The 1950s were years of prosperity, especially in the so-called developed countries. It was a decade of welfare, economic expansion (including the continuation of growth in Europe as a direct result of the Marshall Plan) and cultural reinvention, with the emergence of rock and roll, the consolidation of youth culture and the influences of those elements in the visual marks of the 50s.
Of course, the 50s were also years of Cold War, of international tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, and between the Soviet Union and China, of the Korean War, the years that saw the beginning of the war in Vietnam, renewed tensions in the Middle East, the first explosion of the hydrogen bomb… But it may also be said that, at least in Europe and in the US the 50s seemed to be mainly felt as a time of fortune and good life, especially after World War II.
The happy side of the 50s and the views of a fortunate future back then gave us a colorful futuristic atmosphere (don’t forget that Sputnik 1 was launched in 1957!) that, until today, is easily identified with that decade. In architecture, what can express it better than the Googie-themed buildings and decoration in the US? How about car design, with the introduction of aeronautic references and jet-age elements to cars’ bodies? Well, that’s what we see in Back to the 50s, in Second Life.
Freya Cloudring and Rasc’ told me that they decided to create the sim as it is now after seeing a similar place disappear from the grid. They wanted to give people a place that would evoke the golden decade of the 20th century and that could be visited by the public. Their house is there too, but the sim is open to everyone – well, everyone with access to adult sims (not that it is “made for sex”, but it is still adult rated).
The sim has a main area with a restaurant, a gas station, stores and a club. And lots of cars, of course. The car culture of the 50s is one of the most notable elements, of Back to the 50s – which is well thought, since cars represent very well, both in colors and design what the decade looked like in the US.
Apart from that, there is a beach (where one should wear retro swimsuits if they wanna fit into the theme) and some other areas worth exploring, like the corner where you can find an Airstream.
Visiting the sim with me, someone observed that it was “a little old school”, in the way things were built there. It is true, but it doesn’t cause any damage to the 50s atmosphere that it creates. You can see in the pictures!