VIRTUALCHRISTINE PRESENTS: HYLEE BEKKER`S OS GRID!! TOP OPENSIM ARTIST GIVES US HER MUST SEE LIST!!!TODAY WE DE-MYST-IFY DEVOKAN TAO!!!!

Enjoying some girl talk  with   pixilated soul queen Hylee Bekker.We both agreed virtual sex was not our cup of tea; well, Hylee´s exact words were “we are a couple of old prudes.”  Her humor and intelligence light up every corner of her marvelous freebie sim, Ptarmigan Park,  one of the first places I ever blogged about on the  OS Grid! To be truthful, I have always found the huge, 11,000 + regions, OSGrid to be  rather unmanageable  without a destination guide; how do you get a handle on the damn thing? Where do you start? Who is what where? I was lucky to stumble  into Ptarmigan Park and meet Hylee , a renowned and  respected creator  in SL  as well as the entire OpenSim platform. So when she blogged about getting inspiration from other artists; that she had been to sims  so beautiful and strange they gave her chills, and then DROPPED the freaking subject, I jumped all over her! Where the hell WERE these places, hippy chick?

Hello my dearest dears! Welcome to my very first Hylee Bekker´s OS Grid post.( She knew I´d never drop it) This is going to be awesome! First things first; if you don´t really understand exactly what OpenSim is, or can´t work out how to log on ( I remember that feeling!) please read my EXTREMELY easy to understand OpenSim posts, and don´t forget my Newbie Glossary at the top of this blog!   Follow a few simple steps and spread your wings in the free metaverse!

I took a long look at Hylee´s list and decided to start with  something familiar; Devokan Tao, because I recognized the name from the Travel Agency on my favorite street at the OS Grid´s Wright Plaza. They don´t name streets here . Who knows why. You hang a left at the big horse fountain. It´s the first shop on the right.  The landmark takes you to a roomful of books.

See! This is the Hub. You click the books to go to different destinations..
…all of which..
…are mindblowing. This lightening is crashing all around me and striking in the distance.  Stunning.

Now, you can do one of two things. You can just teleport straight to the Hub and start clicking books; here´s the  upper hypergrid address: hg.osgrid.org:80:Devokan Tao , or drop by Wright Plaza(see my post) and get a landmark. The catch with this approach, is that Devokan Tao is based on  Myst and Uru. If that means nothing to you, you will just be wandering around going ” Holy Mother of God, how incredible!  What the hell is it?” the entire time. If that works for you, I have one tip from the folks at Devokan-set your draw distance to 512,  make sure your Windlight (Lightshare in Imprudence) is enabled, and check the Location profile of every region you go in. Some of them have specific Windlight settings. Check it out.

I got the little Quick Preferences menu by clicking the Phoenix icon in the bottom right corner of my Firestorm browser next to the AO button. You can also change your draw distance here.

To enable Lightshare on Imprudence, open the “Preferences > Advanced” tab, and change the “Allow region Windlight settings (LightShare)” option. Your draw distance is also in Preferences>Advanced. There is a Windlight Toolbar at the bottom of your browser for more specific Windlight settings, such as you see above. Bon voyage!

Your other option is to try and understand what you are seeing.   A tricky proposition- the 10 year odyssey of the PC game Myst, to the online virtual world of Uru has spawned a  very complex  subculture-so  an outsider just slams into a massive wall of  unintelligible terminology.  Let me give you the broad strokes:

Q) What  is Myst?

A) In the real world, it started as a PC  game in the early 90´s. It was the first really grown up adventure game,  casting the player in the role of the Stranger, who had to solve extremely  intricate puzzles by interacting with  a fictional culture whose sophistication was unprecedented. Myst was the top PC game until 2002, when the Sims came to town ; it had  4 direct sequels, not to mention  spin offs and novels, and obviously millions of devoted fans. The MYST WIKIPEDIA entry has more info.

Q) And Uru?

A) Again, in the real world Uru : Ages Beyond Myst, was initally a PC game, the fourth Myst sequel. Uru was significantly different from it´s predecessors in that it was set in the present, and mixed real life events with fictional ones. For example, in the game, fictional archaeologists who had discovered evidence in New Mexico of the D´ni, a fictional Myst race ,  approached the real life game company Cyan to create a game named Myst, that would teach the world about the D´ni.  In Uru players could also assemble their own avatars and use  a multi player modus. And although it was the last two features that lent the Uru format to mass multiplayer online roll playing, in Myst Online: Uru Live(MOUL) the meshing of fiction and reality is something that seems to have struck a chord. Here is the URU WIKIPEDIA entry for more details.

