his skills while creating some of the buildings in Knightsbridge, such as Harvey Nichols and the Underground building. He also created the first Underground Club – an 80s themed truly ‘underground’ groovy place.

This became very popular as Taliesin Silverstar took over as club manager and also Underground Radio manager.

The Underground took on a life of it’s own and is still legend to this day, with many clubs copying it’s style and adapting it’s name.

Knightsbridge became talked about and attracted the attention of the media, including the BBC Money Program, where she appeared with Max Flint on 1st June 2007.

This is how the birth of London in Second Life came about in 2006. Some of the original features have now long gone, but many remain to this day and

Debs is looking at bringing some of the old features back again as well as bringing 32 new sims online later this year as a full simulation of important areas of London.

If you would like to read more please leave a comment …

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