I have been thinking a lot lately about virtual worlds, immersion, the effort we put into them and the attachments we form. I decided to write about why I chose InWorldz as my home.
I joined Second Life some years ago and was hooked pretty much right away.
So many places to see and things to do. Renting little parcels here and there, prettying them up, learning how to move items around, making friends, learning to terraform, learning how to edit items, and eventually learning how to create some basic items.
After about a year or so into Second Life, I got some sims up and running on my home computer and plopped them onto OSGrid’s coordinates and enjoyed the thrill of sim ownership.
It was great fun, I learned alot, but missed the content found at Second Life. I don’t consider myself a creator and really do prefer to buy my hair, skins, animated items/furniture etc. Not that the Open Sims aren’t amazing places with lots of free content , and many free rentals as well, or the instructions for how to get your own sims going, but for me it’s more of my virtual weekend get away than my virtual home.
Now I had a taste of sim ownership and had the chance to experience the joy of creating my own environment. Creating my own virtual dreams. In Second Life I could never afford much more than a 4096 parcel and THAT was pushing it – and its hard for some to be satisfied with just a small expensive parcel when they realize what they COULD have somewhere else.
I started looking at totally different virtual worlds like There, Twinity and Kaneva. None of these was really what I was looking for. I realized I just wanted a cheaper Second Life – haha.
Well, one day a friend in Second Life mentioned that she had visited InWorldz . I had never heard of it, and went to check it out.
At first it reminded me of OsGrid. This was before the deault avis came out, and so new folks rezzed into the welcome area as ‘Ruth’, like original Second Life and OsGrid. Ruth was a rather awful looking avatar – and arriving as such was frightening. However, a ‘mentor’, welcomer type person quickly ran over to me and took me through the free section to get a new free skin, shape, clothes etc.
Well, within about two weeks, I bought my first sim. A year later, my second sim, and here I am, still two years later,with my two sims, that I have for residential rentals and public areas.
Things have changed a lot in InWorldz since I first arrived.
Not only has the number of online people increased significantly, but the smoothness of the system, arrival of mesh, and the richness of content has improved as well.
The following is my attempt to explain why I feel I have found the perfect place for my virtual Home.
One of the things that amazed me the most is the involvement of the founders:
Elenia Llewellyn (Beth Reischl real life name)
Legion Hienrichs (John Arnolde real life name)
Tranquillity Dexler ( David Daeschler real life name)
When I purchased my first sim, it was Elenia that met me at it to set it for sale to me. And once when my house kept disappearing due to an active script that I couldn’t find, Tranquillity came to my sim and didn’t leave until the problem was solved. I have not personally met Legion, but have seen them all at events – and not just InWorldz hosted events but events hosted by various residents as well. ( one of them even appearing at my Birthday party last year!)
The forums often have lots of bickering that goes on, but there are far more positive posts and topics and discussions than there are negative. My friend’s list has about 110 people on it and only a small portion of those even READ the forums – so although the voices on the forums are often loud, they don’t represent all the people. (and yep, my voice has been loud there before too, haha o.O )
In the past few weeks I have revisited some of the other grids. I have some free land in OsGrid, and I pop in from time to time to check on it. Wizard Gynoid took me hypergridding out of OSGrid recently, and that was pretty fun – it wasn’t possible when I was there before.
First Impressions of Various Grids in Comparison
In the Open Sims Grids, there still isn’t the content available that one would be accustomed to in Second Life or InWorldz, but it is an amazing platform for creators to build on. There is a sense of emptiness for a new arrival however. For example, when I created a new avi for OSGrid, Metropolis, Kitely, and Avination, there was no one at all to greet a poor noob like me. The lands were all empty of people. Even though Avination had a few good stores like Bubbles and Ducknipple on the Banshees sim, I found no one there. I found people more easily in OsGrid than the others, but by far, InWorldz had the most people immediately found.
When one arrives at Inworldz, mentors greet you and answer any questions you have. There is also an InWorldz traveller’s HUD that I tried recently – even though I’m not a noob anymore – and it was a great way to find places that I didn’t even know about!
Seeing other people around when you first arrive and have no idea what the hell you’re doing is a good thing. The InWorldz search works well, being able to search for everything from Hair to Land Rentals.
Getting content for Metropolis and OSGrid is free and pretty simple. Most places one wanders about has free to copy items. The Search is sometimes wonky and not super dependable however. I have had little luck entering an item for a search and being able to easily find it. But within a few hours, with my newly made avatar in OSGrid, I was able to get a free house, trees, landscaping and even a free parcel. Great free things at Metropolis also, but could not find parcel rentals.
Kitely is quite different in it’s approach, with sims being reachable via their main website. This cuts down cost for Kitely because their sims stay ‘asleep’ until someone wants to teleport to them. I still had a harder time finding anything free in Kitely unlike in the afore mentioned two grids.
