I just discovered that not only have I been on Second Life for 7 years. Ariane Barnes has been around as a virtual character for 10 years. The above picture is rendered from the oldest complete “Ariane” poser file I could find, dated April 30, 2001.
Ariane has been an online character for over a decade now. The original concept came to me in August of 2000 after playing the first Alternate Reality Game “The Beast” which was an experimental promo for the movie Artificial Intelligence. I wanted to create an artificial personality on the web, a person that lives in “The Metaverse”. So I dusted off my copy of Poser 2 (I have been doing Poser since version 1), and set off to create a character.
The looks of the character was the late great Audrey Hepburn, which I attempted (badly) to recreate in 3D. The first name “Ariane” came from a character Ms Hepburn played in the movie Love in the Afternoon. The last name Barnes came from the “real” last name of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffanys. And thus Ariane Barnes was born.
Early renderings first appeared online in 2001. Ariane Barnes was officially born on into cyberspace with The Sims Online in late 2002, and had a geocities website up in 2003. After dropping out of TSO due to boredom, she moved to There, then City of Heroes, then Second Life. The Dating Simulator Game first went up in 2004 on a free ISP host and fit nicely on the 20MB file hosting limit, but did not get any attention until the site gained a domain name in 2006. It was discovered and went viral big time (with millions of unique hits) in spring of 2007 when a link to it got posted on a popular football fan forum.
Ariane Barnes exists as a creative outlet. Popularity has never mattered, only for personal entertainment value, as long as it lasts, which is why I don’t advertise, or put advertisements on the site. So here is to another 10 years.