Phantasies and Alternate Dimensions (feline_phantasy) wrote,
Phantasies and Alternate Dimensions

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Where were you prior to virtual worlds?

My friend Southie challenged me to write about where I was before virtual worlds.

Let's see. I was a college student who was a mathematics major with a healthy dose of computer. After living as poor as a church mouse for awhile, I decided to join the military. Before I did that, I got married to my first husband.

I spent one term in the military and started getting sick my last year. I left, we bought a house in town, and I went to work for a military contractor. After about 10 years of that (and a divorce) I ended up on full disability. Diseases like multiple sclerosis and degenerative joint disease can be cruel. At the same time I suddenly has all kinds of free time to get involved in new things.

An educational facility in town offered free Linux shell accounts and I got one. I was also messing around with AOL 1.0 (they shipped out free disks like mad back then) and Prodigy. I spent most of my time on the Linux shell, however, and got involved with several popular bulletin board systems.

Anyone remember PINE and TIN? Oh, the good old days....LOL!

Eventually the online service providers got better, and I transitioned as things grew and developed. I spent something like 3 years on AOL in their roleplay area, eventually volunteering and becoming a chatroom monitor, message board monitor, and overseer of websites. It was during this time that I researched and learned a lot about intellectual property rights and copyright, and some of what I found ended up in the AOL terms of service, much to my surprise.

I left AOL when they ditched their volunteer program, and then pretty much destroyed the roleplay area in favor of pay games.

After that, I got a different ISP and spent a great deal of time on Usenet and learning about Internet Relay Chat (IRC) networks. Eventually I became admin on some, and, with the help of a friend, opened my own.

I had heard a lot about Second Life, especially the "success stories" where people actually made a decent amount of money providing goods and services, so in May 2008, a few days before my RL birthday, Marie Resch was born. I remember that time fondly. They didn't give you a default avatar when you first came in, you had to go inside this building and design one from elements they provided. I made this freaky deaky cybergoth woman and I still have her AVI in my inventory there, today.

I didn't do much, and returned to helping my friend run a webserver, doing websites, and running an IRC network, until about a year later, when I had cause to return to Second Life and see what was up.

I ran into someone advertising a club on Help Island (which was a nono but they did it till people threatened to report them) and made my first friends there. I was hooked. I changed my avi into first a human girl, then a neko, then a faecat over time. I danced in the club, made some Lindens. Eventually they decided to hire me as an event planner and coordinator. Things went along fine till one of the partner owners came back from an extended absence and decided he didn't like all the changes. We had cross words, and I left. It was a sad time because their half sim had become my home. I didn't let it slow me down, however.

I and a couple others from that group decided to start our own club, so I rented a small plot from one of the big real estate companies and we got started. At the time, it turned out to be far more successful than any of us could've dreamed. Eventually I began thinking about running my own sim, and posted to the SL forums inquiring if there were any others who would like to get in on the project. I was approached by a gal who offered me a much larger parcel for an initially cheap price, and said if I could make it a success in 3 months she'd give me my own sim to run. Thinking that it sounded like a good deal, we uprooted our club and moved to the new island.

We had several good months there during which our club prospered, we made lots of friends, and I got involved in Bloodlines. My current VR partner had been courting one of our dancers and, when she'd been hired at our former club site, had followed her to the new island. Things didn't work out with them but he and I talked and hit it off quite famously. Next thing I know, I had an engagement ring on Marie's hand.

Long story short. The estate owner suddenly decided it was all too much for her, and sold out the estate, something like 20 sims, right out from underneath us all at a fire sale price. Next thing we all knew is the new owners were evicting us and giving us but an hour to remove our builds or have them returned to us. At the time, I had a little over a half sim so it was a real chore to rip it all up. Then came the matter of rents paid. Some of the former tenants got reimbursed but the "bigger" folks like me didn't get a dime. This really put me off from renting on a private island sim again.

I started looking at mainland, and eventually hooked up with another real estate mogul who rented us a half sim. Then the whole Zindra thing got started and he decided to swap that half sim for equivalent land in Zindra. Considering that we were your standard club and stores setup, and weren't really into X-rated stuff, we didn't do well in Zindra. In addition, legitimate adults had a very hard time getting over there. We left the sim and rented a mature plot from someone else, but this didn't last long, because she wanted a young fortune in Lindens. Back to the original mogul who rented me a beautiful half sim on the Linden shore.

By this time I'd gotten fairly good at building things, and had begun playing with scripts, especially particle effects. I opened my own store but, as many others have found, it's hard to fight upstream so I didn't do much business.

A mutual friend owned and ran the Celtic Markets, as well as the land the Wonka Chocolate Factory was on (Marie's fiance was Willy). She wanted to cut her tier back, and she knew I wanted to own my own mainland, so she offered it to me. My landlord on the half sim wanted more RL money for it than I was either willing, or able, to come up with, so I really couldn't do anything about that, even though I loved the parcel. The drawback with taking over Celtic Markets was that it was a PG parcel. Even so, we thought we could make a decent go of it and I took her up on her offer.

During this time, my good friend Zauber had clued me in on Inworldz, and naturally I went over there to check it out. I didn't stay long however, as my SL businesses demanded most of my time.

I'm leaving a lot of detail out because I could probably write a novelette on everything that has happened. Eventually Willy and Marie got married (another whole story about glitz, glamour, and beautiful handmade venues). We moved to the Markets but eventually closed the club; people are really funny about PG land, even though we were fairly laid-back about what they could or could not do.

Then Linden Labs began to change policy, starting with the TPV at the end of April, and suddenly, things changed radically. It became obvious that they made it difficult to export content, not for the sake of the content creators, as the creators thought, but as a bad business move to try to slow down the exodus of creators caused by their previous flawed policies. This had the effect of making MORE quality creators leave the grid.

In the meantime, Inworldz had been growing and became much more stable, and I began to look at it with a serious eye. Eventually I purchased two sims and the rest is history in the making!
Tags: inworldz, second life, virtual worlds

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