Take the Second Life History Quiz!

At "Linden Lab HQ" on Battery Street.
At “Linden Lab HQ” on Battery Street, San Francisco.

I’ve just had the most amazing time at what I consider to possibly be the most important LEA installation I’ve had the pleasure to experience. I’m busy writing a review post about my many visits over the past couple of days, but whilst I was fact-checking, I couldn’t help but think this would make a fun quiz!

Are you ready to test your knowledge of Second Life History?

All of the questions in this quiz can be answered by visiting the LEA17 Second Life History exhibit called “The Greatest Story Ever Told” curated by Sniper Siemens. You might enjoy having this quiz open as you visit the exhibit, or if you’re a very brave super-genius, try it before you go! The exhibit runs from Feb 7 to May 31, 2015, so don’t delay!

Note: I have no official affiliation with Sniper Siemens, or LEA, and everything that’s informed this quiz was collected at the exhibit. If you’d like to challenge any of the answers to the quiz (or the questions), just leave a comment and I’ll take it up with Sniper!

Please share you score in the comments!

59 thoughts on “Take the Second Life History Quiz!

  1. Good quiz – wish I’d thought of this myself!

    Small point of note, however. Technically, P. Rosedale didn’t actually leave LL in 2008. He stepped down as CEO in that year, being replaced in that role by Mark Kingdon. However, he did continue as chairman of the board, in what appears to have been an executive director capacity, with direct involvement in the day-to-day running of the company.

    2009 can perhaps more correctly be pointed to as his actual “departure”, as it was then that he established Love Machine as a separate entity, and made a public announcement (October 2009) that he would have little further involvement in the running of the Lab from that point onwards (well, until his return as interim CEO in June 2010). I assume this announcement was to mark the transition of his status as chairman of the board from that of executive director, with involvement in the day-to-day operation of the company, to that of non-executive director, a role in which he continued through until early 2013, when Coffee and Power warped itself into High Fidelity.

    And, as a further piece of trivia, Love Machine is the rewards system used internally by the Lab to allow employees to reward one another :).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the quiz. However, I take issue with two of the answers (I scored 65%).

    First, I don’t see how anyone can, in 2003, have held any opinion, positive or negative, about viewer 1.23, which was the last old-style viewer released (in 2009 or 2010).

    Second, I was one of the first beta testers for Experience Tools, which started back in 2012. The project went on the back burner after the debacle when llTeleportAgent was first released, and people discovered an exploit whereby anyone could teleport anyone else without their permission, and Ebbe reinstated it, but it certainly started back then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right about Viewer 1.23. I think too that it’s my error, and that Sniper said it was viewer 1. I’ll fix that now – good catch 🙂

      On the Experience tools, the question is actually about Ebbe Altberg presiding over this particular innovation’s launch. Of course, one could quibble when an innovation actually happens. Is it when people first beta test it, or is it when it’s released inworld for users to experience? I think I’ll go with Sniper’s placement on this one, so that people using her exhibition as a reference will be able to answer the question correctly.


  3. The question “Q.11 User-created animations were first available in” seems to be wrong, as I joined SL in early 2004 and there were not user made animations. We were just stuck with the default linden ones. To dance at a club you had to wear a dance bracelet that would just play the couple LL dances at set intervals. If you wanted to to do the deed, you had to sit on a box that would go invisible, one would be in the motorcycle ride animation, the other in either a standing animation rotated horizontally or sleep animation, and you would move the prim up and down… It wasn’t until later that they allowed people to upload their own animations, around 2005


    1. Hi Gattz, thanks for your comment! It made me question my notes, so I checked out Second Life Wikia (one of the sources used for the exhibition) and found that the Release Notes for SL version 1.4.0 (released June 15, 2004) are the first to include a reference to custom animations: “You can upload animations from Poser 4 or 5 by exporting .BVH files”


      So, I’m afraid that you were moving prims up and down needlessly from summer of 2004 onwards! 🙂


  4. The OpenSimulator project was founded in January 2007 by Darren Guard (also known as MW), who, like so many other people, saw the potential for an open source 3d Virtual Environments server that could be used for many different applications. Also like many others, Darren had watched many other attempts at open source virtual world servers fail, often due to the massive task of writing both a server and a client at the same time.

    2007. NOT 2008.

    I’m also positive that the resident surname came out in late 2010, not 2009 (I spend 2010 making alts and all of them up to Dec 2010 had surnames): http://alphavilleherald.com/2010/12/second-lifes-new-naming-policy.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for spotting that. Both dates are incorrect and I’ve made changes to the quiz.

