Monday, January 28, 2019

Islandz, Successor Grid to Inworldz, Closing Down

Following the closing of the InWorldz grid in July 2018, once second only in Second Life in size among open-ended virtual worlds, there were hopes among many of it's residents that Beth Reischl (Elenia Llewellyn) would get a new grid up and running. Finally on November 14, her new virtual world Islandz was online and open to all, especially former residents. Over time, some of InWorldz' residents moved in, and the grid grew slowly, eventually encompassing a few dozen sims.

Then on Saturday, Elenia dropped a bombshell. Islandz would soon be closing as she had run out of money to the point of being about to lose her home.

I'm just going to throw this out there now... the grid is not sustainable. We knew what our break even point was, we're not even remotely close. I'm being evicted from my home, my date of move out is Feb. 11. My mother is about to be evicted from her home because I'm working up here so they hiked her rent up as it's the same landlady. My phone is completely shut off. I have no electricity, hence why I'm up by my Mother's condo during the day. I've tried to sell my motorcycle in the States to no avail as it's not riding season.

People are disheartened at the lack of content we could restore, and I don't blame them
So, this is where we are at right now.

I woke up at 7 am trying to figure out the best way to say all this and I'm just beyond stressed, depressed and disheartened at this point.

Elenia stated she had kept things going about as long as she could, "That is where I'm at right now. I'm tired of crying every day, tired of stressing every day. ... I'm maxed out, in every way shape and form. ... I can't do this fight anymore. I have cried myself to sleep more times this past month than I care to admit to." Of the OARs content files, as she had to concentrate on her real-life family's needs, she didn't have the time to go through them to determine which content the creators had given their okay to use outside InWorldz and which didn't, "so I will simply email them out. ... no matter what I do, some of you will not be happy. ... I'd LOVE to give you all filtered oars, really, but I can't."

The response was some people upset that once again their grid was closing, plus content creators upset that their protection was gone. Elina thanked her fans for their continuing support over the months, "you guys have been great, seriously." To those who were upset at her, "I'm done with the metaverse. ... I have zero, zilch, zip, nada, just maxed out credit cards. ... I'm done. I have literally lost everything. Sorry if you all don't get that." After about an hour, Elenia made her last comment.

Over the weekend, people would continue to comment in Discord chat. Some were confused, "can someone tell me please what is going on, the only thing I read when I scroll back is that a lot of ppl are upset." Some were upset, "I am a consumer who was screwed royally." But there were many comments expressing sadness with little or no anger over their home closing once more and sadness for Elina's financial state. "Give Ele time to get over the emotion of what she told us today. It's a harder blow for her than for any of us." "This is very sad news. I have the greatest respect and admiration for Jim and Ele for fighting like lions to get Islandz up and running. I have the greatest respect for all the people I have met in Islandz who worked like Trojans to provide us all with free content. I have nothing but respect for all the selfless work done by so many here. It has been an amazing community and I am proud to have known you all." "My heart goes out to you Jim Tarber  and especially to Elenia. You have both moved heaven and earth to try to bring us back all together in Islandz. I appreciate all the months of hard work, sweat and tears you have put in. You both have my full respect for what you have done so far and tried to accomplish FOR ALL OF US."

Jim Tarber told people not to start another Gofundme to keep the grid afloat. He would go on to say, "I actually had a plan after IW shutdown to just fire up a couple of recovery servers and provide filtered OAR exports for folks for other grids. I didn't think it was realistic to try to recover everything on a new grid, with all the legal and ethical headaches (and costs) associated with that.  In hindsight, that would have saved a lot of trouble. However, Ele was so moved by the support of the community that she decided to try anyway. I'll give her credit for continuing when I didn't think it possible. But the real world has finally caught up."

There is some talk of a final farewell party. But unlike the last days of InWorldz, there is no talk of a successor grid. The only options are to choose between the Opensim worlds, or perhaps somewhere else like VRChat, Sansar, and of course Second Life. As for Elenia Llewellyn/Beth Reischl, it looks like sadly this will be the last we hear of her, at least for a long time.

Hat tip: Oldesoul Eldemar

Bixyl Shuftan

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