Second Life is a virtual online world build by its users.
You can build and do pretty much anything you want to do.
Imagine you are playing a computer game made by you for you.
Your imagination can run wild there.
Not just can you build whatever you want, you can also explore the worlds other people build and interact with their avatars.
It is like walking around inside other peoples imagination.
Many users will create a little paradise where they can chat with friends and escape reality for a few hours.
You will find that many build deserted paradise islands, huge villas and walk around looking like models.
Many will spend much of their time taking part in virtual…. well… ehm… hanky panky.
But to someone like me, obsessed with history, the ability to create virtual surroundings immediately made me think of recreating the past.
The idea of being able to walk down Unter den Linden in 1929 and see a Zeppelin fly over, to sail the ocean on The Normandie, to watch searchlights over London in 1940, to visit the town Vincent van Gogh lived, to explore a 13th century castle or go shopping in a 17th century market place is a very exciting one.
Not just for my personal pleasure but because I want to share my passion for the past with others.
I want to make people realise how interesting history can be, I want them to learn from it or just get infected with my enthusiasm.
History is great!
So when I joined ‘Second Life’ over 3 years ago I didn’t expect to like it and I didn’t.
I am not interested in the things most people care about, fashion, chatting, dancing to modern music, etc.
And that is what you will see most in this virtual world, because that is what most people care about in the real world as well.
Combine that with a rather high learning curve and you will understand why I almost gave up.
But once I got to chat with a few people there and realised that perhaps this silly modern internet thing could help me experience a little bit of time travel, I got excited.
Not much later did I start The 1920s Berlin Project.
And now we have a neighbourhood recreated there where you can walk around and get an idea of what 1920s berlin could have been like.
Visit cabaret at the Eldorado, dance the charleston in a Tanzlokal, listen to real 1920s German music, have Kaffee on Unter den Linden, watch Greta Garbo at the local cinema.
Of course it is nothing compared to the real thing, but as far as pixels go, it turned out to be a rather interesting experiment.
After all, it introduces up between 50 and 80 people to the story of Weimar Berlin every day, people from all over the world who may never be able to visit the real Berlin, who may never have heard of how exciting the city was.
People who learn something even if they didn’t plan on it 😉
What a great educational tool it turned out to be!
So come and give Second Life a try.
Yes I know, the beginning will not be easy, you will be confused, it demands a lot from your computer…. but if you try and if you make it…. give me a call and I’ll gladly take you to Berlin.
The Schnaps is ready!