A visit to historic Boardman in Second Life

Boardman – click any image for full size

There are many historic sites scattered around Second Life, some better known than others. Svarga (read here for more), for example, or The Man, Governor Linden’s mansion, the Ivory Tower of Primitives, to name just four. Then there are places to celebrate the history of Second Life, such as the SL Historic Museum (read here for more) and Maps of Second Life (read here for more).

One of the historical location that perhaps doesn’t get much of a mention outside of the Destination Guide is Boardman, one of the earliest experiments of a themed community established in Second Life that dates back at least a decade, and which is now overseen by the Boardman Preservation Society.

Boardman

It’s a fascinating curio to visit; a living reminder of how Second Life once was. A prim build, formed around a network of little roads and sidewalks, in which sits a little suburb setting of houses and community buildings: a town hall (complete with a picture of Jack Linden, former head of the Land Team who departed LL at the end of 2010), a church, and ice cream parlour. The roads are shaded by Linden trees from the library, while the houses – although largely empty – sit within their own little lawned gardens.

Being an early example of community building in Second Life, Boardman is subject to some of the earliest zoning requirements in Second Life. These can be obtained from the information kiosks scattered around the town and in assorted signs, and date all the way back to January 2003, which itself makes them an interesting read.

Boardman

A central (literally as well as figuratively) feature is an open air market space. This was specifically established to allow Boardman residents to sell their goods – as long as they were within the required guidelines – via a 13×8 metre stall. It is at the market that some names and logos can be found that will have a certain resonance among long-term Second Life residents: Sion Chickens (although none of them are around!) and Adam Zaius for example. There are even some vendor boards still present and working! You can, however, pick up Mr. Greggan’s Whimsical Full Perm Freebies, for a look back at SL mechanics circa 2007/8.

As well as exploring, visitors can take a walk to the waterfront and try their hands a few games or simply enjoy the Sun. While you’re there, say hello to Captain Nomad as he builds his new boat.

Boardman

Boardman may look dated when compared to modern mesh builds, and the total ban on even limited terraforming to smooth out the land in places can result in some buildings looking oddly placed. However, as a site of historical reference, it makes for an interesting and diverting visit.

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One thought on “A visit to historic Boardman in Second Life

  1. I was in Boardman a few days ago. The place always impresses me due to the fact that every single thing there is prim – but doesn’t look it. Some of the Linden Lands people were real artists back then, given the way the sim looks.
    Sad fact; the modern Linden Residential builds look amateurish and poorly done compared to Boardman, especially the four “Lands” south of Jugeot. Why Linden labs went cartoonish with some of their “Residence Sims” is a mystery to me (and the lack of occupancy demonstrates painfully).
    Boardman: Linden’s first planned community – and probably one of the best to boot.

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