With many thanks to Talla Adam who is a member of the Opensim Virtual Community on Google+ I have discovered a writer’s colony in OpenSim. I had never been to OpenSim before so the first thing I had to do was to figure out how to get there.
Fortunately for the purposes of this visit, Nara Malone has an excellent blog post on the matter : An Author’s Guide to the Metaverse & How to visit Greyville Colony. After following those instructions I found myself at the Writers and Readers Colony at Greyville. Those who know how to use OpenSim will need to create an account for Naras Nook or go to world.narasnook.com:8900. I’m not sure how this works with Hypergrid.
The welcome centre has a very useful notecard, which is so useful that it basically writes this blog for me! Now the first thing to note is that this is a work in progress. Nara Malone is the brains behind this, she’s the lady whose blog post I linked to above. The notecard includes details of the mission:
My mission here is to introduce authors to the power of the metaverse and all the ways it can inspire stories and assist in creating and promoting their work. I welcome suggestions and content from authors and readers. I expect to see lots of characters interacting with avatars and roaming all the regions here at Nara’s Nook. I have 16 regions for experimenting, exploring and inspiration. I don’t imagine I’ll ever be finished adding to them.
Inside the welcome centre I noticed notice boards for the following authors : Marilyn Campbell, Tracey Livesay, Nara Malone, Shannon Emmel, Leah St. James, Shara Lanel, Sofie Couch, Alexa Day, Siobhan Muir, Elvie Howard, Tina Glasneck, Kelly Jamieson, Denise Golonowski and Brandi Evans.
There are a number of buildings around and again I’ll use the notecard to describe some of the buildings there.
Writer’s Resource Center: The big brick building is the writer’s resource area. There is a classrooom for workshops, a self-guided tutorial area, and a library. I’m adding content as fast as I can. On the right, as soon as you walk through the main door, you will find information on all the authors currently a part of this grand experiment. There a few freebie objects in the library you might find useful.
Internet Cafe: Directly across the street from the landing area is the Dungeon Gourmet’s Internet Cafe. There are laptops there with internet access. Drop in and work on your novel, the page is set to yarn.me, a cloud wordprocessor that works here inworld. It will also allow you to save work to your computer. Try your hand at Yatze. Have a nice couple chat by the fire.
Avatar Essentials: Next door to the cafe you’ll find complete avatars and a few very basic articles of clothing. Click on the avatar you want and wear the items to change the look of your default avatar. Take copies of several avatars and mix and match items to get a more customized look.
Nara Art: A gallery of art created around the novels I am working on.
Fire Circle: A cozy place for author meetings and for community members to gather and chat.
Hypergrid Hub: The big gray building is a hypergrid hub with destinations to other regions here at Nara’s Nook and to favorite spots Greyville members like to visit. Walk through a doorway and discover new worlds.
Tea and Strumpets Bookshop: Courtesy of the TeanStrumpets.com bloggers we have a book shop where you can browse the book offerings, catch an author talk, or just meet and chat with other book loving avatars.The book shop is all the way at the end of this street across from the fireside chat.
Crate and Barrels: A variety of crates and barrels of avatar clothing and accessories, plus a barrel of items authors will find useful. Clone creation tools. More stuff to be coming soon.
Glass Slipper: A little refreshment bar with music. Just click the radio and set the station you like. There is a patio for dancing. You can dance with Rob Bot (character from I Rob Bot by Nara Malone), Alexandra Anderson (character from Christmas Dance by Leah St. James), or bring your own partner.
Just next door you’ll find Author Shara Lanel’s house and interactive activities centered around characters from her novels.
Across the street from Shara’s house is the Passionate Reads bookshop where you can find information about the Passionate Reads authors who are also a part of this colony.
Siobhan Muir’s Dragon Palace is right opposite Passionate Reads.
Projects currently in the works for addition to Greyville: Kelly Jamieson’s Hockey player ice skating with visitors at the lake. Shara Lanel has a tarot reader in the works. G-Man from Friday 55 will be cruising streets on a Harley.. Leah St James will has a ghost project we’ll have complete before Halloween. And that’s just here at Greyville. Keep checking back as there is always something new n the works at Nara’s Nook.
Ok back to me, notecard is finished! Another thing to note here is that although I’ve centred on Naras Nook for this post, there’s a bigger project at play here, which Nara talks more about in another blog post : Hypregrid Stories Project: Building Community Across Virtual Worlds. Nara explains the goal of the project in that post:
The overall goal is to build community across the borders of our hypergrid worlds while we are building stories to entertain the citizens of the metaverse.
Now that project isn’t just Hypergrid related, they are also including Second Life in this, which is good to read. Whereas there’s a wall between Second Life and Hypergrid it’s good to see that participants are willing to ignore the wall for a community project such as this.
Siobhan Muir of passionate reads also has a blog post on the project : Enter the Dream World of OpenSim Interactive Fiction
One initial observation is that this project is very female. I do not know if that is by choice or coincidence, I suspect coincidence because nowhere does it say that this is a female project. However as a fan of storytelling this very definitely a project that has caught my attention and I’ll be interested to see how it progresses.