September events on the OpenSim grids

August was a relatively slow month in OpenSim, but September is shaping up to be full of major events, including an anniversary celebration on Avination, an Air & Space Expo, a 9/11 commemoration, and much more.

Make sure not to skip over the RezMela contest, where you decide this week who gets $250 for their machinima animation.

Avination turns four

Avination, a major commercial grid, is turning four this month with an “Art, Love and Unity” theme for its birthday celebration.

Festivities begin on September 12 and end September 14. In addition to a wide variety of live music and DJs, there will also be a fashion show on Saturday morning, September 13. Get the full schedule here.

(Image courtesy Avination.)

(Image courtesy Avination.)

Avination is the third most popular grid — and the second most popular commercial grid. (InWorldz and OSgrid come in first and second, respectively.)

The grid is headed up by Melanie Thielker, one of OpenSim’s core developers, and is known for donating code back to the community. One major donation, for example, was the export permission, developed together with the Singularity viewer team.

Littlefield commemorates September 11

Littlefield Grid will have its annual memorial service for the people who lost their lives as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Littlefield Grid's 9/11 Memorial. (Image courtesy Littlefield Grid.)

Littlefield Grid’s 9/11 Memorial. (Image courtesy Littlefield Grid.)

“Littlefield Grid has since it’s inception had an ongoing memorial which is a replica of the Ground Zero museum in New York City,” grid owner Walter Balazik told Hypergrid Business. “On September 11, at 5:46 a.m. Pacific, there will be a moment of silence and ringing of the replica of the NYC fire bell for the initial attack on the World Trade Center at the memorial and museum. In addition, this location has a memorial area for users to leave any creations as a remembrance of those who lost their lives. There will be a live video feed at the museum running video pertaining to the 911 attacks throughout the day.”

The memorial site can be reached via hypergrid at lfgrid.com:8002:Littlefield NW.

Relay for Life returns to InWorldz

The 2014 Relay for Life season began on InWorldz on August 23, and continues with events throughout the next couple of months.

They include a Luminary Lighting Ceremony done in the Medi-Fantasy theme on River Lands, part of Roleplay for Life.

And a Fashion for Life show will run from September 20 to 27.

Muse Island on InWorldz. (Image courtesy Relay for Life on InWorldz.)

Muse Island on InWorldz. (Image courtesy Relay for Life on InWorldz.)

The theme this year, which is third annual Relay for Life on InWorldz, is “A Future Without Cancer” and will based on the new home of Relay for Life, which is on Muse Island.

Get the full details here.

Your Alternate Life plans rebirth as an all-mesh grid

The Your Alternate Life grid has had more than its share of outages and has seen its database hacked, but owner Peter Shoots plans to turn this into a positive.

“We finally get the option to change it as we like it to become and can make with that a fresh start,” Schoots told Hypergrid Business.

That includes a completely redesigned grid as well as a brand new website, he said.

The grid will also have a new business model, focusing on social activities and games, with only limited options for creative building.

“Sculpts will be obsolete and primitives will become rare on our grid,” he added, explaining that mesh can load faster than either sculpts or primitives. “We have noticed that the new materials make a lot of difference in many ways.”

Schoots said that he hopes to have the new grid up and running in about two months.

Your Alternate Life was last active in July, with 21 regions, making it one of the smaller OpenSim grids.

ZetaWorlds launched early

As a result of the ongoing outage on OSgrid — now entering its third week offline — the Las Vegas-based hosting company Zetamex has stepped up the planned rollout of its ZetaWorlds grid.

That grid has quickly grown to 112 standard region equivalents, as some Zetamex customers move their regions over from OSgrid and others opt for ZetaWorlds from the start, looking to take advantage of region prices of just $5 a month.

And it’s not just individual region owners moving their sims over. The Pillars of Mist grid announced that it will no longer be a separate grid and become a region on the ZetaWorlds grid.

“Our focus of mystery, roleplay and events is going to remain the same,” said grid owner Merrie Schonbach in a follow-up note yesterday after all the regions had been moved over. The new hypergrid address is hg.zetaworlds.com:8002:Mimosa.

Zetamex also saw some downtime last month. Scheduled downtime that was planned to last just one day on August 25 stretched into an entire week for the control panels, as the company switched to a new operating system, OpenSUSE Linux, left the Apache webserver most OpenSim grids use and switched to Nginx, and rolled out a new management panel for its customers.

Linda Kellie's Lake House region, one of dozens of fully built regions, complete with poses and animations.

Linda Kellie’s Lake House region, one of dozens of fully built regions, complete with poses and animations.

One of the victims of the Zetamex downtime was the Zadaroo website, a Zetamex-hosted free archive of all Linda Kellie content. Zadaroo is now back up and, as before, the OAR files can be hotlinked so that you can load up a Linda Kellie region to a region server without having to download it yourself first.

This archive is currently OpenSim’s single most valuable resource as all the content in it was made by scratch and donated to the community under a CC0 license which allows any use whatsoever, including commercial.

Zetamex is also putting the finishing touches on its open source grid management panel, ZetamexWeb, which will come with tools to track grid statistics such as total land area in kilometers, a useful feature for grids that offer variable sized regions and don’t want to be undercounted by size.

The ZetamexWeb project site is here, and includes free downloads of the software. The Land Mass Counter project site is here.

