Grids get ready for spring this month

Celebrate Mardi Gras on Virtual Highway

As usual, the Virtual Highway calendar is packed with DJ parties and live music every single day this month, with at least two events every day.

Mardi Gras by day. (Image courtesy Virtual Highway.)

Mardi Gras by day. (Image courtesy Virtual Highway.)

This includes a Mardi Gras celebration on Monday, March 3 at 1 p.m. and a grand ball on Tuesday, March 4 at 5 p.m. at the Festival Park region. Visit Doreeses Pieces for Mardi Gras costumes, then hit Bourbon street for dancing and watching the floats.

Mardi Gras by night. (Image courtesy Virtual Highway.)

Mardi Gras by night. (Image courtesy Virtual Highway.)

Then, on March 7, the grid will begin celebrating Bike Week with wilder biker parties and an opportunity for residents to build their own bikes.

“All components in many varieties will be available for your use,” grid owner Gene Call told Hypergrid Business. “All you will need to do is put your choices together and build the bike of your dreams. The Garage hospitality awaits you!”

Bike Week at The Garage. (Image courtesy Virtual Highway.)

Bike Week at The Garage. (Image courtesy Virtual Highway.)

The grid will also be holding monthly resident meetings the first Sunday of each month. The first meeting will be on March 2 at 1 p.m. Pacific on the Virtual Highway Landing region.

The grid is also beginning work on its next big Festival Park community project, which will feature a “Spring Festival” theme.

“We are hoping to get the same great community involvement that we have had so far on all of our public works attractions,” said Call.

The grid has also been seeing growth lately, he added, with 224 new accounts created in February. “With this growth, we are seeing some great stores coming in.  Along with high quality clothing and such, we also see mini dragon avatars, and the work towards the furries we have been hoping to see in Virtual Highway.”

Finally, the grid is holding a Springtime Special sale on regions this month. Every customer who buys a 40,000-prim region for US $60 will get a second, free water region of up to 1,000 prims.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Littlefield

The Littlefield Grid is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, March 15 at 8 p.m. Pacific on the Speakeasy region, with a life DJ, party favors, and dancing. Residents of other grids can teleport in via hypergrid to  lfgrid.com:8002:Speakeasy.

(Image courtesy Littlefield Grid.)

(Image courtesy Littlefield Grid.)

For those who prefer their music live, acclaimed Argentinian guitarist Joaquin Gustav will perform jazz, rock, tango, milonga and more at the Sound City Nightclub on the Littlefield East region on Sunday, March 9 at 3 p.m. Pacific. Teleport to lfgrid.com:8002:Littlefield East.

The grid will also hold its “State of the Grid” public meeting on March 7 at 1:30 p.m. at the Smithville region, hypergrid address lfgrid.com:8002:Smithville.

There are several DJ dance parties and hangouts this month. Check out the Littlefield Event Calendar for complete details.

Toy's Mesh Emporium on Littlefield East. (Image courtesy Littlefield Grid.)

Toy’s Mesh Emporium on Littlefield East. (Image courtesy Littlefield Grid.)

In other news, the grid is opening Littlefield East, the ninth shopping region of the Littlefield Mall Complex. New stores include Toy’s Mesh Emporium, with hundreds of mesh houseware items, the Baubles fine jewelry store, and The Boutique for clothes, gowns, and shoes. Store space is still available for merchants.

“All items are free on Littlefield Grid,” grid owner Walter Balazic told Hypergrid Business. “However, unfortunately, Littlefield grid must restrict removal of items from the grid in keeping with the licensing agreement made between them and the content creators.”

The Boutique on Littlefield East. (Image courtesy Littlefield Grid.)

The Boutique on Littlefield East. (Image courtesy Littlefield Grid.)

This means that hypergrid visitors can come and window shop, but must become in-world residents in order to be able to get any of the content.

In addition to new stores, Littlefield East is also home to a skating rink with bi-monthly skating parties, as well as the Sound City live music club.

