Here I am on the hypergrid, talking to my dear friend, award winning artist Tosha Tyran. Why is she red? Because I select my friends carefully, and after this one decided it would be oodles of fun to construct an obscure and unrealized architectural design from the Soviet Union’s glory days, slogging away day and night at the Russian language schematics until somewhere between weeks of wrangling giant prims and programming Communist greeter bots, dyeing her avatar red and slapping a hammer and sickle on her back just made all kinds of sense. Hey, if you’re so damned normal, why do you read this blog? At any rate, her skin making skills led to a conversation about my own lack of thereof, and the fact that every stitch I was wearing, from my hat to my cowboy boots, were also made by her.
Soooo -having the technical skill set of a lower primate the other lemurs refer to as “drooling Bob”, the above photo begs the question: how did I get all Tosha’ stuff, onto OpenSim’s largest closed commercial world?
Hello my dearest dears!! How marvelous! Here we all are again, ready for another whirlwind adventure on Opensim, the software platform that hosts hundreds of independant grids, many of whom choose to be connected by an amped up teleportation system called the hypergrid, which allows you to endlessly explore these brave new worlds, having amazing experiences,making new friends from all over the planet and accumulating so much free content that you must continually demonstrate the superiority of the human mind over the machine , as your laptop colludes with your telephone and tablet to distract you in a desperate attempt to salvage it’s bursting hard drive from the manic frenzy of your unbridled- hang on, I have a new email- heavens to Betsy!! The Pulitzer, Booker and Goncourt commitees have just created a joint Blogger Award, and I am the first recipient!! This means I might have to miss that inworld- What’s this?? The Nobel Committe sent me yet another SMS! They are going ahead with the Blogging Prize, and want to fly me to Sweden immediatly!! Well, now I’ll definitely have to postpone that inworld – OMG!!! LEONARD NIMOY IS TWEETING ME AGAIN!! HIS DIVORCE IS FINALIZED AND HE REFUSES APPEAR IN THE NEXT STAR TREK MOVIE UNLESS I JOIN HIM IN THE BAHAMAS FOR A SCRIPT WRITING HONEYMOON!!! HALLELUJA!!! I NEVER WANNA LEAVE RL!!!
If you do not understand how to get onto OpenSim, and believe me, you are not alone please see my ” How To Get On OpenSim In Six Ridiculously Easy Steps” page at the top of this blog, and don’t forget my Newbie Glossary, also at the top! Come on; it’s easy! Come spread your wings in the free metaverse!!
For today’s adventure, we will be staying on what is commonly referred to as the Hypergrid, which consists of worlds that are connected via an opensource teleportation system. Not all OpenSim based worlds choose to be connected, commercial grids most commonly, who have currencies, and merchants who want the ability to control thier environment, and it’s content. Conversations between the free wheeling dot org Hypergrid, and it’s more structured cousins can get a bit tense, with what constitutes content “theft” and “distribution” being the source of bruised feelings to full blown feuds.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. ” If we are staying on the hypergrid, then why did you start this post with a reference to Kitely, which is a closed grid? Too busy garnering prestigious awards and canoodling with global icons to get your facts straight, eh?”
Well smarty pants, Leonard and I aren’t canoodling, we are deeply in love. And secondly, there has been a huge freaking development in the free metaverse that has are obviously passed you by- which is why some of us will be getting honorary doctorates from over 200 major universities at the end of this month, after which Bill, George,Walter, Nichelle, Patrick, Jonathen, Will, Brent, Marina, Gates, Rene, Micheal, Levar, Avery, Alexander, Armin,Nana,Tim, Ethan, Jeri, Terry, Kate, the Roberts, Roxanne, Dwight, Jolene, Linda, Scott, Dominic, Conner, Chris, Zachary, Simon, Zoe, Carl, John, Anton, Gene Roddenberry Jr., the Q continuum, and the three cats who played Spot will be winging thier way to Nassau for certain nuptual rites, while others will be home alone, watching the internet coverage of the UN ‘s global celebration “virtualchristine.com day” – and that development is:
Kitely, the largest commercial grid using OpenSim software, has joined the Hypergrid community!! Welcome Kitleans!!!
“Which means what exactly?” Good question!!
Well, for one thing, Kitely has created this snazzy open source Hypergrid Logo! In a burst of unmitigated corporate cuteness, the CEOs actually spent time trying to find out what our logo was for thier user interface, as though we had a specific common identity beyond sheer nerdaciousness! Eventually, they correctly interpreted the blank stares and giggles, and so ran a logo contest on Kitely. I am already starting to see this bad boy all around the hypergrid !
For another thing, it means that you no longer have to have any kind of Kitely account at all to go there. If you have an avatar on any hypergrid enabled world you can just jump the heck over and have a look around! My dear friend MineThere Always, who leans toward multicolored avatars and bubbles, has a blog post with some photos of great Kitely destinations, complete with their shiny new hypergrid addresses!!
