Bettina Tizzy’s blog post about OpenLife as an alternative to Second Life made me very curious. As a lot of SL content creators disappointed by Linden Lab’s latest change to land pricing seem to be looking for alternatives now, I decided to register my avatar name there as well and take a peek into this strange new world.
I downloaded the recommended viewer at the OpenLife homepage and was delighted to see that I could choose both my first and last name freely. Yay! After I had finished the registration process, I found myself eye in eye with the new “OpenMe” – and I am telling you, it wasn’t a pretty sight!
The OpenLife viewer has a very similar feel to the SL viewer and I was glad to find Windlight working as well. A major criterion for me as Flickr addict! Another surprise was that I started with some cash, although I am not sure anymore how much it was. I could have sworn that it was L$10,000, but now it shows only $L1000. So either I remember it wrong, it somehow changed in the course of a day or I got seriously ripped off when getting some of those freebies.
After a few steps I stumbled upon notice boards with tutorials and a bunch of ruth clones changing their appereance. In contrast to SL, I first had to create a new shape over my inventory menu, which I then could tweak and modify.
I also met Sakai Openlife, the founder of this alternative grid and he gave me a few landmarks. One of them brought me to Exodus, a little medieval village, where I found a free avatar with prim hair and prim skirt and finally felt more human/virtual. Yay for more freebies!
I went back earlier this evening and found another little shop with a few free things, one of them a box with prim hair styles and I swear, I know some of them by name from my SL newbie days (“Minerva” anyone?). There I also met another SLer, Emileigh Starbrook, but unfortunately our friendship requests did not seem to go through, meaning I am still friendless there *sighs*. We both tried teleporting back to the OpenLife Islands, but crashed. After several more failed login and teleport attempts I finally gave up for today.
My first impressions of OpenLife? It is very slow, it doesn’t work properly yet and the infrastructure is still at its beginnings. I miss my huge inventory with my mystitool, AO, clothes, avatars, my landmarks, my home and most importantly, my friends.
Will I return? Yes, because I enjoy the feeling of being a “pioneer” and being able to witness the beginnings of a new virtual universe. When I joined SL in 2007, it was a well established world with good content, infrastructure and a large community. I love to listen to tales of older residents about “those days” without prim hair and with system skirts only. I once read somewhere that in the earlier days of SL people used vehicles much more because there were no direct teleports available – absolutely fascinating! OpenLife is still in its beta version and I am sure many of its problems will be sorted out soon. I can’t wait to see how this world will develop in the future, especially if SL content creators will start building over there (although I really hope that SL will not be left deserted at some time in the future). And if you choose to register there as well, please try to add me as friend. 🙂