Sound City music club on Littlefield East. (Image courtesy Littlefield Grid.)

Sound City music club on Littlefield East. (Image courtesy Littlefield Grid.)

Avination celebrates spring with parades, parties, contests

It’s like Oktoberfest, but in the spring. This month, Avination‘s German community is celebrating the Karneval season, which will include a Rose Monday parade through the Virtuelles Koeln region on Monday, March 3. The parade starts at 10 a.m. Pacific time, or 19:00 CET. Other regions will also be participating in the event.

The day before, on Sunday, March 2, also at 10 a.m. Pacific on the same region, there will be a “Magnificiant Session” in the Cafe Reichard building where “speakers will tell the grid in an humorous and questioning way what they do think about it and musicians will play for the audience.” Sounds like a roast — but, unfortunately for many of us, the event will be held in German.

Karneval will conclude on March 4, at 10 a.m. Pacific, with the burning of the “Nubbel,” or scapegoat. More information about the Nubbel tradition is here. More details about this year’s event are here.

The "Nubbel," or straw doll that is a symbolic scapegoat for evil done, will be burned at the Firesenplatz on the Virtuelles Koeln region. (Image courtesy Avination.)

The “Nubbel,” or straw doll that is a symbolic scapegoat for evil, will be burned at the Firesenplatz on the Virtuelles Koeln region. (Image courtesy Avination.)

Avination will hold a public meeting for the grid’s community on March 9 at the Civic Center.

The American community with the Southern Group will start its “Annual Building Contest 2014 with the theme “Spring is in the Air” on March 10.

Later on this month, the fairy tale play “Die Traumkugel” (“The Sphere of Dreams”) will be performed by the Die Kulturschaukel ensemble, which recently moved to Avination from Second Life. Read more about Kulturschaukel here.

Another theatrical performance is Ichimomo Nakamura’s “Cirque Mystique,” an avant-garde surrealist dance show on March 28.

There are also a number of music events this month, including several live events at the BluesFabrik: Phoe Nix on March 7, Rico Dee on March 15, Nance Brody on March 22, and Michi Renoir on March 29.

There are also regular parties with DJs this month at the Midnight Lounge, Wave Club, Betty’s Pleasure Island, and the Gothic Bunker. See the Avination Events Calendar for more details and stay on top of Avination happenings with the Avination Community Gazette, the Avination Facebook group, and the Avination Live Music Facebook group.

InWorldz readies for 5th Birthday Bash, rolls out mobile app

InWorldz, OpenSim’s most popular grid, is getting ready for its fifth birthday celebration March 16 through April 2, with 15 dedicated regions of activities and showcases. Planned events include contests, fashion shows, music performances, and roleplay. Follow the discussion on the forums for all the latest news.

To help residents stay on top of all these events, the grid has rolled out a new mobile app, which pulls in content from the grid’s Twitter feed, Facebook page, mailing lists, and offers a support form. The app is currently only available to Android users on the Google Play app store.

Within the first day of release, the app had been downloaded 150 times, InWorldz LLC partner Beth Reischl (also known as Elenia Llewellyn in-world) told Hypergrid Business.

(Image courtesy InWorldz.)

(Image courtesy InWorldz.)

The app was created with the help of Israel-based Conduit Mobile, which works with over 200,000 publishers. The company’s app builder is free for up to five users, and starts at $33 a month for unlimited users. A white label version of the app, which has no Conduit branding, is $83 a month.

“Setup was amazingly easy, quick and the pricing was fantastic on it,” said Reischl. “So we decided to give it a try. The options available are amazing.”

She said that early feedback on the app has all been positive.

“While it may seem a bit pricey for some of the smaller grids, having a way for your users to have instant access to all the information at a touch is well worth it,” she added.

Kitely offers $545 for new logo

Kitely is holding a contest for designers to create a new logo for the grid — and is paying real money to the winners. You can check out the finalists on the 99 Designs contest page.

