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Friday, August 31, 2018

The Lost Gardens of Apollo is an Official Historical Landmark in Second Life(c) - Lanai Jarrico Reporting…

In the beginning of virtual worlds, Second Life quickly became a popular online platform for VR enthusiasts  from all over the world. In Second Life’s infancy, the building tools and options were primitive but the most exciting part about it was free will on a global platform.  By 2005, the community was flourishing. Creators filled the grid with lush foliage, parks, beautiful beaches, role play communities, shops, products, services and venues of every genre. It was a time of exploration and creativity.

Dane Zander was a new resident at this time. While exploring, he realized the adult industry was starting to taint the landscape. He wanted a virtual home away from sex venues that he could call his sanctuary; a place of love.  It inspired him to create a relaxing escape, away from the busy side of SL and based on the story of Apollo and Hyacinth.

Day in and day out he worked tirelessly to bring his vision to life after discovering he could create anything he wanted. It became an obsession. His friends were so impressed they suggested he open it up to the public and that’s when The Lost Gardens of Apollo was born.

For over a decade, explorers and lovers from near and far have visited The Lost Gardens of Apollo, even getting married there.  Today it is a Historical Landmark, reopened by Linden Lab to protect its history.

Interview with LGOA creator Dane Zander

SLE: What was your inspiration for The Gardens of Apollo? I've been here so many times through the years. What a peaceful and beautiful place.

Dane Zander: Apollo and Hyacinth... the story at least inspired the naming some of the places on Apollo. I had a full sim on the mainland. The Tuvan sim, well ... all the land on it. I had that fully built up, but lacked the controls and ban opportunities etc. Anshe Chung was getting big at that time and she had a few of the new, still rare private islands so I asked her. I knew she was hot for my mainland sim and we traded. She got Tuvan, I got "sex palms...whatever island"... a flat, utterly empty sand bank.

SLE: Were you a builder starting out here?

Dane Zander: Just small time. I realized I might be in over my head... it was  completely overwhelming. I then started building, trial and error... once I realized I could make anything exactly how I wanted it to be, it became an obsession. I was online three weeks building and hardly slept at all. It was madness! But very rewarding.

SLE: The Gardens of Apollo is a beautiful place to visit. The details show your hard work and dedication.  I see it as an escape from the busy world of sl and rl.

Dane Zander: Thank you! I believe that love is stronger than any other emotion and I wanted to create a place to enable love and serenity to flourish.

SLE: It is.  If more people allowed that to be their guiding light, the world would be a better place.

Dane Zander: I agree.  At the time, SL was far smaller, less regulated and you often came across porn and whatnot all over. I found that taxing so I thought we needed a place free from that. Somewhere to just explore, meditate, date and dance.

SLE: Did you have a partner to enjoy all this with over the years?  I only ask because every long time lovers in SL have touched these grounds at one point or another.

Dane Zander: I had Sean Hadlee as a Second Life partner - also personal assistant, Senior Estate Manager and my rescue line in all cases. He is German and lives in Berlin. We are still close friends IRL.

SLE: Did you build all this together?

Dane Zander: No, I built this.  He was my very capable assistant and scripter, in all manners of logistics and everything else practical.

SLE: How did you get people to visit LGOP?

Dane Zander: I didn't.  Originally it was simply my own place but friends wanted me to open it to the public so I did and people came - I suppose by word of mouth. I never thought this place could become so popular but somehow people liked it enough to tell their friends and to come back themselves :)

SLE: Rightfully so! Has anyone gotten married here? This is a perfect setting for celebrating love

Dane Zander: I eventually did many marriages, yes. It’s a lot of work setting that up. I still have the whole wedding scenarios in inventory! :)

SLE: What about other events?

Dane Zander: Quite a few - R. R. Martin did readings here and at a number of other sims through Bantam Books before he got all GOT famous. He was kind and generous with his limited time here..

SLE: that’s very cool! With the popularity of The Gardens of Apollo has Linden Labs taken interest in it?

Dane Zander: LL had kept a full backup and reopened the sim as a Historic Sim. Now I am under contract with them and gladly so. The sim simply hadn't reopened without them!

SLE: What does that mean for you?

Dane Zander: It means I supervise the sim,  and it means the sim is open for now. I don't decide for how long, but I will service it for as long as I can, which is for as long as LL decide to keep it open.

SLE:  What a wonderful story of a vision turning into a virtual world historical site. Is there anything you’d like to share with our readers?

Dane Zander: No.  nothing except they are welcome as always - and well... that is it a G-rated region/sim for dating, meeting friends, meditating, dancing and relaxing. Not a place for sex - there is a whole Adult continent for that! ;)

SLE: congratulations to you Dane on such a great accomplishment in SL.  We understand that you are a busy man and we thank you so much for taking the time to give us the backstory and also for your sacrifice in giving us this beautiful place to share with love.

The Lost Gardens of Apollo


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