Monday, January 25, 2016

Pleasure Craft

          Congratulations to Craft, and all who sail in her, the grid turns 6 years old on Wednesday January 27 and celebrates with a party in the evening, European time, and the announcement of the results of the Annual Building Contest.
          Craft styles itself 'The Friendly Grid' and that title is well deserved. Few opensim grids can boast such a long and successful life, and the secret is assuredly the community spirit. 
          But how do you create this kind of enduring family? It starts at the top. 
Tao and Licu, taken at the 2014 anniversary party
          In 2009 Licu Rau founded Craft, along with his partner Tao Quan. Tosha Tyran and her partner, the celebrated and much missed Lumiere Noir, made up the original four members. They were soon joined by friends who had been in Second Life, or in Cyberlandia, an early Italian language opensim grid. Managing a grid, with all the hundreds of little things that can go wrong technically, socially, financially, is not work for the fainthearted, and Tao and Licu have been tireless in their pursuit of other people's happiness. 

Tao at last year's celebration
          While Licu is in charge of most of the software related issues, Tao has been a wonderful manager, design-and-builder, problem-solver, tidier-upper and question-answerer... a huge task that she has accomplished with diplomacy and style. 
            Based in Italy, Craft is a rare example of a truly international grid, with English, Italian, and German all getting equal ranking, and plenty of room made for other languages too, thanks to ties with grids around the world, in Europe and the US, Australia and even Japan.
           From its inception, Craft has always been a generous grid, and (which is almost as important) well organized. The main shop on the grid is right next to the default sim, Hydra, making it easy for people to find that essential A/O or pair of shoes... times have changed, and many other grids boast fine content, but Craft's position as the go-to grid has not really changed - there are simply many more sims to visit. 
Oberon put 15k of prims on his sim in Craft. Why? Just for the heck of it.
            I joined Craft back in 2010 and had four sims there, right next to Oberon Onmura and Nicola Reinerman, two very different but exceptional creators. 
Nicola Reinerman in the garden of one of his villas.
Those are my 'What was I thinking?' Capri pants.
          Back then, few people were regularly grid-hopping, but it was Tao's delight to visit other grids and she even came up with a scheme to make an Embassy sim on Craft, signs pointing to a distinct willingness to acknowledge and even foster travel, comparison, and comprehension between different worlds. 
Museo del Metaverso

            I remember too the first day we got Voice, and can boast the title of 'first person to giggle audibly on Craft'. There have been ups and downs, memorably a bit of an Inventory hiccup back in 2011, never to be repeated, and lots of comings and goings as people moved about the Metaverse, or moved on with their lives. Kindness, honesty, a readiness to admit mistakes and learn from them, these are just some of the assets that have won Licu and Tao the respect and loyalty of  their residents and 'foreign friends'.  
Michelle Tech

          Craft has grown, but in an intelligent way, not seeking merely to be the biggest, the richest, or by inflating their statistics to make themselves look more busy than they really are. It has welcomed educational and cultural builds, like Edu3d, and Roxelo Babenco's Museo del MetaversoMichelle Tech's Mathland, and Werner Clasen's Hildesheim, as well as the group build, appropriately named sim Bel Paesebringing together the talents of  Ger Orsini, Ana 57, Laura Benusconi, Eva Kraal, Terry Bond, Vicus Serenity, amaranta Verino, xSIBERIAx ILFREDDOPURIFICA,  xyonne fauno,  and Giliola Allen to create a regional, culinary map of Italy. These are just a handful of the myriad projects going on on Craft, from the small but beautifully imagined builds by single individuals all the way up to the Brera Academy's involvement in the grid.
Italy... il bel paese

          This post would not be complete without some words about Licu Rau. There are all kinds of grid owners, the ones who fiddle with the code and break it, the ones who are never available, suddenly disappear, or micromanage everything, the ones who are aloof, or a little bit too friendly, the ones with delusions of grandeur, or too distracted by Real Life to have a decent plan for their grid's future.  
          Licu is none of those things. This modest, patient, generous man has shepherded his grid, and the community that counts upon it, through many storms. He has done so without losing his sense of humor, or his desire to maintain a reasonably priced virtual home, a finely crafted world where people can safely build and express themselves, and share with others. I'm immensely proud to call him my friend.
          Congratulations, Tao, Licu and to all the residents of Craft.
          Please join us to honor Craft Grid's 6th Anniversary on Wednesday, January 27.

HG Address

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