Q) Struck a chord? How so?

A) For example, our hosts at Devokan Tao. Like most of the online Myst subculture, they started their virtual lives on MOUL, which turned into quite the roller coaster ride; changing hands, closing, half opening, partially releasing codes,  reopening, and now looking to go open source very soon.  The first closure caused an online diaspora amongst Mysts extremely devoted, highly intelligent, frighteningly computer savvy fan base. Some migrated to SL to and took refuge in the Myst inspired region of Winterfell, which is still thriving, and founded their own region  named Devokan, which closed for financial reasons. What a surprise. Some went to virtual worlds I had never heard of, like THERE, and started Eder(refuge) Devokan which also closed . All these people travelled in character,exchanged information and aid, engaged in raging  feuds and founded organizations  named and structured after Myst culture, such as GOMA ,the Guild of Maintainers, who developed and distributed technical support to the various refugee settlements. Our hosts are about 10 people who mostly came to OpenSim by one of these routes and have about 20 Myst/Uru based regions linked by the book hub. They call themselves the DEVOKAN TRUST. Each of them has a distinct inworld persona, and have kept journals of their travels throughout the metaverse in search of a home. The Devokan Story Books I II and III are these fictional journal excerpts, documenting the real world process of transferring sims,(for example, the Devokan Island that was destroyed refers to the lost SL sim, the OpenSim Devokan Tao is referred to as the Restoration.) to the creation( appearence) of new sims. Once I had some “Mystspeak” under my belt, I found the Devokan Tao Story to be very readable and entertaining. The books are on three notecards you can get from one of our hosts, and you can also get Books I and II and a journal from Dot´s Retreat, who´s linking book is on the inner circle. This  will take you to Devokan Trustee and GoMA member DOT MACCHI´s interesting and understandable explanation of the process. She  provides a map and pictures as well.

And now for a smidgen of  Mystspeak. From now on, all the highlighted links will take you to MYSTLORE, the wiki of all things MYST, D´NI,and URU. Although DEVOKAN Tao follow their own unique storyline( Dot says”purists would be appalled by us”. Aren’t they always my dears.) I found that running a search for unfamiliar terms on the Mystlore site proved to be very helpful. Remember, in the Myst world, the term AGES actually refers to worlds , created by THE ART of writing BOOKS, which also  LINK their respective worlds. Some STONES and CRYSTALS can also be used to access different ages. So if you see any of these objects, be prepared to teleport if you touch. The Devokan Tao storyline has lots of mysterious spheres, some of which seem to be wormholes, others , well no one is sure. Studying the spheres is a major story thread.

Now I think you are ready for the Hub.  I have written this guide from the inner circle working outwards. The inner circle are all locations that reflect the Devokan Tao storyline, which I have filled in as much as I can. I got the impression from Dot that the builds themselves often inspired the storyline, and  so I am assuming that is the reason some of the regions don´t seem to have any context. At least one I can pick up. Where I can´t provide a blurb from a notecard , or a pertinent link, I have put a photo and a comment. The outer circles are all marked by an object created by the main builder for that section. Keep an eye out for them in the  various ages .

 

Inner Circle, writing desk at the top, clockwise:

Waysmeet: the tree village, and the first thing from Devokan to be transferred to this new world by the alien spheres. Kind of where it all started. My personal favorite.
Skysong: an uninhabited island over which Devokan Scientist Quinquifid Oddenfin, a human from the Victorian time period set up a sky laboratory as a home.
Starfyre:

I think the notecard stories referred to Starfyre, but I am damned if I can find the reference again! If I ever do, I´ll post it here!

Touchstone: The island Quinn attempted to transfer across time and space; the twin of the original Devokan
Dot´s Retreat:

Dot´s Retreat is listed on the browser as Entre ciel et eau, which means between sky and water. You can get the books and journals on the desks. And remember to FLY out and have a look around.

Deepwater:an ancient island of ritual and mystery; at its heart is a temple housing a “caged” sphere, hence the speculation that this is the source of the spheres’ power.

Clock section, left to right:

Nalandes linking book,  island home  of warrior woman Naland
WINDRING grid linking book
Gehnna linking book, based on the 233RD AGE OF GEHN,
Nuevo RELTO linking book,
K´VEER linking book,
CLEFT linking book

Robot section, left to right:

Tao Laputa :

The fields of Tao Laputa.

LAPUTA linking book,
Alizes linking book,

Aziles is a little island on Leah Auxifur´s archipelago with a cave and a couple of polar bears. Or is it?

