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The first sims to come online back when beta started, in November 2002, were named after alleys near LL's office. These were:

Later, around January 2003(?), four more sims were added to this naming theme:

In late March 2003 the "New Welcome Area" and themed sims were added, as well as a copy of the Orientation Island sims so old-timers could see what newbies went through. These sims included Dore, Ahern, Bonifacio, Morris, Oak Grove, and Jessie. The largest expansion yet, the grid was increased by nearly a third.

In April, the Lindens showed their terraforming skill with Kissling and showed a possible southern expansion with Immaculate. In May, Boardman and De Haro were opened as newbie residential sims, featuring suburban and camping themes respectively. Jessie was moved over a square to join the mature Outlands while being set as a damage-enabled sim for an influx of newbies from a military MMOG (World War II Online).

The new combat sandbox, Rausch, is also an alley in San Francisco.