Grid statistics tracked on in-world prims. (Image courtesy Zetamex.)

Grid statistics tracked on in-world prims. (Image courtesy Zetamex.)

Kitely hosts Queer Citizen launch party, mystery, photo contest, and more

The Queer Citizen Grid has shut down its independent operations and reopened as an area on the Kitely grid. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe virtual space for LGBTQA community building.

The new areas will see their official launch with a Masquerade Ball on September 6 from 8 to 10 p.m. UK time — noon to 2 p.m. Pacific.Teleport in via hypergrid to grid.kitely.com:8002:Queer Citizen Events.

(Image courtesy Queer Citizen Grid.)

(Image courtesy Queer Citizen Grid.)

Kitely is also the home to a “Wear Your Goggles to the Gold Rush” cozy mystery and story build, which has its official launch today, September 1 and will last for two months. Teleport to grid.kitely.com:8002:Oakes Valley. Visits the Oakes Valley website for more information.

(Image courtesy Oakes Valley.)

(Image courtesy Oakes Valley.)

Have you cast your vote yet for the RezMela 2014 machinima and photography competition? Awards are cash prizes of up to $250 — check out the finalists here.

DeepSemaphore LLC’s RezMela offers a desktop client that can be used by educators and simulation designers to create virtual training scenarios on the Kitely grid.

One of the 2014 photo submissions to the RezMela competition. (Image courtesy RezMela.)

One of the 2014 photo submissions to the RezMela competition. (Image courtesy RezMela.)

Kitely is also reporting continued growth of its Kitely Market hypergrid-enabled marketplace.

There are now more than 3,000 different products listed on the Kitely Market, in nearly 6,000 variations. Of these, 2,468 are exportable. In fact, over the past couple of months, the growth in exportable variations has been, on average, more than three times higher than the growth in products, showing that merchants are starting to look at the hypergrid as a viable market.

(Graph based on Kitely data.)

(Graph based on Kitely data.)

Elsewhere on Kitely, the Adult destinations are expanding. There is now Gor, a 16-region area dedicated to Gor roleplay, which is a very adult fantasy setting where women are slaves, and the intriguingly-named MT Sexy Secrets.

Adult Metaverse gets new moderators

Avalonia Estate grid founder Justin Ireman has stepped down as the moderator of the Adult Metaverse community on Google Plus in favor of Talla Adam and Nara Malone.

“We have decided to change the focus of our grid from a public grid that was seeking new members to try and cater to the Adult Femdom community, to a private grid for personal use only of my friends and family,” he told Hypergrid Business. “To be clear Avalonia Estate is not closing or offline, it is just our focus and purpose that has changed… There are other things in real life that I wish to give my time and attention to and this just isn’t possible while dedicating time, money and resources to running the grid.”

Nara Malone is the owner of Nara’s Nook, a community grid for writers.

This should be fun,” she said in a comment. “You don’t have to be part of an adult grid to join us. My grid is not adult, though some of us write adult fiction.”

Talla Adam is the owner of the very popular OpenSim Virtual community on Google Plus, which has more than 800 members.

Adam has been encouraging of the Adult Metaverse community and has helped promote it on OpenSim Virtual, and Nara’s Nook has been a participant in the community and has held joint events with Avalonia Estate.

We both agreed there was a need for the community and it would be a shame to see it close,” Adam told Hypergrid Business.

The Adult Metaverse currently has 64 members, so it is one of the smaller virtual worlds-related groups on Google Plus. However, due to the nature of the topics discussed, it is completely possible that many people have the page bookmarked and visit regularly without ever signing up as members.

Topics include discussions of where to find adult skins, body parts, and other adult content, relevant events, and reviews of adult-oriented grids.

Air & Space Expo begins on Tangle Grid

Tangle Grid is holding an Air & Space Expo right now. The event began on August 27 and will run through September 7 on the Expo Isle.

The event features airplanes, blimps, rocket ships, space ships from history, fantasy, and science fiction.

Teleport to the Expo Isle at via tanglegrid.net:8032:hg station 1, then walk through the Expo Isle gate.

(Image courtesy Tangle Grid.)

(Image courtesy Tangle Grid.)

Load tests continue for OpenSim conference

AvaCon, together with the OpenSimulator developers, is continuing to run regular load tests on the new convention center at noon Pacific every Tuesday. Teleport to cc.opensimulator.org:8002:keynote 1, cc.opensimulator.org:8002:keynote 2, cc.opensimulator.org:8002:keynote 3, or cc.opensimulator.org:8002:keynote 4 to help make OpenSim more stable and robust.

Don’t forget that while these tests directly benefit the upcoming OpenSimulator Community Conference, the bug fixes and stability improvements that come out of it will help all grid owners and users.

Recent attendees at an OpenSim Community Conference load test. (Image courtesy Stephen Gasior.)

Recent attendees at an OpenSim Community Conference load test. (Image courtesy Stephen Gasior.)

Grid Calendars

Many grids have calendars showcasing their events. If your grid’s calendar isn’t in this list, please send an email to [email protected].

We’ve also added some calendars from hypergrid-enabled grids on the Hyperica site. To be added, a calendar must list only hypergrid-enabled events, and have an iCal export function. Google calendars, for example, are perfect for this.

Also check out the Hypergrid Events and OpenSim Virtual communities on Google Plus!

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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.