Quite literally within days of finding the legendary Cornfield i unwittingly stumbled upon some information that pointed me in the direction of another of old-time sl’s corrections facilities – this time, a place exclusive to the younger generation. It should have been obvious to me, having once been a teenager myself, that the old Teen Grid must have had something similar to The Cornfield to chastise teenage tearaways – in fact, the resemblance to main Grid’s naughty step was pretty striking. You’ve guessed it – the TG had it’s own cornfield, which just like the Main Grid, was also a… cornfield, although it has to be said that the TG version was rather smaller and a heck of a lot less impressive than it’s bigger, grown up brother.
Yes, that’s it in the picture.. not terribly impressive really but i guess the sort of teenagers who used to hang out in sl must have been easily scared!
After spending all of, well at least 3 minutes, exploring the entirety of the teen Cornfield, (bearing in mind that i didn’t want to get lost… it was a bit of a maize in there! Geddit?), i still had plenty of time left to kill and, since i had never been to this part of the TG before – and especially since it was one of the earliest parts of the non-adult Grid – i thought i’d do a spot of exploring.
If you’ve never been to the TG following the huge influx of screaming hoards of teenagers onto the Main Grid, (yes, i seem to have missed that too), then you won’t really know what it’s like to explore this strange place: There’s an overpowering feeling of abandonment and all-pervading emptiness and very few, if any, other people that you’ll come across. As you poke around in empty shops and offices you really do feel as if you’re wandering around a deceased relative’s home – somehow you feel like an imposter and that you really have no right to be there; it’s a difficult feeling to shake off and rather unnerving.
First port of call was the Welcome Area, where spotty-faced teens would enter into their new virtual world, fresh from the joys of Teen Orientation Island. These were no innocent youngsters though, as the stern warning signs, appearing on pretty much every available surface made clear – trouble was expected, but would not be tolerated!
Ah, the innocence of youth! Clearly, the Lindens tasked with looking after these teen terrors were under no illusions as to the potential difficulties they might face and maintained a very visible and open presence, particularly in this part of the TG. i came across a poignant reminder of how closely the Lindens worked with the young ‘uns when i found the offices of The V-Team… The information i’ve been able to claw together on this group of people is pretty sketchy, but from what i can make out, these were volunteer mentors and helpers, specifically focussed on the needs of young residents.
The empty cubicles, each with their Linden nameplate seemed to me to be just a little sad… as if the soul had been sucked from them and replaced by an empty vacuum. All except for the cubicle where George Linden had once spent time with those in his charge; it had a Marie Celeste kind of feel about it, his furniture, lava lamp and computer giving the place a homely feel, that i hadn’t experienced elsewhere – i couldn’t dismiss the feeling that maybe he’d just nipped out for a sandwich and would be back any moment. Sat on the windowsill, his bear surveyed the scene and, in a way, i felt privileged to have stood in that place.
There were a couple of other places i wanted to check out – the freebie mall; still full of boxes, packed with a bewildering and rather obscure range of curiosities – the floating text above each one belied the the rather naive mindset of their young creators… ‘This box has a viking helmet that I made for someone but then they decided they didn’t want it, so now it’s for anyone who would like it for free’. From there, it was a short hop to the oil rig, which wasn’t quite as impressive as i’d hoped – much as the TG Cornfield had been a bit of a let-down.
Finally, i made my way to Gravity Space Station – a relic from Teen SL Beta (2005/6) – again, it was a lot smaller than i’d imagined, but nevertheless, well-made and an interesting insight into the way in which TSL sought, not only to inspire but also to educate and i couldn’t help dwelling on how much sl seems to have changed in the intervening years.
Television man is crazy saying we’re juvenile deliquent wrecks
Oh man I need TV when I got T Rex
Oh brother you guessed
I’m a dude dad
Mott The Hoople – All The Young Dudes