Here I am, basking in the peace of a quiet mountaintop, contemplating the future: my son’s not so newly discovered heart problems, the threat to my Museum, and the OpenSim Arcadia Asylum Recovery Project as a whole- What did you say? I opened my last few posts with more or less this scenario?
I am so sorry! I’ll try it again. Here are the World’s Most Amazing Estate Manager and I getting ready for Craft World’s famous annual Halloween bash! Our beloved home grid’s experimental software proved to be just the tiniest bit glitchy, and within a few seconds of teleporting into the bloodsoaked manor house, we will both be “Ruthed”, or turned into the old Linden Lab default female avatar shape. We will see ourselves as red clouds for the duration of the party, and so remain blissfully unaware of said bodysnatching until snapshots are posted the next day, when I immediatly shoot off a string of e mails to my bemused legal team, demanding that they begin proceedings against ” That skinny ass skank who jacked my witchy ensemble!!!” as the WMAEM incoherently claws at his keyboard, frantically trying to delete his enormous man breasts, before commencing what will surely be decades of post traumatic stress therapy. Yes, of course! This is so embaressing! My last post DID contain copious amounts of mental health issues and Halloween induced litigation!
Okay, how about this? Here I am on the Sanctuary Grid’s snazzy new landing area. As usual, big brain grid owner Shaun Emerald is working elsewhere, and I am amusing myself by perfecting my method of lining up his avatar on the yellow stripes and shoving it through the blam gate, which dumps him onto the mainland coast where I can sling him into the monster laden waters! And all accompanied by my snarky IMs and skype messages! Biggest hoot EV-ER!! Seriously? I claimed to jam Shaun’s AFK butt into a gorilla suit before an attempted sacrificial drowning that in no way violated the international human rights convention, a mere two posts ago? My my, time does fly when you’re having fun! But I begin to worry; does this mean have I done absolutly nothing meaningful, exciting, original or even a bit weird AT ALL these past three weeks?? Have I done everything there is to do in the so called “free” metaverse?? Is there even any point in my blogging any longer???? IS THIS THE END OF VIRTUALCHRISTINE’S GRAND ADVENTURE ON OPENSIM’S HYPERGRIID?????? Think, think think think… I really want to thank you for your patience with an older woman’s deteriorating faculties. This is my last feeble attempt. I hope it isn’t too mundane and I promise I’ll stick to the short version.
Here I am a couple of weeks after the WMAEM and I unwittengly had over 3,000 scripts running in the museum region which the grid owner said was unprecidented as far as he knew in the history of any virtual world and that the server couldn’t take it anymore so he had been thinking about what could be done and I started crying because I thought we were getting shut down but the grid owners had decided to donate another region to us making me estatic until another Arcadia Asylum project abruptly tanked and I was really worried before I went to Inworldz and saw how well the new museums were doing and felt great again and then scary intelligent Nara Malone who used to design medical electronic equipment making her a total tech diva knocked me on my ass by offerring to help us set up actual freaking holodecks for the museum so I looked up her website and she is a successful author who has started a grid dedicated to the creative process of writing so I went for a visit where we had our first real conversation and she was this TOTALLY interesting, unpretentious woman who was pushing the boundries of hyperreality by bringing the plots of her romance novels to life as a creative exercise with other writers and she had this really wild and very cool take on stuff like real life human/ animal hybred experimentation and ancient legends of shapeshifting which is how I wound up morphing into a lady seal who is about to encounter a couple of hunkalicious mermen.
Didn’t see that coming, did ya?
Hello my dearest dears! How marvelous, here we all are ready for another whirlwind adventure on OpenSim, the software platform that hosts hundreds of independant worlds many of which choose to be connected by an amped up teleportation system called the hypergrid. This system allows you to freely explore these brave new worlds, meeting people from all over the planet, having wild experiences and snagging so much free content it will addle your senses to the point that you begin to see staggeringly handome, muscle bound fish studs, long thick manes of jet black hair streaming in the crystaline waters as they nuzzle your-oops; that one actually happened.
If you simply do not know how to get on OpenSim, ( and believe me you are not alone) please go to my “How to get on OpenSim in Six Ridiculously Easy Steps” page at the top of this blog. If you do not understand any of this terminology, please see my ” Newbie Glossary” also at the top. It’s easy! Come on! Come spread your wings in the free metaverse!