Kitely Logos

Also this month Kitely is holding a community meeting every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Pacific on the Kitely Welcome Center region. There is also a sailing lesson on Sunday, March 2 at 8 a.m. Pacific on the Panthalassa  region, and the Devokan Storytelling Gathering for Myst and Uru roleplay storytellers, builders and writers on Sunday, March 9 at 8 a.m. Pacific on the Dragons’ Teeth region.

Dragons' Teeth on Kitely. (Image courtesy Paislee Myrtle.)

Dragons’ Teeth on Kitely. (Image courtesy Paislee Myrtle.)

For more information, check out the Kitely Events Calendar on Virtual Outworlding.

Sci-Fi, live music on OSgrid

Each Saturday at 2 p.m. Pacific, OSgrid‘s Lani region hosts a two-hour get-together for science fiction enthusiasts. Read the transcript of the March 1 event here.

Sci-Fi get-together on Saturdays. (Image courtesy Lani Global.)

Sci-Fi get-together on Saturdays. (Image courtesy Lani Global.)

The OpenSim Sci Fi group will also have an exhibit at Second Life’s Sci Fi Convention 2014. Those who have Sci-Fi themed regions or grids can submit images to be displayed at the convention by messaging Lani Global on OSgrid or by uploading the images to the Lani Global OSgrid Gallery. More details and examples here.

For live music fans, OSgrid’s Virtual Belfast region is home to a live music event every Sunday at 2 p.m. Pacific at the Maritime Club. This month’s performers include Truelie Ellen, who is launching her new video, and Paul Emery, who is also known as Casias Falta in-world.

(Image courtesy Stiofain MacTomais.)

(Image courtesy Stiofain MacTomais.)

In addition, on Sunday, March 16, the open metaverse’s only Irish Sim will host a St. Patrick’s Day event celebrating Irish culture.

Robstock now coming to Metropolis

The 7th Annual Robstock Festival will include the Metropolis grid this year, in addition to Second Life and 3rd Rock Grid. The event will be held on April 4, 5 and 6 and performers can still get involved by emailing volunteer Zinnia Frenzy. The event will raise money for the Doctors Without Borders charity.

Poster - sunrise 2014

“This is the first hypergrid addition for Robstock and has the potential to increase the audience and the funds raised for this important cause,” said the organizers. “With over 30 live performances, 50 volunteers and three grids, Robstock is truly a metaverse-wide event.”

3rd Rock Grid is known for its music scene, with something happening every day this month. Check out the 3rd Rock Grid Event Calendar for more details.

In other 3rd Rock Grid news, the grid is holding a two for one region sale through the end of March.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on Metropolis is Vanish’s The Missing Image podcast broadcast, on The Missing Image region each Friday at 1 p.m. Pacific. Catch the German-language podcast on March 7 and March 21, and in English on March 14 and March 28. Hypergrid teleport to hypergrid.org:8002:the missing image.

For two hours preceding each broadcast except for one on March 7, there will be a Freedom Friday party celebrating free music, free culture and the free metaverse.

Vanish will be performing his music in Metropolis on March 7 at 11 a.m. Pacific and on the Lost Paradise grid on March 30 at 11 a.m. Pacific. Both destinations are hypergrid-enabled.

For more events on the Metropolis grid, check out the Metropolis Events Calendar.

AviWorlds plans pirate area

The much-troubled and recently reborn AviWorlds grid is building a 25-region pirate-themed gaming area where residents will be able to hunt for gold coins that they can sell for in-world currency — and also real money. But they’ll have to avoid pirates, sea monsters and mermaids first.

A new pirate-themed gaming area on AviWorlds. (Image courtesy AviWorlds.)

A new pirate-themed gaming area on AviWorlds. (Image courtesy AviWorlds.)

The grid will also be adding Zingo machines, grid owner Alexsandro Pomposelli told Hypergrid Business, and its own social networking site.

DreamNation attracts big-name creators

Several big-name creators have expanded to DreamNation, grid founder Waki Janus told Hypergrid Business. They include SMB, one of Second Life’s premier creators of mesh bodies and the “infamous” Twisted City.