Alexandria linking book,

This steampunk sky platform and the island below are the Age of Alexandria.

Cyan linking book,

Cyan is the name of the the company that owns Myst online:Uru Live. I am not sure what the artist is trying to say, but these moving, ethereal animals were jaw dropping.

Eoliah linking book,

A wonderful little village with lots of nooks to explore, and nice surprises tucked everywhere.

Book Stand section, left to right,

TAO LIA linking book,
Kamar:

The Lune Kamar age. Check for windlight settings!

KI linking book,
Yugen, the lost City:

Yugen creator Shenn Tao, whom Hylee considers a true genius, giving me a few pointers about mesh.

Inspiration, the mesh sandbox:

Shenn eventually just took me to the mesh sandbox, and gave me a demonstration of some  sculptures, that culminated in a slideshow. Dot, a modern day human explorer whom Shenn calls” our angel” and Paislee Myrtle, whom Shenn considers a true genius; a Victorian era human who´s builds are delightfully steampunk, also joined us. ( I asked. Apparently time intersects here). This is a very friendly group, although without that smidgen of Mystspeak under your belt, their personas can make the conversation a trifle stilted.

Rivages du ciel: the shores of heaven; creator Shenn Tao thought it resembled the womb, I thought it was one´s perception immediately after death. It´s Hylee´s pick as the best thing she has ever seen anywhere. Needless to say, pictures don´t cut it!

Banner section, left to right:

Moonshadow,

Moonshadow is one of Paislee´s wonderful steampunk builds.

Pathways:

Okay, now I am thinking this whole area is what is referred to in the notecard Devokan Story II as Curiosity, the island Paislee made her home. The spires rising from the water in the background are the Hub, by the way. You can fly out and look down into them.

Refuge: unfortunately not up and running when I was there. See Pillar section.
Illusion:

In Illusion, Paislee´s steampunk style takes a surrealistic turn.

Deepwater Primordium:

The linking book takes you to a tower room, where you can teleport to a control center. This , well, whatever, is below that room. No clue what it is, but it´s very beautiful.You say that alot here.

Nocturne:

Nocturne is a series of floating pyramids, which are filled with mysterious passageways. About ten zillion on my neat- o- meter.

Pillar section, left to right: unfortunately, this whole section was down during my visits. They , according to Dot, were doing alot of region shifting, so these will probably all be up by the time I visit again. These are all the builds of Mat Mahogany; I recognise Tallis as the Island where Mat settled, that was next to a mysterious copy of Devokan Island.
Stuart
Tallis
Mat´s Gallery
Kamali
Pangea
no name

Here I am indulging my two new addictions-1) wandering around Paislees Tree Village, pretending it´s MINE!!!! and 2) messing around with my windlight settings. This baby is Azure Sunset.Wow.

And thus, my dearest dears, concludes our first Hylee Bekker´s OS Grid post. This is going to be a splendid series. Wasn’t her first choice amazing? Thank you Hylee, and special thanks to Dot Macchi, for answering my endless questions, and laughing at my jokes. And cracking a couple of her own. Also to Paislee Myrtle and Shenn Tao for their hospitality and patience. And of course for Devokan Tao, of which I am now, officially , a fan. And thank you all for joining me on my small adventures; I hope this post is of some use to you. As always, I had a wonderful time writing it.  I hope to meet each and everyone of you out there, PLEASE, never hesitate to walk up and say hi! I love to hear your stories too! Until then, the sweetest of dreams and the brightest of days to you all!! Adieu!!

 

 

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6 Responses to VIRTUALCHRISTINE PRESENTS: HYLEE BEKKER`S OS GRID!! TOP OPENSIM ARTIST GIVES US HER MUST SEE LIST!!!TODAY WE DE-MYST-IFY DEVOKAN TAO!!!!

  1. Dot says:

    Thanks for the write-up, Virtual Christine — and do feel free to visit at any time.

    One clarification, if I may: Winterfell was established in SL many moons ago, in 2006, by its Seneschelf, Serra Anansi, Lady Twilight of Winterfell. She graciously welcomed a small group of us fleeing Devokan’s original destruction in early 2010, allowing us to set up a home from home in her beautiful realm.

  2. Hylee Bekkers says:

    Great job as usual Christine and thank you for the wonderful words!
    So many people log in to their own regions without ever exploring the incredible art that exists on OSgrid and others. I know; I was like that for a long time before I understood what a learning experience it is to explore. I hope you inspire many many people to follow your travels. :)

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