We will begin today’s adventure on my beloved home world Craft Grid, with a little tour of the museum’s new region, The Spirit of Arcadia, a gift from the smartest, nicest, coolest, funniest, and most fabulously supportive grid owners in the history of pixelated livin’, Licu Rau and Tao Quan.
The Spirit of Arcadia region is the land mass on the other side of Slum City. The WMAEM has extended Minethere Always beautiful mountain so it connects both regions. You can see that I have moved Cogtown, which was one of the bigger script culprits, to the new region. In it’s place is this wonderful observation deck ! The Privateer Space exhibit has also been moved! So…
… just walk over the mountain top! I have used this wonderful billboard by Jim Jackson(see the previous post!) of the OS Grid’s Cardboard and Rust region( check out Jim and Izzy’s box in the slum city pawn shop- they keep dropping more stuff off! Graffitti textures, this sign, a jail made out of-oh just go look!)), to mark the region crossing! You can just see the beautiful Statue of Arcadia by her old friend, the famous steam waif Punky Pugalist, at the end of the walkway! There is a Spirit Of Arcadia teleporter in Cogtown, and…
…Cannibal Island, as well as the Space Station. We have left the region relatively empty, after all, it was a gift to spread out the existing scripty nightmare, BUT, I could not resist putting one new thing out. You can just see it at the top of this picture!
Isn’t she gorgeous!!! And I would bet anything that she was built to fly, and had all kinds of cool working gadgets! Unfortunatly, scripts( the little programs that make stuff work) never survive an upload to another grid. And the scripts that work in SL very often do not work on OpenSim’s hypergrid connected worlds, who have been developing software seperately from Linden Lab for quite a while now! Fortunatly for me, being a reasonably well known blogger (struts) and longish time hypergrid resident ( WOOT!) gives me access to a large population of braniacs to whine at for help. Heck, between their open source political leanings and love of tinkering, the tech heads are starting to fix stuff and donate it back before I have even have a chance to commence my finely honed combination of writhing and howling !
Now THIS is the New Arcadia Asylum Museum in Inworldz , the most populous commercial grid to come out of the OpenSimulator project. A favorite first stop for Second Lifers venturing out into the metaverse beyond Linden Lab, Inworldz is not on the hypergrid, and has been developing it’s own software away from the main project for a long time.
Here I am talking to Professor Grey of the SL Museums, in his workshop under the library. He is telling me about the project, and for people who went into Inworldz as complete strangers, he, and fellow curator Briony Juran have made fantastic progress, securing a home with Inworldz cultural powerhouse Quadrapop …
…and even organizing the first Living Library Branch in a room donated by an admirerer of Arcadia! We did a little curatorly bonding, and the craptastic non functioning scripts came up. I welcomed him to my world, and snapped open my contact list. He he, I may not know many folks on Inworldz, but they are all top notch! An appeal was made in the Inworldz Forums on the professors behalf, and there is already helpful information flowing his way. I am also asking again here- If there are any Inworldz residents who would be interested in the rather marvelous opportunity to bring some of the most iconic creations in the metaverse to life, with the blessing of the great lady herself might I add, please contact Prof Grey, or Briony Juran inworld! If anyone from the hypergrid finds this opportunity appealing, feel free to roll up your sleeves and swing by Monte Gordo or The Spirit of Arcadia!
The reponsibilities of running a region that actually does something may keep one a trifle more house bound than one is used to, but the cool people who drop by makes up for a lot of that. Nara Malone is one of the more fascinating people I have met on the hypergrid, and I don’t think I ever would have met her if it hadn’t been for the museum, which she has always supported in a very big way. There is are HUGE boxes of her donations from Arcadia’s Slum City build on the OS Grid in Monte Gordos Slum City. And then, just before Licu told me that something had to change with our “Scriptmare on Server Street”, Nara had left the WMAEM and I messages saying she thought our region was horredously overloaded, and that we really needed these working holodecks she had invented. Yes, holodecks as in Star Trek. At the time, it seemed at a well intended, but unnecessary huge technical task way the hell beyond our paygrade; when Licu and Tao finally cornered me and sufficiently dumbed down what was happening, the holodeck option became more appealing. I looked into Nara, whom I actually did not know that well.