Now, I know this is heresy, but at the best of times, plugging a hypergrid address into your world map search engine and teleporting is an iffy proposition. Remember, you are on the hypergrid, where nobody is actually in charge, and everyone is messing with the software. For me, the safest bet has always been…
The most excellent Shaun Emerald’s Sanctuary Eld, Gateway to the Metaverse! This hypergrid address- http://sanctuary.homelinux.org:8012 is the most likely to work no matter what wierdness is happening elsewhere. And his blam gates are a 99.9% sure bet to get you where you are going.
The Kitely gate is down here, in the “main” grids section. And it will take you to…
This region is a community meeting place…
…as well as having an introduction to the grid’s many top notch commercial creators.
..and we now need to discuss the word “Premium”. Can you see it on the World Board chat? It refers to a level of Kitely Grid paying membership. There are various premuim packages, for so and so many amount of regions, etc, but what they all have in common, is that they allow that member to travel to any world on Kitely that is open to visitors. If you are a non registered hypergrid traveller, or a registered user with a free membership, you may only travel to regions(Kitely calls them worlds) where the owner is paying Kitely flat rate to make that region public. This isn’t really a problem- there are tons of them!! Here is the link to Kitely’s Explore Worlds Listings. See what I mean?You will notice at the bottom of the page, it tells you that some worlds are not shown because you do not have a premium account.
Also remember, that with the exception of this Welcome Center, Kitely regions are offline until someone wants to go there. This saves alot of money, which Kitely passes on to their customers. When you do click a non premium board, or plug a name into the world map, a box will appear, saying that so and so region is offline and will take a few minutes to start. In my experience it takes between 30 seconds and two minutes…
I am actually rather lazy when I go to Kitely. All I do is go back to the Devokan Trust regions, an unbelievably talented group of Myst devotees who were scattered to the four corners of the metaverse when thier beloved online world closed down a few years back.
… and rethinking…
… and expanding…
…and just tweakin’ the heck out of thier breathtaking regions, which have been called some of the finest builds in virtuality.
Now I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, as etherially beautiful, and intelligently concieved as the Trust builds are, my favorite doesn’t so much take your breath away…
…as charm your socks off.
Welcome to Ruby O Degee’s Midtown Art Museum. Every telepad in this room will take you to one of Ruby’s beautifully convaluted, high steampunk, elaborately intertwined, sprawling, interactive 3D stories of time travelling ladies guilds, carbon dating, tea, pottery, and of course, wormholes.
I could not believe how much Ruby had added since the last time I was here; if the rest of the Trust is inspired, this girl is freaking possessed. Instead of teleporting, I thought it would be fun to take a look around on the walkabout. So I went downstairs…
Oh wow!! Free bikes and maps!!!
And now we need to talk about the word, “exportable”. If you look up in the right corner of the picture, you can see that when I tried to take a copy of the bike, it told me I could not, because the “primitive” is not “exportable”.
Exportability is a new concept, and Kitely are the ones that brainstormed it. It allows the creator to decide and set whether or not they want an item taken off of Kitely Grid. Many Kitely creators such as Ruby, are starting to put products on the Kitely Market , yet another new concept- an online market that sells products to users of ALL virtual worlds. Like an Amazon.com for the metaverse. For creators who are trying to earn a living from thier creations, exportability will hopefully stop thier stock from being whisked out into the black and copied into fiscal oblivion. Sooo, if you want to copy Ruby’s bike, you have to come back in your Kitely avatar. Then the non exportable item will never go into your suitcase folder, which is how you take items from one grid to another for rezzing. Very clever indeed Kitely developers!!!
And now, we are going to leave ginormous Kitely, and greet another newcomer to the hypergrid, where bigger is still not neccessarily better.
Although Wonderland is a pretty neat little build, it is actually a part of Leighton Marjoram/ Chatfield’s work as a student at the University of Western England, where he is getting an MA in, get this; Education in Virtual Worlds. Yes, that is a real thing. And amazingly, this is not the most interesting thing about him.
Leighton is a certified therapist, (not a masseuse, the shrinky ones) and sees tremendous potential in virtual worlds for therapy.
” I have been a real world therapist for five years and am an accredited and registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP – http://bacp.co.uk). Virtual world practice is not for every practitioner and some see it as an obstacle for a variety of reasons. I must be strange because I see it as a huge potential site for new and innovative ways for therapists to work with people. Therapy can be very costly and this can exclude many people from accessing it. Seeing what opensim could do and be and the staggering difference in price between opensim and SL land. Opensim won out as the costs associated with inworld practice would have to be paid by my clients.
The main problem I’m working on is the need for encryption and embedding encrypted voice that triggers in the viewer like vivox. Vivox is not encrypted so a new third party service is needed. This requires a service like Skype to be open as well as the virtual world and this may limit the immersive quality. Services are probably about 6-9months away so I will focus on getting the grid open.
