Historical Movie - LindenWorld August 2001

Friday, August 18th, 2006 at 12:35 PM by: James Linden

On the eve of the Second Life Community Convention, here’s a present for the community.

While trying to generate some archival screen shots, Andrew and I managed to get a build running of Second Life circa August 2001. We called it “LindenWorld” back in those days. Here’s a video showing what we looked like back then. I apologize in advance for the movie quality - I’m an engineer, not an artist, and I shot and narrated this in one take.

Video: LindenWorld August 2001.mov (6 min, 160 MB, QuickTime 7 required)
Streaming version on YouTube

You’ll see our first human-like avatar (we called him “primitar”). Previous versions had used spaceships and flaming eyeballs as avatars. This was one of the first builds that allowed user-created objects. Of course, there was no inventory to put them in, and any other user could modify them. Remnants of our previous ecosystem are here, including rocks, birds, “ators” (snake-like creatures), rain and deformable water.

I think it’s nice to see the rudimentary pieces of Second Life coming together. We’ve come a long way since then: better chat, customizable avatars, gestures, better object editing, permissions, inventory, land parcels, terraforming, groups, etc. But the basic land and sky and boxes are much the same.

27 Responses to “Historical Movie - LindenWorld August 2001”

  1. 1 Torley Linden Says:


  2. 2 Chosen Few Says:

    “I’m an engineer, not an artist”

    Dammit, Jim!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist that one.

    Anyway, the video’s very slow to load, but it’s really interesting to see. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. 3 Oz Spade Says:

    Wow thats really awesome to see. Thanks for sharing! :D

    It’s interesting to see what has changed and what hasn’t. It gives a nice idea of what needs more attention. ;)

    Would there be any way to allow people to run this themselves? I’d love to just play around in it, even if its a solo experience. I have an old client from around 1.0 or so, but you can’t of course actualy log in with it or really do anything with it but look at the login screen (I miss the old login image!).

    Anyway, the video was nicely done :)

  4. 4 Jeff Linden Says:

    Thanks to Cornelius Linden, the mp4 version is now also available.

  5. 5 eggy lippmann Says:

    Awesome! It’s going to take a *while* to download on my lowly 512 kbit ADSL, but I’m sure I will love it :)
    Thank you so much for sharing this! One day beta will rise again. And I will be there to see it ;)

  6. 6 Xandi Mars Says:

    I think its so amazing to see .. the first baby steps of the game we play now. Wonderful. I really love my secondlife.

    Thank you

  7. 7 Demozi Says:

    thanks for this..good to see old time movies..:=)

  8. 8 Menno OPhelia Says:

    Really enjoyed watching this..
    Favorite part : using granades to terraform lol :D

  9. 9 Osprey Therian Says:

    woo - That’s amazingly cool :-D

  10. 10 hunter (linden) Says:

    now that brings back some memories

    btw, the spaceships shot spheres which we gleefully used to make big waves, knock down trees and deform the land.

  11. 11 Torley Linden Says:

    ^ Nice to meet you Hunter! :D

    I’ve also added a YouTube version for those of you who can’t wait to see the movie.

  12. 12 Jesse Malthus Says:

    This is great because, you know, any update now makes everything 1000x worse. Therefore, LindenWorld is perfect and bug free. It is really cool to see SL v0.

  13. 13 otakup0pe neumann Says:

    “Andrew is still working on Havoc 2″

    Who will join me in a toast to the ators ?

  14. 14 Krysss Galatea Says:

    So as there is a preview grid, there is to be a post-view grid, containing this version I hope? :)

  15. 15 Salazar Jack Says:

    Was Lindenworld a separate place from DaBoom? Or did Lindenworld turn into DaBoom?

  16. 16 Shiny Prim » Blog Archive » Baby Second Life Says:

    [...] Official Linden Blog Link: http://blog.secondlife.com/2006/08/18/historical-movie-lindenworld-august-2001/ YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK3×3FNlleU [...]

  17. 17 Aster Says:

    Hehehe, that was awesome, thanks for sharing.

  18. 18 eggy lippmann Says:

    You guys totally need to bring back that water… and maybe the object fracturing :)

  19. 19 eggy lippmann Says:

    Salazar, this movie is from a development version of SL 9 months older than alpha. In the transition from alpha to beta everything was wiped. I don’t even think sims had names in alpha…?

  20. 20 Ipenda Keynes Says:

    Wow! So cool to see the evolution from then to now!
    Speaking of evolution, the ators and birds segment reminded me of a National Geographic special…hehe
    Thanks for sharing!

  21. 21 Tao’s Thoughts on Second Life » Keynote Time and some late night summary Says:

    [...] Philip was mainly talking about his biography and how SL came into life Cory Linden was then showing Linden World a bit (videos are up here). [...]

  22. 22 Strife Onizuka Says:

    Archive.org has a number of the old client installers (and i have most installers in my private archive, which i have presently misplaced).

  23. 23 Torley Linden Says:

    Written about on CNET!

    ‘Second Life’ brass show off ancient versions

  24. 24 Chage McCoy Says:

    I demand we roll back SL to Linden WOrld Terraforming. Now. :)

  25. 25 Timothy Zapotocky Says:

    That primitar was pretty fun with his grenade launchers. He would be banned from most sims today. But boy oh boy i bet he sure could create some havoc before he got bounced.

    I am wondering if the primitar, the rock-eating Linden Birds, and the ators (snake-like creatures with big jaws who eat the birds, for those who haven’t seen the video) are still hidden in the software somewhere, ready to reappear if the right bug gets triggered! :-)

  26. 26 Felix Svarog Says:

    I have found an befriended a huge Ator at:

  27. 27 Download Youtube Videos Says:

    Awesome video! Too cool to describe it.