I canceled my regions on Digiworldz. Reading this announcement pushed me over the edge; I have personal (nanowrimo, avatarfest, VM hobbies taking more of my time) and financial reasons (RL rent increases) but largely I don’t want to be throwing money into an effort that I firmly believe will end up hurting open source content across the hypergrid.
Then there is this G+ post from Shaun Emerald which has some potentially nasty implications. It’s bad enough to have fragmentation caused by commercial interests, but “not invented here” turf battles can be just as divisive and just as destructive.
The SL-based market is shrinking, the larger grids are blaming the smaller grids and many of the larger grid fanbois are becoming vicious in their astroturfing, which has cost me a friendship. I think this is going to result in their being a lot toxic drama coming to the metaverse. A good friend of mine suggests treating it like a kid throwing a tantrum, and I think she’s right –still, it will end up driving people away needlessly.
When things get weird, the weird…put on a festival.
I have had a great volunteer turnout and reception to my “Avatar Fest” celebration coming this November. I suspect I’m mis-guided in this, but I’m hoping to get some idea of the strength and depth of the non-commerical, end user community out there by putting this on. Going to events I know that for every person you see on a forum, there’s scores hanging out inworld. The trick is to draw them out, get them to work together, and fortify one another to withstand the coming shitstorm.
I believe we’re on the verge of experiencing something akin to the virtual world version of the Unix Wars and and we will see a lot of nasty marketing, astroturfing, needless incompatibilities, closing off of trade and it will get very grim.
I believe that we can survive it, I don’t know what the future of commercial grids are …whether on the hypergrid or closed entirely… but I see the potential for artists, creators, roleplayers and small communities to hold on tight to the open source, open travel, open exchange metaverse and weather the storm caused by commercial turmoil. We can do it by networking inworld and over neutral ground such as G+ and nurturing a community that transcends software versions and closed/open divisions.
…Or maybe we’ll just devolve to a handful of isolated folk running servers on our aging desktops. That’s not so bad, I don’t mind being The King of the World but I’m confident that it won’t come to that…if we form the bonds now, it doesn’t have to, at least.