Wowsa! I sure didn’t see THAT coming! And Leighton is still not finished! In creating this very unique grid, he is also trying to create a safe haven for LGBT&Q (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trannsexual and Questioning) hypergrid travellers. I asked him why he found the hypergrid to be so unsafe.
“No more than society as a whole, it’s not about the dangerous metaverse more about LGBT&Q having a space free from narrow minds and assumptions.
As a gay person I find very little representational space that speaks to my identity. When your heterosexual your culture surrounds you and affirms you. It’s very different from an LGBT&Q perspective. I will post a link to a definition of the type of space I’m hoping to create with queer citizen grid. ”
And here is another symbol I would like to see spreading across the metaverse. An inverted pink triangle surrounded by a green circle, as used to symbolize alliance with gay rights and space free from homophobia.
“In the comments of google plus and overheard conversations on my travels across the hypergrid the presence of lgbtq is not acknowledged. As words like poof, homo and I hate gender benders although trivial and humorous to a not out gay traveller it makes social spaces toxic.
I hope I have explained what I meant. There will be events, exhibitions by creators and activitists, links with organisations that want to have a virtual world presence, places to live and educational and practice spaces. ”
I think Queer Citizens Grid, who are of course overhauling the website and blog as I publish, is going to bring a LOT to hypergrid culture! Leighton is very active on G+, where he has already started a Hypergrid Destinations community! He is very unpretentious and helpful which is I suppose why his grand vision kinda knocked me for a loop! A sensation I always very much enjoy; so thanks for expanding my horizons Leighton! Great to have you out here, pioneering big sky country!
And what have I personally been up to since I got back from my holidays? Well ,I made some hard decisions. This is actually a shocking thing to publish, but it has to be done. As some of you may know about a year ago, I opened the first Arcadia Asylum(seminal metaverse founder artist and free culture pioneer) Museum on the Hypergrid. My one region museum on Craft Grid, eventually became two, and when they were filled to bursting, I got a little library on Metropolis, in the artist colony Independently Spoken. But … I just can’t do it anymore. As of May 2014, I no longer have a 2 region museum, and a library…
…BECAUSE I HAVE 9 MORE FREAKING REGIONS ON SANCTUARY GRID!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…
This is what I think happened.
About March, 2014 Shaun Emerald announced that he was looking for residents for Sanctuary Grid, which up until then had been him and the hypergates. He wanted to start with one or two people, and he said he would GIVE them regions, so he could troubleshoot his fancy schmancy new equipment and generally improve his understanding of opensim software. A lot of people, who obviously didn’t own museums so maxed out that the grid’s hardware had independently downloaded office software and was filing a writ; hemmed and hawed, while I snapped up nine regions. Sure, it was gonna be hard work, but explaining to Craft’s owners why Interpol had formed a human shield around the servers would be harder. I introduced my friend Tosha to Shaun, and he gave her some regions as well! We were officially helper monkey pioneers!!
When I came back from my holidays, Tosha was building Tatlin’s Tower on her region, Fire. It is big and wild even by her standards. There is a bar, a Japanese garden, a moonwalk-oh just go take a look!
I eventually found her:))))
And he got vicious about hunting down some kind of transporter glitch, which resulted in this….
…experimental gate, standing apart from the rest.
As you can see there is a little warning, ” Hold on to your hats! It’ll be over in a minute!!” which was Tosha’s idea when she tried it. She told Shaun someone would throw thier computer out the window if he didn’t give some kinds of heads up. Good helper monkey. Shaun doesn’t want me to say too much and spoil it. But I will say, when your eyeballs have stopped juddering, try to work out where you have been.
And now my dearest dears, I must love you and leave you! You are more than welcome to come visit the three of us, just come over to the main Sanctuary gate hub and type Fire, or The Spirit of Arcadia into the world map( in my case regions 1-9 will appear.Pick anyone) and hit teleport! Neither of our builds are finished, and mine being out and out” lost that argument with the tornado, did ya?”; but I am working my butt off, and there is already lots of stuff you probably won’t find anywhere else. My Craft regions are there to stay, with the WMAEM minding the store and becoming a virtual radio mogul with his own page Working Radio Streams, on Leighton’s G+ Hypergrid Destinations community! I plan to move the Privateer Space exhibit to Sanctuary, and possibly Cogtown, then script the living crap out of Slum City. I have learned a lot as a curator this past year, and am brimming with plans; like the one where I sob for 72 hours straight on skype, and the WMAEM miraculously develops the ability makes the subway and the hobo train work! Leonard says it is brilliant! Many thanks to Shaun Emerald, Tosha Tyran, The World’s Most Amazing Estate Manager, Ruby, Dot, Paislee, Danko and the whole Devokan Trust posse , Leighton, Minethere Always for the beautiful free terrains and of course, all of YOU, for joining me in my small adventures! Your company means the world to me! The sweetest of dreams and the brightest of days to all of my beloved readers! Until next time, Adieu!