|Matilda Charron at the clubhouse|
And what a game of it we had. Generally speaking, hypergridders like to be able to jump directly from A to B. Having to go through Welcome sims or make multiple leaps to reach one's destination is not a huge burden, but obviously, if somebody builds a region and wants people to visit, then it would be good if they made that as easy as possible. Is that dumbing down? I hope not. The 'idiot-proof' opensim viewer we're always being promised doesn't matter to me, mostly because I'm not that interested in meeting idiots. HG accessibility is, however, key to making it worth your while to build worthwhile, quality installations and regions.
|Getting ready to head for EVER|
|Arriving on sim Gutenberg, Ever. Unistra grid|
Thirza Ember: there is a big crowd on francogrid trying to come here, people are having problems making a direct jump.
James.Atlloud @grid.kitely.com:8002: francogrid --> hyperica --> acryline@ever -->Gutenberg@ever = success!
Cheops.Forlife @ever.unistra.fr:8002: aww why so many steps today?
The frenchies have a habit of all talking away in French in Voice. This creates a charming gallic atmosphere which can make stay-at-homes stuck in Fresno or Farnham feel like they just won a trip to gay Paree, and is definitely worth all the hopping about and crashing that we went through to get there. When a big international group visits, this adds a layer of confusion, because most of the time you've no idea who is talking and what they're saying. But it didn't seem like they cared, and neither did we - we were just glad to make it there in one piece (or less in some cases). And once Cheops started explaining, everything became clear.
EVER, part of Unistra, is the grid belonging to the University of Strasbourg, France, has a really interesting build you should go and visit. It is called Camille Claudel: la valse des gestes. The build is based on a book - feels like an epic biographic poem - by Denis Morin - click here for an interview with the poet, and more info about the book.
|Anne.Cordonnier @ever.unistra.fr:8002: Le batiment ici est une création d'un étudiant d'arts appliqué|
The build itself is a series of tableaux set inside the 'mind' of Camille. You'll see the stone hands she sculpted - they were used in many of Rodin's statues. You'll see her delight, despair, her workshop and her descent into a - let's call it 'a place of madness', you'll be left wondering what that phrase means.
|Cheops welcomes us to the build|
|Cheops inside the mind of sculptress Camille Claudel|
This is a walk-through narrative, what in rl is termed 'promenade theater'. There are things you can click on to take up poses, and selected parts of Denis' text - the poetic voice of Camille - can be heard. The actress behind the voice is the wonderful Jacqueline Barral of the Theatre de l'Adret.
|Jacqueline Barral of the Theatre de l'Adret|
Jacqueline Barral: J'ai conçu le spectacle dans ma tête et Jenny l'a concrétisé.
|Ready for the funny farm - part of the promenade theater build|
Denis Morin's decision to use poetry as the medium by which to express Claudel's biography is nothing short of genius, for it's clear her life was anything but prosaic, and the build here on EVER grid allows you to walk among the vivid verses, in the company of a friend or two if you want.
|Real photos mix with 3D sets in this dreamy journey through Claudel's life|
Since the dramatic audio is triggered when avatars approach, you can imagine what would happen if 20 people enter a build all together. So, three of the group entered the build, while the rest of us talked about the importance of representing cultural, informative, and inspiring real world stuff in open sim.
And more good news - they're already planning more events, including a similar install based on the life of French singer Barbara (check her out here) based on another text by Denis Moran; and there's going to be a Victor Hugo 'happening' in the fall.
Jacqueline Barral: On recherche pour une nouvelle forme de spectacle hebdomadaire sur EVER des personnes qui désirent lire à haute voix avec les comédiens. "L'homme qui rit" de Victor a été choisi pour réaliser chaque semaine un spectacle improvisé.
|Cheops Forlife, aka Jenny Bihouise. She's crazy for opensim.|
So how about it? Do you want to come on over to Ever and try your hand at reading some Victor Hugo with the group? Perfect French is not a must - and it makes a nice change from the usual anglo-centric virtual activities we tend to come across most.
Cheops Forlife: The idea of is what is interesting, about the content anybody and any country or any language can do the same, the important thing is the TEAM and the skills .
Opensim later beckoned, and after spells on various grids including Kitely, he has found a new home on francophone Ignis Fatuus grid.
Unlike many other grids, Ignis boasts a wonderful mainland zone with contiguous builds melding into one another, featuring fantasy landscapes of great beauty, and Shenn's four-region build, evoking Myst and its sequels, fits in perfectly here. The soft edges of organic shapes have always been a hallmark of Shenn's builds so the mesh revolution has been a boon to him, and the free uploads of opensim even more so... ditto the magnificent possibilities offered by our wide open spaces - no cramped sims here.
Much of the bounty on these sims is available free to copy, however, it seems that the group rather overdid the shopping when they first arrived, and we managed to crash the sim. But it was no time at all before we were back up and running - or floating, or dancing, or flying - once again.
These few pictures are far from representative of the loveliness of Shenn's four regions, which combine a sense of serenity with curious delight.
With the help of magnificently mystical ethnic music provided by DJane Szavanna Sunshine we were enchanted by this wide open, magical space. Szavanna combines asian and african tracks that lift you right out of the average everyday music experience and transport you to a higher level. Combined with this mysterious, magical environment, it was very hard for us to even think about moving on.
Joe's creativity is as versatile as it is prolific, and builds range from Star Trek to Harry Potter, from airports to mermaid kingdoms, race tracks, and dinosaur parks. These oars are available commercially, so if you're looking to buy an imaginative, ready-made environment in open sim, Joe's grid would be a good place to start browsing.
We were due to visit two sims, Smokin' Joe's and Dump.
Smokin' Joe's is a relatively recent addition to the Lost World family of oars. It's a biker bar that features line dancing, and all the usual accoutrements of a downhome southern dive...plus an amazing range of vehicles parked outside. It also features a mechanical bull, although, this being opensim, it's actually a mechanical yak. Be honest - you know you want to try that.
The tp gods were against us though and try as we might, internal jumps - lm, map or portal - all refused to work.
That's the name of the game, in hypergridding. But it won't stop most of us from going over to Lost World the next chance we get to see the yak, and also browse the any fine freebies available on sim Dump.
Camille Claudel installation: ever.unistra.fr:8002 This brings you to the welcome sim, Gutenberg. Click on the sign to get the landmark for the Claudel build.
Shenn Tao's regions on Ignis: ignis-fatuus.no-ip.biz:8002:taolia This is the start point for the four sim region belonging to Shenn Tao
Smokin' Joe's and Dump: lostworld-os.com:8002 This brings you to the Welcome sim. Look for the portal to Smokin' Joe's. If it is offline, IM Joe Builder and ask if he can bring it online.