Thursday, April 21, 2016

Teen Second Life, or "That Sharp Continent"

In February of 2005, a separate Teen Second Life (TSL) was created for SL residents who were ages 13-17. Just prior to opening TSL, the Lab offered amnesty to all underage users if they would agree to beta test the new grid. TSL was completely separate from SL, and no interaction between the two was possible. In January of 2011, the Teen Grid was closed, but the TSL Mainland was imported to the main Second Life grid, and can now be accessed by anyone. Most people I've spoken to don't even know that this land still exists. So, let's put on our explorer's boots and go on a bit of a tour there, shall we?

I asked Uccello Galway (uccello poultry), who started her Second Life on the Teen Grid, how it much it really differed from the Main Grid (aside from simply the maturity rating). She replied, "So much creativity. Not as much just wandering around aimlessly as was the typical new resident experience on the Main grid." Mainland TSL is a small continent, rather oddly-shaped, with many roads that dead-end and many land forms that seem cut off or half finished. Because of that, it is often referred to as "that sharp continent". It contains all of the types of land that can be found on the Main Grid, including deserts (pictured below), rocky highlands, beaches, cities, and snowlands. One of the best ways to tour the TSL continent is located in the snowlands there, via the Yavascript Pod station in Cascade.

The desert in Oasis Canyon, an area which used to contain a large shopping mall

In addition, TSL Mainland contains a number of duplicate builds. There is a welcome area in Pullman which is a duplicate of the one in Ahern, a copy of the prim mining equipment that can be also found in ANWR, and even a TSL version of Natoma's Ivory Tower (pictured below). The G-rated Bay City regions were once in TSL, and were added to Bay City after the merge. Well-traveled residents will know where to find the Main Grid duplicate of Harry's crash site in TSL, pictured on the far right of the collage below. When visiting the crash site, make sure to pick up your "I love SL" button. Several Linden Bears can be found on this continent, in the abandoned Teen Grid Linden offices at IWorld.

There are a lot of fun things to do while you explore the TSL continent. Take a ride on Michael Linden's gorgeously shimmering Pegasus merry-go-round at IWorld, bundle up and visit Chalet Linden in the snowlands (pick up more bears while you are there!), or wait at the edge of the city sim of Ni to catch a ride on a really fast monorail. You'll discover a go-cart track with rezzable go-carts if you climb over the wall at the Meiji East rez zone, pictured in the middle photo, below. One caveat: there is still an active war-games element to some of the sims here, so on your travels you may find yourself in a damage-enabled combat zone. If you need a place to rest your feet, I own a coffee shop and hangout called World's End, located at the edge of the Grid in Pop. Visit there and see what happens when you try to walk off the edge of the world! You are also welcome to visit my home in TSL, Whiskey River Canyon, which has what I think is one of the best views anywhere.

Whenever I speak to a former Teen Grid resident about this continent, there is a sense of warm nostalgia that comes through in the conversation. Even after passing through the Teen Grid transfer station in the Sea of Fables on the Main Grid (pictured above, far left), TSL residents have retained their fondness for their former home, and many of them have returned and bought land there. While it may be a land of dead ends (one of which is pictured below), it certainly is not a dead land. Visit the TSL continent, and discover a curiously beautiful land of sharp edges that has captured a great many residents' hearts, including mine!

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