Ina Centaur has announced both inworld via notecards and on Ina’s blog, that The Shakespeare, Primtings, sLiterary and Skin City sims will be axed on or around October 29th. This comes as no surprise to anyone who has been part of these groups inworld, Ina has appeared to be disgruntled for some time.
If we rewind to May, Ina blogged a farewell here. I think it’s fair to say that Ina had became increasingly disillusioned with the financial aspects in running Second Life sims and that the loss of not for profit tier discounts has bitten hard. The story is a tale of woe, Ina was involved with an art aspect with regards to Primtings and the Metaverse Shakespeare Company, I’m more familiar with the latter.
The thing is, it’s not as if Ina didn’t try to raise revenue, the Metaverse Shakespeare Company offered a whole load of ways for people to sponsor their efforts or donate to keeping stage productions alive in Second Life, there were also tickets for opening night and season ticket deals. However, as many have mentioned before getting people to pay in Second Life for an attraction is problematic, because so few do pay for entry, although plenty of folk do tip.
Let’s take a look at a notecard that was sent out in promotion of Metaverse Shakespeare company’s Twelfth Night Act Three performance in December 2010:
“Twelfth Night – Act 3 – opens December 7 @ 6 PM and December 12 @ 1 PM (Euro)
Act now to secure your placement in our programme booklet!
The SL Shakespeare Company offers logo placement for your brand in our play programmes. Beautiful, unique, and distinctive ― imagine your brand showcased with the classiest brand in the metaverse, the SL
Play programmes are distributed at each corresponding live show, and also permanently in free dispensers at the SL Globe Theatre and the SL Globe Theatre Gift Shop, as well as on the web. They contain detailed
information about each production, and are especially heavy on the visuals.
Many of our live public shows receive over two hundred audience members present at the same time in our 4-sim venue. On average Hundreds of programmes are distributed inworld each month, and our website receives hundreds of thousands of hits per month. Each logo placement in a programme is an affordable L$1000, once and forever ― because, a play programme is forever.* (Price valid until 12/7/2010)
Samples of our past Play Programmes are available in the Play Programme sponsorship kiosks at the Globe Theatre or http://programmes.mshakespeare.com
If you’re interested in purchasing a space for your brand, simply drop by our venue, and pay the Programme Sponsorship Kiosk. Next, please email us a copy of your logo at production@SLshakespeare.com (Make sure you add in this keyword to the subject line: PROGRAMME).
* Note, we reserve the right to deny placement for brands that become unlawful or violate intellectual property principles. No refunds are possible with this sponsorship package.
Headquartered in the virtual world of Second Life (SL), the Metaverse Shakespeare Company (MSC) is the flagship project of sLiterary’s Virtual Reality Shakespeare Initiative (VRSI). MSC is a professional virtual theatre company that embraces the best of what the metaverse has to offer. While it is primarily known to provide quality live Shakespearean theatre available to anyone in any location, MSC is also the curator of the most historically accurate theatres and architecture in virtual worlds relating to William Shakespeare.
Press Center: http://mshakespeare.com/press
Examples of past programmes are free at the SL Globe Theatre Gift Shop
and several other dispenser locations, and also viewable on the web
directly at http://programmes.mshakespeare.com”
So as we can see it’s not as if Ina wasn’t aware of money raising aspects, but the problem seems to be more one of trying to keep the sim busy enough to warrant a theatre, it was a nice build and it’s a very nice concept, but we have to wonder really, would it be better if there was a central theatre or two that people could rent from Linden Lab for events at affordable rates rather than trying to keep four sims going, especially when there are no performances going on?
Whereas I have sympathy for Ina’s plight, I feel there are a distinct lack of suggestions on how to put things right on Ina’s posts, they come across as extremely angry, especially the latest one which has some extreme criticism of Linden Lab, criticism of Linden Lab isn’t new and I’m no stranger to dishing out criticism myself but we’re at a time now where constructive criticism is also needed when it comes to ventures such as the one Ina has tried to bring to Second Life. There’s no easy answer to the tier problem and just asking for tier to be cut or waived for this venture or that venture isn’t going to help long term.
Entertainment is one area where Second Life can thrive, the arts can add to that entertainment but to get there Linden Lab need to hear from people, they also need to respond to people, it has to be a two way street, I’m sure more can be done, but what exactly that entails isn’t so easy to finger.
I am disappointed to see the curtain coming down here, but Ina is doing nobody any favours by stomping off in this fashion, there are some fair criticisms of Linden Lab in Ina’s posts, but there are also criticisms that come across as petulant, which will mean they are dismissed by many, meaning Ina’s good points are missed.