Melbourne Laneways on its last legs

One of Australia’s most striking Second Life locations is Melbourne Laneways on ABC Island.

It was launched in October 2007 as a joint initiative of the ABC and Multimedia Victoria. Unfortunately, its days are numbered, with the build being eliminated in the next week or two according to ABC Admin, Wolfie Rankin.

The upside will be the increased space for new developments on ABC Island but it’s fair to say that Melbourne Laneways will be missed. It will also provide an unfortunate perception that Second Life is continuing to dwindle as a desirable virtual world location.

Some further shots of Melbourne Laneways for posterity:

Check it out in-world while you can.

Mixed reality event: Seventeen Unsung Songs

If you’re located in Melbourne you might want to head over to Horse Bazaar, 397 Lonsdale st Melbourne on Wednesday night the 21st May:

Adam Nash (Second Life artist-in-residence) and Greg Wadley (Uni of Melbourne) will perform a thirty-minute music and movement piece in Second Life. They will pilot their avatars around Adam’s “Seventeen Unsung Songs” installation, an island filled with immersive audiovisual sculptures. Sound and vision will be broadcast into the real world via the Horse Bazaar audiovisual system.

Melbourne’s Horse Bazaar features a unique immersive audio-visual environment for presenting art and music. via a sound system and 20 metre video projection surface that wraps around the seating area.

More details here.

University of Melbourne seeks Second Life residents for research

I received a message today from Greg Wadley, a researcher at the University of Melbourne. In his words:

“I would like to interview Second Life residents about their reactions to communicating by voice in-world. I’m looking for any SL residents, whether they like voice, hate it, or have not tried it yet. Interviews can be in SL, RL, email, phone, with coffee (if in Melbourne) — whatever is convenient. However I cannot pay interviewees. There is an official project description at my uni staff page. Thanks in advance, Greg”.

If you’re interested contact Greg on phone (03) 83441586 or email

Melbourne 2051

Victoria University have a burgeoning presence in Second Life and one of their projects is Melbourne 2051. It’s a small but fascinating build revolving around a segment of Melbourne in, you guessed it, 2051. It’s been created by the 2007 Interactive Storytelling Class (Advanced Diploma of Multimedia – Games) at the University.


The associated website gives the full storyline behind the project and it’s an impressive example of the learning opportunities virtual worlds like Second Life provide. Spend some time flying around the areas surrounding Melbourne 2051 – there’s some fascinating works in progress.


Check it out in-world

ABC Island gets Melbourne Cup fever as well

ABC Island is getting into the Melbourne Cup spirit as well, running a fashions on the field event tomorrow evening at 7pm (1am SL time) at the Melbourne Laneways section of the island.


From the announcement:

“So dress to impress and join in fashions on the field, history of the Melbourne Cup and compete in the race that stops all SL.

Prizes will be awarded for best dressed and the race winner.

We will also be launching our new design competition*, ‘Your Own Piece of Melbourne’ with a nights accommodation in a deluxe room in an icon Melbourne hotel (valued at over $250) up for grabs.”

I find it interesting that both Telstra and the ABC have events at exactly the same time – is it competition or collaboration?

And they’re off – The Pond Cup

Today I received notification that Telstra are running an event to coincide with the Melbourne Cup on their Ponderosa sim. Direct from the announcement:

” – Ten virtual horses racing for a prize of $5,000 Linden, plus 2nd and 3rd place prizes
– The ‘Pond Car Park’ where punters can park their cars, lay out a picnic rug, enjoy food from around the world and toast the day with chilled champagne
– A carousel
– Intimate dining for two, complete with carriage ride through The Pond island

The action starts at 7pm AEDT.”

We tried to gain access to Ponderosa this afternoon but it’s off-limits. At least equine influenza isn’t going to be an issue for this race meet.

Check it out in-world

Virtual Melbourne has arrived

Melbourne Laneways is a new build featured on ABC Island. It was created by Gary Hazlitt and Ben Zabelin from The Project Factory on behalf of the ABC and Multimedia Victoria, who have produced an associated publication titled ‘Would Your Business Benefit from a Second Life’ (download here).

The public launch was held this evening (Thursday night) at 7pm AEST with a good roll up of aussie residents:


The creators describe the build as such: “The project uses real-life images of graffiti, architecture and objects found in Melbourne’s iconic city streets, and recreates these to produce a completely interactive world where people can explore mysterious laneways, clubs, puzzles and cafes.  
Head of Virtual World Development at The Project Factory, Gary Hayes, says: ‘We wanted to catch the vibrancy of the Melbourne Laneways and the architecture of Federation Square.  Second Life gave us the ability to animate these buildings and give them the movement that we feel they want.’ ”

There’s a lot to explore in a fairly modest area. Without giving too much away, here’s some glimpses of what to expect:



And there’s even a cafe you can drop by with a well-known face behind the counter:


It’s great to see an iconic part of Melbourne in Second Life. Now, where’s Hobart?

Check it out in-world

The city sims – where’s Melbourne?

Knightsbridge, Liverpool (recently relocated from a mainland sim to an island) and Amsterdam are just three cities that have their SL replicas, of varying accuracy and purpose.



Other city areas replicated include Times Square in New York (currently in development) and Paris (circa 1900).


They all have their appeal, but I’m wondering when someone will take on an Australian city. I personally believe Melbourne would be the pick – iconic parts of Sydney have been well and truly covered now (Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge) whereas Melbourne has a character that would make it sit nicely aside replicas like Liverpool. Amsterdam well and truly has the red-light district covered so not sure a virtual King’s Cross or St Kilda is required.

What are your thoughts on city sims – do they have a contribution to make in SL and if so, what contribution do you think an Australian city sim would make?

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