The SL16B celebratory regions have opened their doors to mark the 16th anniversary of the public launch of Second Life. As with previous years, the event includes music, entertainment, talks, presentations, performances and the opportunity to explore themed builds and exhibitions by participating members of the Second Life community.
This year marks something of a departure from recent SLB events, in that for the first time since SL9B, these celebrations have been under the direct management of the Lab and the Linden Department of Public Works (LPDW), rather than being community-led. The most notable aspects of this change are that this year, the celebration doesn’t feature things like the familiar 4-region Birthday Cake stage – in fact there are only two official stages: the Main Stage and the DJ Stage.
The second notable aspect is that the exhibitor spaces are considerably fewer this year than in previous years, and these are located in the five regions on the west side of the SL16B estate, being: SL16B Astonish, SL16B Captivate, SL16B Enchant, SL16B Incredible, and SL16B Sparkle. Each of these is marked by a large central exhibitor display with a landing point associated with it, with smaller parcels laid out around it in a grid pattern of roads (traversed by the familiar pod tours) and footpaths.
The rest of the celebratory regions are given over to public spaces, the stages, the auditorium, a large central lake and beach, and a couple of Linden Homes preview regions, of which more anon.
The theme for this year’s celebrations is “Sweet Sixteen”, with a focus on a 1950’s, the start of the “youth revolution” and a general period of social change in America that continued through the 1960s. Given this, there are the inevitable core elements of diners, drive-in movie theatres, bright colours, vinyl and 50s B-movies and typically 50’s views of “the future” that involve rocket ships and the like to be found throughout the exhibitor displays, but there are also those that put the 50s into context as informative pieces, and those that cast their net a little wider.
In this latter regard, I admit to particular liking the International Space Museum / National Space Society’s central display that celebrates our once and future presence on the Moon. Yes, we didn’t reach the Moon’s surface until 1969, but NASA was a child of the 1950s (officially formed in 1958), and July 2019 does mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic landing.
The community spaces offer attractions of their own: the lake and beach noted above, meandering parks, and spaces that can help take the load when dealing with large numbers of avatars bunching together in the core events areas. And here I might sound a little critical, but having become used to fantastical builds for the various stages and event centres over the last seven years in particular, the core builds – stages and auditorium – for Sl16B come across as – well – a touch bland.
Yes, I can understand the reasoning; some of the more fantastic builds seen in the past were doubtless resource heavy for both servers (with a scripting load) and – more particularly – viewers (lots of mesh and textures, for example, clogging up local computer resources). The builds here are a lot more economical in these respect; but while they do reflect the teens / 50s theme, they do seem to lack the attractive lustre and thrill of previous community designs.
Events and Activities
But in terms of major events, what does SL16B hold? Well, the best way the stay abreast of all that’s going on is via the official calendar of events, which I’ve embedded below.
However, there are a couple of significant events taking place which you might want easier reminding about – the weekday Meet the Lindens sessions, and the SL16B Music Fest, so I’m including a few notes on them here.
Meet the Lindens
Now a staple of SLB activities, Meet the Lindens features the opportunity to listen to and ask questions of, employees of Linden Lab at 14:00 SLT, Monday 24th June through Friday, 28th June at the SL16B Auditorium.
You can find out more about who is taking part this year in my blog post, SL16B: Meet the Lindens – when and who, however, the schedule for the sessions is given below for ease of reference.
|Day (14:00 – 15:00 SLT)||Lindens|
|Monday 24th June||Patch Linden, Senior Director, Product Operations|
|Tuesday 25th June||
|Wednesday 26th, June||Ebbe Linden (Altberg), Linden Lab CEO|
|Thursday 27th June||Xiola Linden, Lead Community Manager, and Strawberry Linden, Marketing Specialist|
|Friday 28th June||Meet the Moles – the Linden Department of Public Works|
SL16B Music Fest
The SL16B Music Fest will take place on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st June, at the Main Stage at SL16B. Again, for ease of reference, the line-up of live performers is given below.
|Time||Friday, June 21st
||Saturday, June 22nd
|10:00||Parker Static||Dreama Summerwind|
|11:00||R4 Anne (oXoRyanneoXo)||Mimi Carpenter|
|12:00 noon||Tempio Breil||Grif Bamaisin|
|13:00||Gabriel da Silva||Donn DeVore|
|14:00||Alazarin Mobius||Skye Galaxy|
Other Points of Interest
The Welcome Area
The best place to start your visit, the Welcome Area features:
- A click-to-teleport map of the celebration regions that will deliver you to a destination (or the closest landing point to it).
- Free gifts and free 1950s-style avatars to help you fit the mood of the celebrations (and potentially reduce your rendering impact on others visiting the regions, should you choose to use them).
- The Swaginator HUD for the SL16B gift hunt.
The Tapestry of Time
An anniversary celebration is something the evokes memories and gives us cause to look back, and SL16B is no exception. Building on an event from 2018, this year’s celebrations include an expanded Tapestry of Time, a full region devoted to providing in words and video, the chance to look through SL’s long history from 2003 through to the present day. True, not everything has been recorded, but there’s enough within the region for the historically minded to find of interest.
Linden Homes Preview Regions
There are two Linden Homes preview regions.
- The first – SL16B Stunning – presents the current crop of Traditional land-based homes, and the existing Houseboat type of home that can been found on Bellisseria, the Linden Homes continent.
- The second – SL16B Spellbound – presents the upcoming trailer-style homes that will form (a part of?) an upcoming new Linden Homes release.
The Linden Trailer Homes are liable to be gaining a lot of preview coverage, and they are certainly an interesting idea. However, the preview comes with an important note from the Lab:
Please keep in mind this region is just a PEEK at content that is still in progress. The final live regions will be somewhat different and will have some variety built into them just like the previous themes do, but this gives a taste of what is coming.
Patch Linden will have more to say on these units during his Meet the Linden presentation on Monday, June 24th. Following his session, I’ll have a more in-depth look at these new trailer homes including comments from Patch.
SL16B Shopping Event
While not a part of the SL16B regions per se, don’t forget that running from June 20th through until July 8th, 2019 is the SL16B Shopping & Gift Event. This can be found in the familiar Second Life shopping event mall, covering 15 regions (five for shopping) and decorated in the SL16B colours. See SLurls and Links below for the region SLurls
SLurls and Links
|Core SLurls||Exhibitor SLurls
|SL16B Welcome Area||SL16B Astonish||Aurelian|
|Tapestry of Time||SL16B Captivate||Gilded|
|SL16B Auditorium||SL16B Enchant||Golden|
|SL16B Main Stage||SL16B Incredible||Halcyon|
|SL16B DJ Stage||SL16B Sparkle||Tinseled|
|Linden Homes Preview 1|
|Linden Homes Preview 2|
- SL16B landing page and information
- SL16B event calendar
- SL16B Destination Guide Category
- SL16B Community Experiences
- SL16B Shopping and Gift Event page