Word reaches me (via an SL friend who isn’t a naturist) of a new grid going ‘live’ in January. I’ve not got any details beyond the fact that it will allegedly offer a full sim, with loads of prims, for around US$30 per month. This is great news if there’s any truth behind the rumour, as it will ‘democratise’ SL (or an equivalent) to a large degree.
I know many north American and European players regard their SL activities as ‘pocket money’ prices, but the entire globe doesn’t enjoy north American or European levels of ‘disposable income’. I know this is something Emmanuelle discussed on her blog when I was writing for her, and I would echo her sentiments. There is huge untapped potential for SL in the ‘BRIC’ economies (that’s Brazil, Russia, India and China, for those who don’t follow global economics), and hauling in players from those countries would benefit SL enormously, presuming we haven’t actually poisoned them to aspire to Old and New World ‘values’.
If this new grid is a reality, it excites me because, even as a European player, I have only got a certain amount of ‘disposable income’ to spend on what is a hobby (or any other hobby for that matter). My SL activity revolves around my family, and thus I’m always keenly aware of the need to balance the time, and outlay, against other, more pressing financial needs, particularly in a depressed global economic climate.
IF the rumour is true, IF it runs as smoothly (or as glitchily! 🙂 ) as Linden Labs version, IF the costs are correct and IF I can import my stuff into the new grid, then I’m massively interested in opening up and running my own naturist sim on that grid. Imagine a full, green, forested and relatively unspoilt (certainly by commercialism) sim, which doesn’t require huge volumes of traffic to make for any sort of justification for its existence. Watch this space, because I would certainly be thinking of settling in for a long term commitment to the project, 2-3 years at least, if it all comes off.
Mention of Emmanuelle reminds me that her self-imposed hiatus from SL and her blog must be ending in a couple of weeks and I, for one, hope to see her back in SL, along with some of the friends I made amongst the staff when writing for her. I’ve already contacted a couple of them, Diane and Vajeena, about doing some stuff for ‘SL Naturist’ if they’re keen.