Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Thoughts on Openspace Sims

After Janeforyou Barbara, owner of the Isle of Lesbos properties, added the Oasis of Lesbos (SLurl; initially known as Monte San Leone) there was an empty spot in the sea just begging to have a fourth sim. It always frustrated me that I could see under the ground mesh of the existing sims and that I'd have to cross over a third sim to go between ones that touched only on corners. But it wasn't my land so what could I do?

Over time, activity on the Oasis evolved and focused more and more on jetskis, swimming, and boating, but the land-to-water ratio was high so there was not a lot of room for these activities. Then it hit me ... if Miss Jane added an Openspace sim she could have her yachts and boat races and the Isle could become a huge resort. One night I sent her a note card and sketch and even suggested the name. She must have liked the idea because about 12 hours later the Bay of Lesbos (SLurl) was delivered by Linden Labs®. Now the Isle had a large expanse of water for sailing and a small island for occasional use. In my note suggesting the sim I stressed the prim limits and the idea of light use:
It is therefore important to understand what these regions are. They are provided for light use only, not for building, living in, renting as homes or use for events. As a stretch of open water for boating or a scenic wooded area they are fine, but we do not advise more serious use than this and will not respond to performance issues reported should you not use them in this way (Web).
I think a good balance of utility and asset conservation was struck in creating the Bay.

But now I feel bad about it. Along came the October 27th announcement (Web) that Openspace pricing will increase. Apparently some folks are not using the sims as intended. I guess being given 3750 prims and then told to not build things is confusing especially when Linden Labs® doesn't follow it's own recommendations (Web). Now due partly to this hipocracy I may have cost a good friend some money.

But it is also the fault of users. A friend of mine rents from Ansche Chung Studios (Web) and was told she could swap her small plot on a "regular" sim for an Openspace sim with the same number of prims but four times the space and for the same cost. What is not to love? When I told her about the published limitations that defined "light use" she was a bit confused that the sim owner never mentioned them. Nor is anything about "light use" limitations mentioned in a covenant for an "Openspace,Class 5,Protected View,FULL RIGHTS INCLUED" that my wife is looking at renting. In fact, the covenent starts with "Make your OWN RULES! DO WHATEVER YOU WANT" before discussing only what is pertinent to the estate owner.

The upshot for average residents like me? Ones who can barely afford rent (even the fab sweetheart deal I have) let alone live on an Openspace? There probably won't be a huge effect. Some businesses will move so we will need new landmarks. Others may decide to skip an in-world presence and deal only through XStreet or OnRez. Some folks we know that do live on an Openspace might have to pay more rent or move. All these things happen anyway. On the microeconomic scale this could be a tremor, not an earthquake.

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