I joined Second Life on 13th December 2005 as a refugee from Active Worlds, Runescape and Ogame. The moment I arrived I was addicted, hook, line and sinker, here was the vision of the future I foresaw when I first joined Active Worlds back in 1997, and life has never been the same since.
When I first logged in at Orientation Island, I attempted to edit my avatar and made a complete mess of it, from a skinny rake, I ended up an extremely over-weight mutant. So I did a reset and shrunk everything down. Hey presto! I was a kid, and being impatient to explore, I went with the flow,
Gemini on his 9th day at The Shelter.
I figured as a kid avatar, I was less likely to get 'hit upon’, and that’s something that always irritates me. I certainly got that wrong (EEK!!),
On other platforms people would demand “ASL” (age/sex/location) to which i would sarcasticly respond with “Ageless/no thanks/here”, which I always thought was politer than retorting with “Mind your own business.
Everywhere I went, I got an amazing warm and friendly reception, and I saw straight away, this was the life for me and upgraded to premium membership.
On my second day, I was adopted by my first mother, until a new found friend, Lord Kaos, upset her. She promptly pulled out a chain saw and proceeded to attack him. She then poofed and I never saw her again.
There weren't many virtual kids at that time and it was weeks before I met any, and most of those were girls.
One of the people I met at The Shelter was Hoo Doolittle, a really lovely lady who was to become my second virtual mommy. She is one of the nicest people I have met in SL and I was very lucky to have found her. She introduced me to her dear friend, Boo Doolittle, also a really lovely lady and now my SL aunty. We did a lot of exploring together and had a fantastic time.
Both Hoo and Booo still log in to Second Life, but sadly, I don’t see much of them as I used to.
My fondest memories of Second Life were in those first few weeks, it was so magical and exciting. It still amazes me that at peak time, there was just a little over 5000 people online at the same time.
The Drop In circa. 2005
On my 13th day I visited a club called The Drop In where the owner, Hash Warrior, had noticed in my profile I had been an entertainments manager in real life and he promptly persuaded me to become a manager at the club. However, within a couple weeks, the owner quit Second Life for personal reasons and bestowed the Drop In on me. Due to my financial circumstances at the time, this was a poisoned chalice, but I threw myself in to the club none-the-less.
We had around 200 members who loved the friendly welcoming atmosphere, although all SL club owners know, members don’t equate to regular visitors, but we averaged around 15 concurrent visitors at a time.
The ladies frequently commented that they felt safe there and that was to be a main policy for my current club, The Vortex Night Club. A safe friendly zone for everyone.
It was then I met Kris Spade whilst dancing at my friend, Dane Zander's club, The Blueboy Club in Apollo, very popular in it’s day. I still remember now, the moment Kris walked in, looking very panache in his suit. He has been a member of SL since 2003 and was most likely the first virtual kid (I often teasingly refer to him as ‘first child’).
Within days, Kris became my business partner and best friend in Second Life. He is very special to me and added an extra sense of fun and meaning to my Second Life, and I can't imagine SL without him. Kris persuaded me to close The Drop In and build a new club, and this was the beginning of The Vortex Project. Little did I know how much of my time was to be consumed on this project.
The Drop In circa. 2005
Loki Eliot giving Gemini a piggy-back.
It was around this time that Kris and I were exploring and we came across Loki Boy Avatars, a store that sells boy avatars and clothing, a rare thing back then. Then without warning a jawa avatar appeared and bounded around the store like a crazed imp on ampehetamines. This turned out to be Loki Eliot, the store proprieter. Loki was to become a great friend and my virtual big brother.
Over the next few weeks I started meeting other kids, new converts and newcomers and Second Life started to become more interesting. It was an exciting time which I greatly miss.
Not all my experiences were pleasant ones, as I met a few nasty vitriolic bullies and drama whores, but you get them on just about every platform, and this is why I will dispute that Second Life is a game, people don’t get hurt in games (physical sports excluded). Some people forget there are real people with feelings behind the avatars, and some folks just don’t care.
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