Nara Malone is almost impossible to classify. Known as Nara Mistwood on SL and the OS grid, an award winning writer of erotic romance, with a serious tech background in engineering, specifically biomed. Yeah, I had no clue either. It is the branch of engineering that designs the machines doctors use to keep us alive. Nara’s specialty was optical engineering. These days she lives in very very rural Virginia, fixing the occasional farmer’s computer, but mostly writing: letters to the local council to get her house running water and electricity, journalism, poetry, video games and her novels. She is also involved in several authors support groups, and thinks “authors and virtual worlds are a match made to happen”. So, from waaaaay the duck out in the boonies, with sporadic electrical service and no landline at all, Nara has created a virtual writers colony in the form of a sixteen region grid named Nara’s Nook.
You don’t have to be a writer to be blown away by Nara’s Nook. She can landscape, she alters freebies you have seen a million times into exciting new stuff, her “Mad Lab” experiments includes everything from sophisticated robotics to her holodeck holodisks ( for which she writes understandable even- to- me tutorials), and they are all out to play with on her hypergrid enabled world! Let’s take a look.
I visited Nara just before her Grand Opening, which is will be going until November 7th. The theme is to come as a character from your favorite book. There will be workshops centered around that great race of international novel writing NaNoWriMo and lots of other exciting stuff set up(Rideable tigers. Really.), but I want to finally get this post out, so you will have to make do with my pre-opening photos! Like this one of me in the main landing area of Greyville the writers colony! Lizzy, the lady Lizard is the official greeter! Click on the cone neyt to her to join the group, so you can use all the great stuff available on this grid!
The streets of Greyville are lined with shops, and houses that come directly out of the writers, books, or scenarios they are working on. One has little mystery to solve. If you join the colony, Nara will help you set up a house, and an area for you to role play! And although Nara firmly maintains that men are welcome and actually has two guy signed up, in a metaverse that can pander a bit much to the egos and interests of males, I find the Greyville atmosphere…
… to be delightfully…
…chickified. This cafe and reading room belongs to Tea and Strumpets, “Reader Gals and Writer Divas Passing Notes and Wicked Reads Across the WWW” the extremely entertaining blog of a group of the Virginia romance writers. Nara’s homies. All professional writers, and all of whom have an avatar here!
Inside you can see the various authors work ( A showcase concept. Nara is very clear on this point-the grid is a creative tool, not a sales pitch ), and one of Nara’s little jewels, a journal that lets you insert notecards, allowing you to create your own unique inworld book.
Meet Rob, the giggolo chat bot! He flirts unendingly, he invites you to dance and whisks you off your feet! I had never seen anything like it! He also makes it impossible to hold a normal conversation in his chat range, and we wound up fleeing across town, with Rob’s forlorn cries of ” I have never met anyone like you!!” fading in the distance.
…and we put on our Selkie avatars! This is obviously our human form. I am the shorty.
… not to mention les merdudes studly, who are of course, swimming gracefully, beckoning you to join them. You have NOT seen everything until you have seen this!!
And then there was region Holodreams. You guessed it, this is a holodisk. Just click, and pick a scene out of the menu.
I did not get to spend enough time with this fascinating woman, and although everything she said was wildly quotable, this post needs to come to an end at some point. Do yourself a favor, and talk to Nara about virtuality and the creative process. Get her to tell you about the the dream state. And ask her about why she uses shapeshifting in so many of her books. You will NOT expect the answer. And for heaven sakes explore her 16 regions! Nara’s Nook is an exciting, original, addition to the hypergrid. Nara is an active member of the hypergrid community; she shares her ideas and creations with humor and enthusiasm. We are lucky she has joined us! Nara’s Nook has a blam gate on Shaun Emerald’s Sanctuary, or do a direct jump from another hypergrid enabled world to narasnook.com:8900:Greyville.
And now my dears I must love you and leave you. I would like to thank Licu and Tao, Prof. Grey, Briony Juran, Mera Kranfell, Alexina Proctor, Shaun Emerald, always the WMAEM, Nara Malone und Tina( Ich komme irgendwann vorbei und wir können Dinglesh jammern), my son who had his 16th birthday yesterday, and whose thoughts on the possibility of getting a pacemaker this month are as follows ,”I cannot wait to stand up in school and tell my class that I can’t come tommorrow because my batteries are being changed.” , and of course all of you, for joining me on my small adventures. Your company means more to me than I can express in words. Maybe I should join Nara’s nook and try to find them, hehe! The sweetest of dreams and the brightest of days to you all! Until next time, adieu!