      The actual wording should read “Open Grid Public Beta” not “Open Sim”, which is different, and indeed started in 2007. “The Open Grid Public Beta program is a Linden Lab sponsored opportunity for developers to make their virtual worlds interoperate with Second Life. Virtual world interoperability is enabled through the Open Grid Protocol, under development by the Architecture Working Group of Second Life residents.” which began after the first successfully tested teleport in 2008. http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Open_Grid_Public_Beta

      I got my date from this erroneous placard at the exhibition:
      Image showing Open Sim created in 2008

      You are also correct about Resident names. Upon further research I found “In 2010, Second Life changed from registering new accounts with a “first name” and “last name” to a single-word username If you registered your account after mid-2010, you created a unique, single-word username; for example: mortimer1980, or jsmith57. When you log in to Second Life, you simply enter the username you selected when you registered.” http://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Usernames-and-display-names/ta-p/700173

      And I got this date from this erroneous placard at the exhibition:

      Image showing date for avatar surname change

      The lesson: don’t trust placards written by little green eggmen!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a fun quiz. Thanks for making it. I scored only 65%, but that’s because some of the questions have no correct answer available. I’m a crusty old oldbie, so my recollections differ…

    Q5: Cory indeed had an early presentation about Ators and birds, but he also had a presentation with a Primitar lobbing grenades to terraform.

    Q8: The Linden Dollar was not introduced in December 2003, as it was already implemented when I first tried SL in September 2003. I remember being annoyed at how much it cost just to rez something.

    Q10: When I arrived in SL, there were no telehubs. You could teleport anywhere, but cost was increased by distance. Telehubs were later brought in an attempt to control movement and creat communities around telehubs.

    Q11: The first user-created av animations I saw were on the testing grid in 2004 in Noyo, a region that didn’t exist in 2003. Admittedly, I may just have been out of the loop, but that seems unlikely.

    Q21: While some residents may have been paid a weekly stipend of L$50, the number has varied over the years, and may well have been L$300 at one point. In 2003 it was L$500. Oldies who bought an account at that time still get a high stipend as we’re grandfathered in. So the answer was unclear.

    Q24: While mesh was indeed not introduced in 2009, neither were Premium Memberships, which were available at least as early as 2005.

    Q27: This one’s confusing, since there was a “Materials” setting for prims at least as far back as 2003, but it was for physics and sound fx rather than for rendering.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome 🙂 I think it’s so great to have people still in Second Life that remember this stuff first hand! You may be right on all counts, but I have to go with the exhibition as a reference in this regard. Whether dubious or not, it is at least one public version of the events as they are recollected. And despite all of the challenges in the quiz, you still managed to score 65%, so that’s very impressive indeed 🙂

      I think that next time I update the quiz, I might just reach out to you for an “eyewitness account”, as there seem to be many version of the truth! Like so much of history, our reports sometimes tend to be photocopies of photocopies, sadly degrading in fidelity to the truth with every reproduction.

      Thanks you for taking the time to point out the flaws. I might just consider finding sources for everything you say, so that I can pass them on to Sniper as well, and even update the wiki page that echoes many of the facts as I shared them. And don’t be surprised, if I call on you for expert advice!


  6. I finally sat down and completed the quiz – 87%.

    I’m afraid I did find a few more quibbles, which Cubey has also pointed out:

    Q5 – Ators and birds were part of Linden World, as Cubey states, and were presented by Cory; although it might be argued that the snowmen answer is technically the one people should have opted for, as that’s the one referred to in the exhibit.

    Q8 – the L$ was around prior to Dec 2003 – hence the prim “taxes” and tax revolt in July 2003! :).

    Q10 – teleport- wise, P2P was possible from the start. However, from SL 1.1 to 1.8, they could only be initiated by someone offering to teleport you; prior to 1.1, as Cubey points-out, there was a cost based on distance. Ironically, I lost points for answering the question correctly (direct P2P was always available).

    Q11 – user-generated animations were introduced in 2004 (and are recorded as such in the installation!) – this should increase those scores for all that gave 2004 but were marked as wrong ;-).


    1. I should also say, that I’m really keen to get it as right as possible. So if you have any sources you can send to verify your claims, I’d love to see them so that I can confidently change my quiz for the next edition. My problem is that I’m seeing reasonably credible sources report different facts. Thank you!


  7. I feel so proud to have completed this quiz…especially since I have the FLU or some such nonsense that makes me feel terrible. SIGH… Thank you, Becky, for this fun adventure I could complete from my sickroom. My fever must be abating because I really wanted to do this – and I’ve not been wanting to do anything – so thank you for the inspiration.
    I ran over to LEA17 to see Sniper’s work with this history lesson and it was fun and informative in a relaxing environment which meant I could take my time and relax. There were many items I would have missed without visiting Sniper’s exhibit, but because I did I got 94%! More than good enough for this SL denizen from January 2009. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you for visiting the exhibit despite feeling so poorly! You’ve done it just the way it was intended, and that score is so impressive! Well done, and I hope you feel better soon 🙂


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