Island Oasis invites grid owners to confab

Island Oasis, a commercial social grid, is inviting other grid owners to a grid summit to discuss griefing, copyright protection, creating an association for grid owners, and other issues.

The First Annual Live Summit of Virtual Worlds will be held on March 15, 2013 on the Island Oasis grid, the company announced this week.

Chilling on Island Oasis. (Image courtesy John Mossman.)

“This is actually something that I and my partner have had in mind for quite some time now,” grid co-founder Karl Dreyer told Hypergrid Business. He goes by Damean Paolino in-world, and his co-founder and partner is Nicole Oberlin, also known as Sugar Paolino in-world. “We have always felt that having an open dialog between grid owners could be greatly beneficial for all and can go a long way in furthering the growth and viability of virtual communities around the world.”

Dreyer and Oberlin decided to announce the summit now because of some recent events and issues that arose on the grid.

“I feel that the obstacles and issue that we’ve encountered cannot be unique only to Island Oasis,” he said. “I’m confident that the vast majority of grid owners have encountered these or similar issues at one time or another.”

Most recently, Island Oasis received negative attention for their decision to ban Linda Kellie, a well-known creator of free content for the OpenSim community. You can get free avatars, buildings, animations — even entire regions — on her site. In addition, many grids — including Island Oasis itself — have used her content to jump-start their freebie stores and help newcomers settle in. Her content is all-original, no strings attached, and can be used for any purpose, including commercial, and, as a result, she’s become the closest thing to a celebrity in the OpenSim universe. You can read her open letter to Island Oasis here.

One issue at stake is the degree to which grid can promote themselves on other grids. As some grid members can get very passionate about their chosen virtual communities, conflicts can arise.

“I feel that an open forum and, yes, possibly the formation of a formal organization, will foster a sense of cooperation and an ongoing open dialog between the grid owners, subsequently benefiting all of the parties involved and ultimately benefiting the residents of all virtual worlds,” said Dreyer. “We’re not claiming to have all of the answers, and yes, we acknowledge and respect the fact that we are all still in competition with each other to varying degrees. We are simply taking the first steps in trying to bring the grid owners together in a casual town hall-type environment.”

Dreyer said that Island Oasis will be making an effort to contact as many other grid owners as possible before the event and give them an opportunity to contribute to the agenda and discussion topics.

The summit will be held on Island Oasis, which is not accessible via the hypergrid. Those wishing to attend the event can register for an Island Oasis account here, if they have not done so already.


Maria Korolov