Saturday November 23rd will be a landmark moment in SciFi history as the famous Doctor Who series will celebrate it’s 50th year since it first aired on BBC. Once a decade, even in the 90’s when the show was off the air, BBC airs a special episode of Doctor Who. The special always contain several incarnation of the time traveler and several of his companions, as The Doctor and The Doctor (or as the case has been before, the 5 Doctors) take on the greatest threat time and space has ever faced.
To celebrate this, London City in Second Life and The Torch will throw a huge celebration. Just as the shows creators often keep the episodes a secret until the last moment, so will London City wait to announce what exactly this event will be, so stay tuned both in the London City groups and here on The Torch to find out in the next couple of days.
We had a chat with the creator of London City, Torric Rodas and asked him to give us some background on the community. The story was both sad and filled with hope. As many others, both in Second Life and real life, Torric and his friends were bullied hard during the start of London City. They used this, however, and managed to turn it around to their advantage. Here is his story:
Torric Rodas started his building as a contractor for another estate in Second Life. As the estate was in a falling state, Torric and a friend managed to get a few rentals and got some more staff in and soon that estate was buzzing. Torric and his friend realized they were doing most of the work, but they had none of the ownership or the real power over their own work, so they left the estate to create their own business.
This was Mainland London, starting on a smaller sky parcel on the mainland sim Mephilo Tor. They saw the greatness of owning land on Mainland as they could expand as needed when adjacent parcels became available. Just as with their previous project, they got Mainland London buzzing, but their previous employer wasn’t as happy about their success. Before long, the previous employer had bought up small parcels around Mainland London and completely boxed them in, preventing further expansion.
They saw this as an act of sabotage and decided to move. In a ruse to avoid further sabotage, they bought a private island under a different name and build London City. When they were ready to open, they paid Linden Lab for a name change to London City and opened with great success. There has been jabs from the previous employer over time, but they can no longer harm the name of London City as its land and surrounding area is now completely owned by Torric and his friend.
In an attempt to toss dirt on the name, the previous owner launched a PR campaign against them, but all this resulted in was more traffic to London City and it is now featured on the Destination Guide and the landing sim for many newcomers.
London City has two missions: First and foremost it is a community, where people can gather and share ideas, have a chat and generally help each other out. The second purpose is to integrate newcomers into the world of Second Life. This is achieved by having a lot of dedicated volunteers greeting everyone who comes here, help out with any questions they might have, show them the small freebie area where they can get a feel for how to kit out their avatars and recently they opened up a freebie megastore on their new sim, London City 3, where they can get everything they need to get started with their new life. The newest opened sim has apartments for just 1L$ per day for avatars under 6 months of age.
If and when you have a bit of cash in the pocket, maybe from winning one of the many events in one of the 8 clubs around London City, there are over 150 stores full of clothing, gadgets, animations and more. Renowned animation store Abranimations, who specializes in realistic motion-capture technology, have recently moved their main store to London City 2. London City also hosts a weekly tribute concert at the main event area near the landing spot in London City 1.
Just like NekoZone, London City works on the principle of self sufficiency. They started out with the mainland area in order to get funds. When they had enough, they bought the sim. Since then, they’ve been able to afford 4 additional sims, the newest opened in October. Torric and his friend doesn’t take a penny out of the accounts, everything goes back to London City and when the city has enough to expand, they get a new sim. They are already talking about a 6th sim to fill in a gap on the map, but has not yet dared to ponder what they might fill it with. Since the move to a private island, they haven’t needed to put a penny into London City either, it is completely self sufficient.
You’re only as good as your team and you sponsors aren’t you? So its all down to the passion of others, and they are good people.
We have an excellent team of around 45 people these days, and they put in an incredible amount of work to keep the estate up to date and on the cutting edge.
I would like to thank the visitors, the merchants and the incredible staff for making London City possible
Torric’s philosophy of inclusion and community might be a key to the radical growth of the city. When there is a community-wide issue, they ask the visitors what they want them to do. For example, there was a problem with voice griefers so three separate polls was made. Over 400 people participated in the polls and it was decided that voice would be turned off except for an area right at the sim crossing to the new residental sim. As it happens, The Torch has an office right in the voice zone, in a replica of the famous 221B Baker Street, formerly home of Sherlock Holmes.
The community has grown to an incredible 100 000 people and it is monitored and administrated by the 45 devoted volunteers.