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    Posted October 3, 2011 by
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    Stories from Second Life

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    Murray, The Once Magical Meeting Place


    It used to be such fun, a mixture of people, the best of mates and some, the best of enemies, but we all loved to meet there, we had parties, crazy battles with griefers, we sped along in cars, motorbikes, even roller skated over the soft grassy mounds of virtual earth down to the water’s edge where we could test out our sailing vessels.  Great inventors like Alphonso Pidgeon and Johnnytreadlightly Nightfire would appear on the horizon with their latest spacecrafts and airships and land safely on the flat uninteresting landscape that was the original Murray in Second Life.


    Those days are gone, Murray was the first place I rezzed into as a newbie and I had been struck by it’s lack of buildings and structures, it was just open land from the waters edge leading to inland hills, uninteresting to the eye maybe, but with a magic ingredient, it had everything, it was a place big enough and bare enough for people to create their own instant events and meetings.  I got to know the people who gathered there and made some great friends.  There were people who also used Murray to try out their weapons and grief other people (send them into orbit, knock them over or alter their avatar shapes to annoy them, plus they would fill the area with large objects or flying particles so it would be like a war zone).  However, even the griefing was fun, the good guys and the bad guys (well they thought they were good guys too), trying to outwit each other, like big kids, but a real laugh.


    We had some great times, people putting down dance floors so we had our own mini nightclubs, SL wedding celebrations, Rezz Day and Birthday parties, but mostly it was a place where large numbers of avatars just met to talk. Newbies constantly appeared in Murray, just as I had done on my first day, but we were there to guide them and make them welcome, some stayed to join our ever growing group, as others travelled on to new places.


    So what changed all this? Well I noticed today that Murray has made it into the Showcase pages of Second Life, they advertise it as a chat area, which it still is, but in their wisdom the Lindens, who do a great job at creating nice environments, actually gave Murray a makeover which made it like every other place in SL.  They brought beauty and order to our rough and rugged terrain and we hated it.  People still meet there I suspect, but it hasn’t that same feel about it, that anything can happen, and it usually did!  It had been the people who made it happen, making it a fun place to hangout, we didn’t need an organised sitting area or bunches of plants and palm trees, these objects are just in the way.  We had never been lonely in those days, as we would be sure to see someone we knew in Murray, it was a place to drop by to catch up with friends. We even spent Christmas Days and New Year’s Eves there, before partying in real life with our families.  Now you can’t ride your car along the expanse of open fields as there is a large cobbled-stone bumpy path and trees in the way.  A jetty with a ship wreck and a little palm tree island get in the way of any sea craft that we could wiz along in.  The large platform filled with lovely tables and chairs and a bar, so nicely built by the Lindens, is always empty, which is a shame;  but we liked our space, our acres of patchy grass, our ocean without its jetty, we could still watch the sun going down, admiring the lovely skies, but without the trimmings, it was just a nice place to be;  Murray was all about the people who would inspire each other, laugh and cry and talk, even share their dreams.  I don’t often criticise Linden Labs, as they do a superb job to make Second Life just like the real thing, but the old saying is very true ‘If it ain’t broken don’t mend it!’


    I sat there today and I spotted some newbies arriving, one, a robot called Mcromer, came and sat next to me in the flashy bar area of Murray.  He was brand new and I welcomed him to Second Life, he was nice and I told him that I hope he enjoys his adventures in the virtual world.  A few yards away other avatars landed as we sat there and I suspected that, after a brief walk around, they would head for pastures new.  The magic of Murray has disappeared for me, others may feel differently, however, you can’t wind the clock back and this article is a little tribute to all of the wonderful people I met there and all the good times we had!  I'm really pleased I was a part of the legend that Murray was!






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