The 1920s Berlin Project - Photostream
The 1920s Berlin Project is an historically accurate interactive model of Berlin in 1929 created within the virtual world of Second Life (SL). It strives to give the appearance and feel of authentic 1920s Weimar culture. It was created and is mostly managed by a historical consultant from the Netherlands who goes by her avatar name, Jo Yardley. The project is designed to help people understand the Weimar German lifestyle. It is similar to real world Historical reenactment except that it is built inside a virtual world.
The project tries to re-create many aspects of Weimar Berlin, from the posh Hotel Adlon to the central train station to the back alleys where the poor and working class lived.” For example, it is not uncommon to find the beggar Joachim, who lost everything in World War I, outside of the Old Prims Shop clothing store begging for shoes.
There are many realistic signs and posters hanging on the city's walls, and visitors are expected to wear period clothing and behave in period appropriate ways. The neighborhood includes tiny apartments, shops, a cinema, school, hotel and a run-down night club. Several participants "live" in local apartments, and have virtual jobs. Though there are many English-speaking visitors and residents present, several other languages are regularly spoken within the city. It is, however, common for residents and visitors to use German phrases to greet one another, regardless of preferred language.
The simulation has rules for all visitors. All conversations that take place between avatars are to be polite and Nazi simulation is forbidden (for both legal and historical reasons.) A dress code is strictly enforced in this world and failure to comply will be at the risk of ejection from Berlin. The idea is to see that all visitors and inhabitants feel as though they belong to the time period. In the entrance square, where visitors arrive by teleportation, there are free clothing boxes that allow avatars to change into virtual period costume. The regular inhabitants of the city behave graciously and speak in a dignified manner. Friedrich, the newspaper boy, is always perched on top of a bare, oak tree in front of the Nussbaum Hotel, waiting for the newspapers that never come.
The project is known for its arts and entertainment. Der Keller Tanzlokal (Night Club), The Asta Cinema, The Odeon Theatre and The Hindenburg Schule all boast either educational videos, films, dancing, lectures or live entertainment. The most exciting and active place is the night club, Der Keller, located in one of the city’s back alleys in a basement. Most people gather at 2:00 pm in SL to drink at the bar, chat and dance with others. In Der Keller, anyone can dance the Charleston and most are willing to join in on the fun. In the Asta Cinema, a cartoon, newsreel and feature film are always shown through a YouTube TV screen. Cinema in Germany was, “an opportunity and temptation. The fact that an audience "member could sit in front of film screen and be enshrouded in darkness, made intimacy sociable and expanded the idea of unfamiliar identities.”  "German Expressionism was taking root in film and eventually influenced American Film Noir."  The Hindenburg Schule provides other YouTube based videos that show life in 1920s Berlin from an educational perspective.
Visit Berlin 1920 in Second Life
Besuchen Sie das Berlin der zwanziger Jahre in Second Life.
Berlin ist immer eine Reise wert!
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