Fermi Sandbox was run by Kai Eldrich and Arthur Fermi and was established in late July or Early August of 2006 and was run successfully until it was sold to Little Blue sandbox in early 2011. In May 2011, after Fermi Sandbox was sold to Little Blue Sandbox old Fermi staff started a new sandbox with old values and experiences called Free Community Sandbox.
As my record keeping skills in SL are on par with my RL record keeping skills, I don’t know when exactly I started Fermi Sandbox, but it was late July early August of 2006, in Huk, 1536m, it was huge to someone who hadn’t owned more than 512m. The idea was it was a place to build small things, jewelry, furniture, script, etc. This sim itself was and is typical mainland, house, stores, casinos, and one of the banks that started up.
In October, Kai became more involved in the Sandbox, it was no longer an I but a we in things that were done. We moved on October 3rd to Baedal, the sandbox was now 2560m. This was the first parts of the current sandbox layout, traffic was pretty good, and people wanted to sell things, so you could rent a 10m x 10m x .5m spot for not too much, only 10 prim. We had a free weapons area (bad bad idea!) and pose stand area. We need to sell the land quick, and I think it was purchased by one well known Sarah Nerd.
Trial and Error, Garak & Saint Norton
Fermi moved to Garak on November 13th, 2006, this was the real changes, the current sandbox came from the ideas started here. The move was spurred not by growth but management, Kai had a club and mall, we had shops at both, and billboards at the sandbox. We decided that bouncing around main land was a pain in the ass, so let’s combine them. We bought almost 1/2 a sim, it wasn’t a busy sim, which was good. The first setup was a club, mall and sandbox, all together but separate. Problems with griefers and billboards made us come up with a board walk, a 4m parameter around the sandbox for people to sell their stuff (rent) and it was group only. This solved the banned and firing in to the sandbox from parcels we didn’t control. Then during a huge change we put the mall stores around the sandbox, along with the board walk and the club off to the side. The sandbox was the center attraction, the traffic driver. Ding … the light goes on … our boardwalk and shops filled up pretty well, we were almost making tier! I made that sound much easier than it was many different store layouts, parceling, moving things around. Grifers and the lack of ability to expand was killing us, not to mention some crippling lag on the main land. So again we moved to Saint Norton 1/2 sim beach front, Dreamland property. Better layout than Garak with the sandbox, club and shops, and we added an education center. The layout here changed a few times, but just fine tuning, rentals were good, we added more shops to accommodate demand. Northlight Sodwin created the best info card around, and started getting it translated; it’s currently in 7 languages. Then Anshe Chung Strikes! We can’t parcel any more, we lose a 4m x4m square, can’t terra form, if we sell, we have to sell it parceled as is. We quickly make up sell able parcels, and leave for Pandoria North, fortunately our new sim owners and our buyers worked with us so we could build out and move people over.
At the moment, Pandoria North
Pandoria North, a sanctuary, friends own the sim, and have been very generous in their assistance they have provided us. (A shout out to Barber Shepherd and Pepper Underall, thank you for your help!) Some changes have been made from the original layout, the club is gone, but the long unused educational center is now Fermi University! Traffic is great, 90%+ rentals, and we are better than ever at helping people out.
But there is an important part of the story of Fermi Sandbox because they are most important thing that made Fermi Sandbox work. I realized I couldn’t be around and asked regular builders if they would help keep the sandbox safe, and share their knowledge. The first one was Jules Luxor, followed by Joker Opus. In Deember 2010, we had over 40 Sandbox Managers from around the world! Sandbox managers are the lifeguards of the sandbox, and also the educators, helpers, mentors, and ambassadors. Without these people, Fermi Sandbox would be nothing more than a lawless prim junk yard, just another sandbox. They do this work for free; the only reward is what each individual gets out of giving to the community.