Avination had things to buy at stores I went to, their search worked well, just not a lot of content to be found. I also didn’t find much for free nor could I find land/parcel rentals. Also I found the cost of items to be a bit high.
InWorldz content has increased dramatically over the past two years. .:emo – Hair and Clothing, and Pulse, Redgrave, StepInside, Magika, [Aux], Offbeat, Mimi’s Choice, Mina, Insanya, Bubbles, Inedit , Bad Kitty, and so much more. I can find any furniture and items I need, including high quality mesh, adult animated items, skins, shapes, hair etc. (ooh I HATE how hard it is to find good hair anywhere outside of InWorldz and Second Life! )— And with freebie places like The Hamptons mall, with a HUGE selection of clothing, furniture etc, it is easy to get started. Many places also have free home rentals for new folks . Joe Dokes is a good friend of mine and helps me manage my rentals at Diamond Valley and Prickle Pear Bay AND he offers free places to rent.
Although InWorldz has a currency, it is very well priced.
InWorldz: 5.00/ 2500 I
Avination: 2.99 /1000 C
Kitely: 5.00/1000 KC
Second Life: 10.00/2500 L
You might think this means the merchants charge more for their items in InWorldz as compared to Second Life?
Not really. In some there is a slight rise,
Mina sells her hair for 100 more. So, 350 in IW compared to 250 in SL. However you get twice as many Izzies as Lindens, so it still works out cheaper.
Many merchants sell their items for the same labelled price in IW as in SL, so you end up getting it for half the cost of SL. This probably has to do with the fact that in IW, uploads are free, and land is a fraction of the cost, so it is much less expensive for merchants and creators to upload and sell their items in InWorldz.
Land in InWorldz
Mainland sim is 60.00, no set up. 30,000 Prims.
Private Regions, 75.00, no setup with 35,000, 40,000 or 45,000 prims, depending on how many you own
This is a tiny cost compared to Second Life, and you get far more prims for your buck. If you want to rent, many sims still offer free market space, and very cheap land rentals.
Avination has a similar cost at 60/sim with all sims being private – no mainland and Kitely’s cost is less, but Kitely’s whole payment system is different, being able to be based on actual time that your sim is being used/accessed. The sim sleeps until someone tries to access it.
None of the other Grids have a Mainland however, and this is what I like about InWorldz .There is a mainland area, so one can always wander through. They are mandatory no ban lines on Mainland, and the continents are surrounded by sailing seas called the IZ Straits and IZ Ocean. So one can actually get in a boat and sail or get in a plane and fly. This gives that ‘immersive feel’ that Second Life had, with enough rules in place to keep Mainland from turning into the often ugly eyesore that Second Life has suffered. You can of course also purchase the Private Island, and get adjoining scenics for scenery or sailing – Scenics are 5000 prims and 20.00 (only to be used with existing Private Isles)
So InWorldz prices for land are nice and low like the other smaller grids, but with more of an immersive feel and easy to travel through.
All the other grids – those closed to Hypergrid, (like Avination,) and the other Hypergrid enabled ones – are rather scattered and dislocalized. This comes from being able to just plunk down sims wherever with no real focal point other than a grid’s welcome area. I love InWorldz appointed mainland areas, and set water ways, with the option of being able to have private isles if you want (and get cheap scenic sims to go along with those as well)
Hah! this is it for me. Even more so than the cool hair and mesh bewbz (kidding, I don’t do well with mesh bewbz… I’m far too dorky. But if you want mesh boobage, check out Deviant Designs – Rosie Lavochkin )
Amazing DJ’s, Awesome events, (seriously, just check out the events listings! ) Adult events, family events, Faelf events, various sims of all sorts, educational groups, spiritual groups… it’s just.. all here.
For all these reasons, I chose to make InWorldz my home. Leaving a Big Grid like Second Life and starting over somewhere new can be a scary thing. Grids come and go these days. Residents, merchants and groups want a ‘safe place’ to re-establish when they decide to do so. A place that supports the traffic and product safety for merchants, quality of content and items for residents, and cheap land prices for organizations, groups and businesses (as well as individuals) to have their own space. People want to be able to import and export their items, they want to be able to upload inexpensively (free to do in InWorldz ) they want a vibrant community that is active and growing yet offers an environment in which they can embrace their creativity and diversity.
And it’s why I decided one day to make this blog (which Leanna Caerndow has joined now too as co-blogger ) I really believe in this new world I have found and want to share my experiences for others who might be wanting to branch out or leave Second Life, but with so many options are unsure of where to go.
I run into people all the time, looking at finding new options outside of Second Life, due to being unhappy with SL’s TOS, or the cost or whatever the case may be. Knowing what it’s like to have so many options to choose from, and having some experience in some of the other worlds, I felt like it was a good idea to delve into MY reasons for being here. ~Birch Wind