Thursday, January 26, 2017

Birthdays, Borders and Bunnies

        HG Safari is a hypergrid tour group. Every Wednesday we meet on the hgsafari region of Francogrid. About 15-20 people join each week, trips are organized in advance so we can meet grid and region owners. We go to two or three different grids each week, spending about an hour on each. The entire event lasts about three hours, some people stay for the whole thing, some people come and go, depending on other commitments. To make it easier for people to join us partway through the Safari, event details are posted on, G+ and Facebook.
        To keep it interesting for all, there's a mix of destinations, from social to sporty, from arty to educational, from technical to theatrical. No one grid is promoted above all others, though we tend to spend a lot more time with people who are not in virtual worlds for the money. Cuz if we were into that, we would just have stayed in Second Life.
You will find the HG Addresses for this week's three destinations at the end of the post, should you wish to visit them yourself. You put the address in your Viewer's Map, hit Search, and then teleport. It's a simple low tech way of discovering opensim for yourself.
Building competition entry by XsiberiaX Ilfreddopurifica

         Craft Grid turns 7 on Friday, and there will be a big party from around 1pm Pacific time, which is ten o'clock in the evening in Europe. They will be awarding the prizes for the annual Build
competition as part of the festivities, too, so before nightfall someone - not necessarily a Grid resident - will have a free sim for a year. So plenty to celebrate!
          Here's Grid guru Licu Rau, who co-founded Craft with his partner Tao Quan, and Tosha Tyran and her partner, the late great Lumiere Noir. And here are George Equus and Mal Burns (among others) showing their appreciation of Craft Grid, and the tunes of Sunshine Szavanna.  Craft is a friendly grid, and about 25 or 30 gathered on the region for this pre-party party. On Friday the place will be packed, so be sure to drop in to meet new people, and say hello to some old friends.
 The installations all adhered to the theme 'We are one' but personal interpretation and the variety of style shone through.
Cherry Manga's contribution to the competition

              Some nice animated sculptures dwarfed the dancing crowd in the center of the sim. You don't have to belong to Craft Grid to enter the competition, so perhaps next year you should compete too... a free sim for a year could be the perfect way to give your opensim existence a new lease on life.
Art by Tosha Tyran

          Having wished all the best for the next seven years at least, we moved on to Destination 2 on OSGrid this time, regions belonging to Lucy Afarensis.
         The idea was to do some technical testing of sim borders.
         The oceanside esplanade is exotic, gloriously bathed in a blue light. There are two galleries to explore on these regions. and a sort of pyramid mountain. The plants make you think of Arizona.

        On the Map, you will see that Lucy's regions are in the heart of OSGrid. If you are not familiar with how OSGrid works, you may assume that this means they're on some big, fast server, the same server that hosts nearby Swondo Estates and the Plaza itself.
          But no. That's not at all how OSGrid works. You have your own sims on your own server, and you hook them up to OSGrid choosing avacant spot on the Map. For more of how to do that, look on this page. Most of us eventually got over to OSGrid (despite some funky teleporting nobody could explain).
Looking at the Grove gallery
        This is not a superfast set of racing regions as you find on Joe Builder's Lost World Grid,  or Mike Hart's NextReality Grid. More than anything we were curious to see how many avies could mess things up! Some fun effects to be had...
          Arielle Delamerlibre was the first one to get out a horse and see what would happen, wasn't long before there were equines galore.
          ...which turned out to be more dangerous than the sim crossings themselves!
run over by a unicorn... ouch

          Then, off to Kitely! The Seanchai Library is a virtual resource for literature and learning. 
         They operate on three grids, InWorldz, Kitely, and of course SL, which is where they started. It's a group of story tellers and story lovers, and their regular Voice performances have brought to life the works of Conan Doyle, Dickens, Poe, Heinlein and Dick, to mention just a few. The region in Kitely currently supports three installations, one for The Great Gatsby which was a bit hit in 2015, one for Chekhov and the Absurdists, last year's project, and a new build for John Steinbeck.

           Caledonia welcomed us and led us into virtual Salinas, 'Steinbeck country', and led us over to the farmstead where she has prepared a seating area. Once we got settled, she read to us a part of 'Of Mice and Men'.
          We didn't get as far through the reading as we wanted.... to leave enough time for us to see the rest of the build, Caledonia stopped before she got to the bit about the rabbits. But there are rabbits on the build, 17 of them... see if you can find them all, not to mention the mice loose in the house.
Caledonia (left) reads to the group. Lovely.
           Caledonia Skytower, in real terms Judy Cullen, is the main builder here, and she has done a lovely job of representing authors with scenery, props, informational boards, sounds and links to other sites. It's a challenge to explain how all this works to people unfamiliar with virtual environments, but you'll rarely find a better or more classy way of handling newbies than here at the Seanchai.
          She's had plenty of experience. At the Tacoma Little Theater, she has a special stand in the lobby where theatergoers can find out about the Seanchai builds.  The authors and literary works that  get the 3D  have to be carefully chosen from the  theatrical repertoire, and much thought is given as to how the virtual environment can best enhance the real world performances.
In the Steinbeck house on EXPLORESeanchai, Kitely
          Our safari is held right in the middle of a workday afternoon, for folks on the West Coast, so this time, Shandon Loring wasn't able to join us. Along with Cale, he's at the heart of Seanchai, being co-organizer and chief scripter and of course also an actor, and here's another name you'll know from plays and readings in virtual worlds - Corwyn Allen. Reason to mention them right now, is that this weekend, beginning on Friday, the three will be performing Steinbeck inworld this weekend. Not only Of Mice and Men, but also selected letters, bringing  the author to life across the metaverse.
Learn more here:
spot the mouse!
     HG Addresses:
Craft Birthday Party   Friday 1pm Pacific time
Lucy Afarensis regions's west
Seanchai in Kitely   ;exploreseanchai

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