It’s party time! Craft grid celebrates its first birthday this week. Sim Jubilee is the main venue for the event, which starts tomorrow, Tuesday, 25th January. Artists and builders have been working hard to show off how much the grid has accomplished in just twelve months.

There’s an exhibition of photos taken over the past year, a music venue, and displays of the wide variety of activities and interests of the grid residents, from physics to pirates.

How did the grid get going? The owners explain, standing next to by their sim-sized cruise ship.
Licu Rau: Well, what happened is this. Carlos Roundel, the owner of Cyberlandia, decided to try a different grid organization, with a central grid (Cyberlandia) and other sims not linked in grid, but autonomous. We thought we could solve the problem to send IM and teleport between different grids and hypergrids but were not able to do that. So I organised my sims like a grid making a ‘home’ for Tao and myself, and Tosha and Lumiere.

Tao Quan: Craft is a baby which we have nursed.
Licu Rau: There are some interesting projects we are achieving.
Tao Quan: There is a game sim, like a paper chase, on White Heat. There is the beautiful landscape of delta, and the underwater seaworld of aquarium there is the restaurant of Lyth, our poet, and come RP sims. There’s the beach and yacht at Playa.

The greatest challenge has been keeping pace with the growth of Craft, from just two people to around 500 in less than 12 months. The joy has been seeing their expectations come true. They have not actively sought new residents, but the numbers have grown partly because when Cyberlandia closed, the old website directed previous users to Craft, and partly thanks to the arrival of the Museo del Metaverso, (seen here from above) which has actively recruited artists, and made them welcome on their numerous sims.
(..and Yes, I am aware that my skybox is very pink.)
Licu Rau: it has been difficult at the beginning to gain the trust of people.Many people were going to osgrid and advised us to go there too. For us, it’s a question of freedom.
Tao Quan: …and companionship, too. I wandered alone in SL for months, and here I found friendship, friends who are there is you do not feel well or are alone. There is always someone here to talk to to comfort you if you are feeling down.
Another great difference, is, of course, the lack of money. In Craft almost everyone is a builder, and sharing, rather than selling, is the norm. As the grid grows the sharing becomes more organized, with a texture library and soon a sculpty library too. On the Craft Store sim, close to Hydra the Welcome sim, you’ll find freebie shops for clothes and a Garden Centre full of free plants and trees. A literature library, to be opened in the grid meeting place, is also in the works.

Change can be a two edge sword. Do they worry that Craft might change in a way that they did not plan?
Tao Quan: It is up to us to ensure that we do not fall into those traps.
Licu Rau: What I am noticing is that there is a sort of selection of people whoo come here. Only people who like the way we doe things seem to stay; it’s a sort of natural selection. This is the beauty of opensim. You have several choices, so if you don’t like here, you go somewhere else!
Tao Quan: It is hard for people coming from SL at first, but we do try to integrate people, make them feel welcome, and some people begin to enjoy the new way.

Lumiere Noir, the creator of SL’s building mecca The Ivory Tower of Primitives has a been a Craft resident pretty much from from the start, and is making an equivalent construction for Craft,  on sim Sophia, where builders young and old can come and learn techniques and problem solving tricks. The new building has an organic feel to it, part of Lumiere’s move towards buildings that grow with the landscape, rather than imposing themselves on it. Sim Sophia is also the home of Paidos Woodall’s Sloodle-based learning centre.

But it’s sim Jubilee where most of the action is taking place. For the celebration, Jo Ellesmere and the  Odyssey group have an install, as do Lollito Larkham and Artistide Despres‘ Saltimbanques, and the Cassiopea group and you can also see the gorgeous art of Frau Ra, peeped at in the above photo, our good friends from CARP Diabolus, and other builders and artists too numerous to mention. But my favourite place is sitting on the little island off Locus, watching Oberon Onmura‘s twin sims Elena and Titania with their tower and mountains, as the lights and shapes play hide and seek with the shadows.

The first anniversary fun starts tomorrow Tuesday 25th January. See you there!


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