I’ve been trying to visit multiple virtual worlds (at least one per week, outside of SL) to see how other grids are growing as potentials for educational hosts.
Inworldz has been gaining a lot of attention lately–granted, not all of it good. It seems a lot of the former SL users who have tired of what they see as Linden Labs’ bad decisions have begun looking for other virtual homes. Inworldz is just one of the grids that is catching these evacuees.
Victoriana is one of the larger areas that used to be hosted in Second Life. However, after a series of mis-handling by Linden Lab employees, the owner decided to take his business elsewhere. What has happened since is a blooming of SL designers who work in Victorian era styles have now crossed grids, working on new designs in Inworldz, many of which are not available in Second Life.
So, my curiosity in high gear, I decided to check things out. My former visits to Inworldz had not gone so well. The lag defeated any thoughts of travelling far from the orientation area. Also, search doesn’t work correctly yet. I was trying to use the search feature in the Hippo multi-grid viewer and continually picked up SL search, rather than Inworldz. On this visit, I downloaded the Inworldz viewer, so I could (for example) pull up a webpage of groups using the search, but couldn’t join them as the feature’s not been fully developed.
There’s a way to get around this, however. If you happen to visit Inworldz and want to get around, if you know the name of the area you want to visit, you can use the map and type the area name into the search there. That’s how I managed to find Victoriana.
The owners have certainly done a grand job with the design of the place.
Educators might ask why places like Victoriana are so important. On a personal level, I’ve been wanting to put together a virtual “educational museum” like what we had in the U.S. just prior to and around the turn of the 20th century. Something like that would fit right in to a Victorian-themed virtual area. (I’m fascinated by such museums as they really started the field I’m now in–educational technology.) On a more global level, people like the founders of Victoriana are really the pioneers on these new grids–taking the tribulations and quirks of a system that doesn’t always work and still managing to make something very pleasing and special. They’re the very people who work through the bugs in the system so later “virtual settlers” don’t have to.
If you’d like to visit Victoriana in Inworldz, first go to the Inworldz website (http://inworldz.com/) and register for an account. Then download the Inworldz viewer (use the dropdown “downloads” tab at the top of the site’s front page to find the correct one for your system). Once you log in, you’ll land at the orientation area (you may want to spend some time here, picking up various freebies and changing your look). You can access the map by clicking on the map button at the bottom of the screen, then type in “Victoriana” into the search bar, click enter, and double click on the map anywhere it says Victoriana. Ta-da, you’re there!