“As a result of SMB coming to DreamNation we have experienced a significant interest from content creators of mesh accessories,” said Janus.

In addition, DreamNation has upgraded its asset system so that the database can be saved to an indefinitely long “daisy chain” of hard drives.

“After we over came a few tech glitches, all our users have been reporting big differences in inventory load times and rez times on sims,” Janus said.

Virtual Worlds Grid adds varregions

In order to fulfill a backlog of land assignments, Virtual Worlds Grid will be implementing the new variable-sized region feature of OpenSim, currently in an experimental release.

“Let’s hope it will work as planned,” grid owner Myron Curtis told Hypergrid Business.

The grid will add a total of 12 new varregions, each the size of 16 standard regions.

The grid is also upgrading to the latest release of OpenSim — 0.7.6.1.

“We are also improving some of our hardware to reduce lag,” he said. “That seems to be working so far.”

 Sammer’s World launches online store, social network

The recently launched German-language Sammer’s World grid has added an online store to its website and has also set up an online social network, Netzwerk, focusing on users of OpenSim, Second Life, and Minecraft. The site is currently in German, and the grid is looking for volunteers to translate it. The grid is also looking for sponsors for both its online store and its social network.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

    • Thank you for the great article Maria 🙂

  • Jonny Vayro

    :O Varregions? Its the first I heard of those. Is there any further information on these I can see please?

  • ok, now that the cat is out of the bag more than it previously was…lol

    In case it was missed, and in any case, to highlight it, here is the RobStock website link:

    http://robstockfestival.org/

    This is a very worthy cause, in and of itself, but especially being noteworthy that Metropolis is involved [tho some details are still being worked out] and that this means the free hypergated Meta will able to attend.

    The 3 day event goes on all day and live streaming as well as a multi-grid chatterbox tool [which allows folx to communicate in local chat with the grid name appended] will be used.

    Some very notable Performers have signed on and it is a good idea to add it to your calendars as the momentum is only just gathering steam.

  • SoftPaws

    Varregions will add a whole new building aspect but my question when will opensim break away with its parasitic need for the linden viewer protocols ?

    • Right now, given OpenSim’s relatively small user base, it needs Second Life. SL provides a market of millions of potential users who are already familiar with the viewer. (And don’t underestimate the value of that — it’s hard to learn!) SL’s broader community provides a wealth of scripts, how-to videos, textures, wikis and other material that is directly relevant to OpenSim. OpenSim can’t — yet — match that, and it would be a shame to lose all of that!

      Finally, SL provides a standard for all grids to measure against. The closer a grid is to SL in standard features, the easier it is to get users. This means that all the grids are moving, lock-step, in the same direction. When SL released mesh, OpenSim had mesh the next day (though it took some grids longer than others to roll it out). Yes, OpenSim could have had mesh years before (and, in fact, with ModRex, it did) but nobody switched over because people would have had to install and learn new viewers.

      We’re now seeing this happening with the latest SL licensing decision regarding Havok path-finding code. Viewers — like Firestorm — that use this functionality have had to create a separate fork for OpenSim, or stop supporting OpenSim altogether. That means that a set of SL users would have to get and install new viewers before they can visit OpenSim.

      That might seem a minor obstacle to those of us with ten different viewers on our desktops, but every single inconvenience reduces the number of users.

      Yes, it would be nice if OpenSim could develop freely, without being tied to SL’s apron strings. But a technology platform without users is doomed to failure, no matter how good it is technically. Eventually, OpenSim will pass the inflection curve and this will no longer be an issue. I could be wrong, but I don’t think that day is quite there yet.

  • Trixie Noel

    Can I just make a small observation about Virtual Highway? They have been having monthly resident’s meetings ever since I have been in the grid (over a year), Just wanted to point that out as the article reads as if these meetings have only just begun.

  • AviWorlds

    thanks I think I will get that domain name…THEMUCHTROUBLEDAVIWORLDS.COM
    🙂