Saying “much troubled” isn’t enough anymore. This is “the grid that would not die.” “The grid with the rollercoaster past.” This is the grid that changes its business model or closes down so often that you get whiplash if you try to keep up.
Yes, AviWorlds is back.
“Whoever is out there trying to stop AviWorlds did you really think this was it? Think again!” said grid owner Alexandro Pomposelli — also known as Alex Ferraris in-world — in a tweet last Saturday accompanied by a motivational video titled “Unstoppable.”
In one Facebook post, Pomposelli seemed to be on the verge of taking some responsibility for the grid’s rocky history and the damage done to users who had trusted their content — or their money — to the grid, by offering “a thousand apologies to our residents.” However, this was immediately followed — if my Google translation from the Portueguese is correct — by allegations of conspiracy between an unnamed competing grid, his hosting provider, Hypergrid Business, and a denial-of-service attacker.
Another key player in the conspiracy could be Google, since their spam filter ate an explanatory email from Pomposelli to Hypergrid Business at just the worst time, and when it had never done so before. It is possible that Google is planning its own virtual world for Brazilians, and needed AviWorlds out of the way.
Hypergrid, varregions, Kitely Market
Twelve hours ago, the grid was back up, running the latest version of OpenSim — the third update of the preview release OpenSim 0.8. Hypergrid connectivity is one. Kitely Market deliveries are allowed, free 1,500-prim quarter regions for all residents, and region rentals at $15 for 15,000 prims.
Other region sizes are also available, according to this Portuguese-language Facebook post, all the way from a 5,000 prim region for 5 Brazilian Reals, to a 15,000-prim region for 15 Reals, and up to a 100,000 prim region for 75 Reals. A Real is worth about 50 cents, so it looks like Brazilians customers are getting a significant discount on land rents right now.
No details have been posted as of yet about the variable regions option. Variable regions allow customers to supersize regions, adding land without increasing cost, and are currently available from several different vendors.
The AviWorlds grid has already closed four times, without notice, and usually with no opportunity for residents to export their content. During the last closing, at least one resident was unable to get a refund of her in-world currency balance.
As a result, anyone who plans to get involved with AviWorlds should take the following steps to protect themselves:
- Do not keep more money in the grid’s virtual currency than you can afford to lose
- Make regular backups of all in-world content
- If creating a sizeable build, do the work on a platform you control, such as a Diva Distro mini-grid, the easier-to-use Sim-on-a-Stick, or the even-easier New World Studio, or on a platform that allows easy region exports such as Kitely.
- Since AviWorlds is now hypergrid-enabled, use an avatar from another grid whenever feasible, preferably an avatar from a grid that allows inventory backups.