Its important to note, before going further, that the VWER has every intention on remaining in Second Life and continuing to hold our weekly meetings there. That said, we do believe its a smart, healthy decision for the organization to seek a second home base upon which to grow. Early next year we will begin the search for a new home in Second Life and you can rest assured that our membership will be involved in that just as they were for this recent decision.
I’m thrilled to announce that, through a collaborative effort with the folks at Reaction Grid, we will be starting our own grid called VWERGrid (which should make it easy to find and remember). For those in virtual worlds from which you can hypergrid, you will be able to join us with your existing avatar. More details will be coming soon but our first meeting, in the new, and quite undeveloped space, will be on December 1st from 6:30pm to 7:00pm UTC as part of the IndieMetaverse event. Again, more details on this will follow.
Two important aspects were considered in deciding which direction to go in, the results from the survey and a review of where the market is currently. To go by the numbers, Reaction Grid was selected by 46% of those responding to our survey. In addition to this, a large portion of those who selected one of the other two grids indicated they would consider going to a grid other than the one they selected.
The virtual worlds market is still maturing and needs the patience and care we gave to Second Life not that long ago. In my opinion, Reaction Grid is currently in the best position to support the education community. With folks like Kyle and his amazing team at the helm, and with Pathfinder now supporting our efforts there, I believe, at this point in time, that Reaction Grid has shown the wisdom, support, and wear-with-all, for the VWER to put down some stakes.
Although we will be starting slowly, I expect to ramp up our efforts meeting on the VWERGrid. Like the VWER itself, I have every intention on remaining in Second Life, but I will be focusing my time on the VWERGrid open sim project. This addition of the VWERGrid should not be seen by anyone as an “either-or” scenario in contrast to Second Life, it is “either-and”.
On November 17th, 2009, almost exactly one year ago, we announced the name change to Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable and a refocusing on virtual worlds in general. Here we are today announcing the addition of our own grid. This not only demonstrates what an amazing community of people play such an important part of this group, it also shows how far the market has matured in that short time. The VWER looks forward to continuing the standard of quality you’ve come to expect from our meetings in Second Life as well as to begin helping those who are interested in exploring the virtual universe that is developing around us.