After a five-month expedition through abandoned sectors of Second Life, the group of literary explorers “The Last Days of Second Life” has returned safely to First Life. In roughly 30 individual reports, the explorers are describing how the early avatars might have lived in the now deserted zones. Their presentations include descriptions of prehistoric objects from the beta-phase of Second Life; they introduce islands that were completely forgotten, point to enigmatic objects that are acutely threatened with destruction and wrote the foundations of Empathic Archeology.
The explorers are especially worried about the vast dying-off of islands and their ancient buildings that has occurred in Second Life between 2008 and 2009. “Of course we understand that more space is needed for new developments. Nevertheless, one should consider that already today many fascinating structures have disappeared. This means that Second Life is losing a part of its history. The historical buildings from the gold-rush years of Second Life will never again be built. Never again will virtual buildings reflect so vividly what people had hoped for and so often did not receive from this new virtual world.”
Therefore, the explorers are suggesting that all completely preserved building complexes from 2006 and 2007 in good condition should be protected as historical monuments under cultural heritage laws. Supporters of this suggestion should mail to muji[at]movement-for-account-corpses.de.
A first success was scored at the preventive demonstration against a (possible) closing down of Second Life that took place on October 11, 2009 at the Linden Lab Headquarters: The virtual world still exists!
The main participants in the research were the project leader Susanne Berkenheger as well as Anne Albrecht, Anna Szczesny and Klaus Ungerer.
The explorer team thanks its great sponsors, namely Literaturhaus Bremen, kunst:raum sylt quelle, Bernd und Eva Hockemeyer Stiftung and the Alt Art Foundation (Altart Partners: C6, UK; European Alternatives, UK; InterSpace Association, BG; Foundation GMT+2, BG; Co-financed by: British Council; Creative Collaborations Programme; Romanian Cultural Institute; Cantemir Programme) and its marvellous spiritual patrons, namely Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen, Beatriz von Eidlitz, Dr. Doris Riedl, Florian Hartling und Oliver Gassner.