Recap of Second Life History, 1999 to 2013

A recap of Second Life history from 1999 to 2013.

1999 to 2013


  • Linden Lab was founded in 1999
  • The Rig
  • LindenWorld


  • LindenWorld continues to develop


  • “focusing on haptic technology”


  • March 13th, 2002, the first Resident called Steller Sunshine  joined Second Life
  • 16 regions
  • Closed beta testing in November 2002


  • SL was launched
  • Open beta in April 2003
  • First trailer of Second Life was downloadable
  • Second Life 1.1. released
  • First Telehubs were created in 2003
  • Mass layoff of staff


  • First Linden official blog post in October 2004
  • Golden Age for Second Life content creation
  • Version 1.5 was launched
  • Nathan Keir created Tringo in December 2004


  • Teen Grid created in February 2005
  • 1.6 rolled out in March 2005
  • Dismantling of the old telehub system


  • Teen Grid opens 24/7
  • Black September an unpatched exploit in a piece of software used by LL allowed parties unknown to access customer information for SL users.
  • Anshe Chung becoming the first millionaire from a virtual world
  • 1,000,000th Resident joined Second Life


  • WG had it’s first meeting (open sourced)
  • Windlight launches
  • Ratings removed


  • Bay City regions launch
  • Dazzle launches
  • Philip left as CEO
  • Mono launched
  • Open Grid Public Beta
  • Launch of void sims (openspaces)


  • XStreet SL launches
  • Adult Content Policy
  • Snowglobe launches
  • New look SL website
  • Volunteer Program stopped
  • Orange Island closed
  • Linden Homes


  • LL brought Avatars United
  • New Viewer 2 & new user experience
  • New Second Life Forums
  • LL Layoffs
  • M Linden steps down & Philip comes back as CEO
  • Burning Life renamed to BURN 2.0


  • Rodvik starts as CEO of Linden Lab
  • Teen Grid merged with the Main Grid
  • New SL Forums launched
  • New Basic/Advanced modes in SL Viewer
  • New social web profiles launched
  • Mesh was launched across the grid


  • Pathfinding introduced 
  • Linden Lab ends support for SL9B+
  • Project Shining introduced


  • New spring themed login screens on SL homepage
  • New Communications Hub User Interface (CHUI) launched
  • New new Materials Project Viewer launched


Further Reading

7 thoughts on “Recap of Second Life History, 1999 to 2013

  1. Lalo Telling

    Minor correction (2010): Avatars United was pre-existing; i.e., LL didn’t launch it, they bought it.

    2009 was when I became aware of the community of bloggers about SL, and the SLUniverse forum, and joined both. Looking back now, I might say with some wistfulness (and only a smidgen of cynicism) that 2008 was my favourite year: I was no longer a noob, but was still oblivious to “how the sausage is made”.


  2. Honour

    I made it in 2007 – I’m sure that has nothing to do with the end of the ratings system 🙂

    Thanks for this Daniel!


    1. Daniel Voyager

      I joined TSL in 2006 and then transferred to the MG in December 2008 when I turned 18. It’s been fun and now I’m looking to have a good future in SL. 😀


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  4. Orca Flotta

    What you describe just briefly as Launch of void sims (openspaces) in 2008 was probably LL’s biggest blunder so far. Yes, even worse than the V2 debacle.
    In fact LL raised the tier on open spaces, after luring in many new premium members as landowners and then drove residents away by the thousands. Many landlord businesses went belly up and ppl were generally disgusted with the lab. And they finally destroyed the trust we had in LL as a reliable business partner. I guess the infamous open space scandal of 08 marked the beginning of SL’s shrinkage. And it definately was one of the reasons why M had to leave.


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