More bad news…

Editorial (supplement)

I’m sorry to report that Karma (InstantKarma Resident) has opted to close, hopefully temporarily, the Lost Garden naturist sim citing high tier costs. I fully understand the decision.

For those who weren’t familiar with the sim, Lost Garden was ‘primitive’ in that Karma kept it all very, very simple and somehow in doing so made it very, very special, somewhere to get away from the constant shopping mall experience and relax in a very unspoilt land where the emphasis landed firmly on the social, chatty element of SL that is sometimes missing from many sims, naturist or otherwise.

I sincerely hope he will be back, but I do understand that, in times of economic hardship, we all watch the pennies carefully, and need to be grateful to those who do shell out real money to provide the playground(s) we like to spend spare time in.

I’ve looked long and hard at creating my own naturist sim as well, probably a partial recreation of my favourite RL naturist location, Vera Playa in Spain, but as with Karma I cannot justify the tier costs and do need to channel my hard-earned cash elsewhere.

Linden Labs must take some of the blame here. My understanding is that server costs continue to fall dramatically, but LL’s tier costs have never reflected this (perhaps someone can clarify this). They continue to be quite high for what is, let’s face it, a game we play occasionally or regularly and in the middle of a recession/depression, call it what you will, we’re in a bind. SL will continue to haemorrage good designers, builders, terraformers unless LL address the issue of weekly costs.

As I see it, we have a problem of sorts (SL naturists or not, as the issue affects all sims). Reducing the cost of tiers would encourage new users/players to build and develop their own places, and possibly benefit the game as a whole. Not everyone has a US/western European level of disposable income, and what’s disposable income to us is a fortune in, say, the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) economies. These are huge markets, and LL could, in theory, be laying foundations for a much ore popular game by making server costs much lower for people there (and possibly also have the benefit of making the pervading SL culture less American/European-centric, and encouraging players to build sims more in the style of their real existence. I, for one, would love the experience of walking through an Indian countryside with Indian homes, populated by Indian players in Indian styles of dress while listening to Indian music on the audio feeds as cows roam freely in the fields). We don’t all have to have a SL Ferrari parked outside an SL condominium.

In the context of SL naturism, we find ourselves reduced in choice. There are still some great, great sims out there, and maybe the upside to this is that we coalesce into a more tightly knit SL naturist community. What do you think?

Or are we reaching a point where some of us begin to form some sort of co-operative, and maybe think of pooling our resources, talents, skills into the creation of a new, group-owned naturist world in SL. I know what I can afford to spend each month, and I’d be happy to be part of a co-op that starts new, or seeks to expand an existing naturist world within SL. Might this be a way forward?


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