Hi there everyone!
Don't know who's going to read this but someone will. I am going to explain where I have been for the last several months when I haven't been in the chat room.
I have been spending most of my time while being at home in Second Life.
Second life is an amazing 3 dimensional chat platform where you create an avatar of yourself in whatever shape, form, species, color..you name it. Or you can try to recreate your actual self! There are 'islands' (called 'sims') where anything is possible. There are areas that are devoted to Star Trek, Star Wars, Avatar (where I've been spending my time), Victorian, Medieval, Gor (yes everyones heard about that aspect) Steampunk, Mermaids, Fantasy..if you've read it, someone may have made a sim to play there. And yes, there is even a Babylon 5 sim, I've been there. There are recreations of famous historical landmarks and buildings, museums... ::catching breath:: sorry getting carried away.
You can fly, teleport, jump as high as you want, run even be a dragon...! hmmm? The group I'm with is expanding our main hub area to create a more space station look which could also be used and visited by us. I've been helping to create a hydroponics and bio lab area that is just incredibly exciting!
It is a limitless playground for people to create, explore, discuss and even listen to live performers! There is a theater company, a musicians group, businesses and art galleries.
The catch to Second Life is... computer power. A fairly fast processor is needed in order to be able to show the graphics. There is an SL Wiki page where they explain everything that is needed to be able to connect and enjoy Second Life.
To this end:
I have an opportunity to recreate a version of the OWC chat room in Second Life. Yes folks, we could finally actually sit down in a virtual room for chats like we've always imagined. Iggy and Pit Thang can be there as well as the Squid Launcher. I have friends in SL that can help me achieve this dream. And you know what? IT'S ABSOLUTELY FREE!
This is also an opportunity to create an OWC group on SL to bring in hundreds of other sci fi geeks and readers, movie buffs and old farts like us. We have the ability to screen who can join, and even have an EJECT button in the room to remove anyone who pops in unannounced.
So, I have a piece of land and a building that a friend has said I can use for free. I am drawing up a rough floor plan and design incorporating everything that I remember from our chats as far back as AOL that I can remember. We can have a board that connects to the website and our google chat calendar and maybe even a facebook page for the group... the connections are limitless on what we can do.
(Oh and there's a building across the street from this site that has gargoyle's on pillars guarding the neighbors gated entrance...nice touch)
If anyone wants to try it out and see what SL is like, PLEASE contact me FIRST! It can be very confusing for a first time visitor and having someone to guide you through the steps is helpful. They provide an area where everyone first 'lands' when they log on but it is usually crowded and 'laggy'. Having an experienced person that isn't hired to deal with new people (newbies) is much better and... if you have voice capability it is much easier too. I've helped a number of new people in my group as our 'Concierge'.
If anyone wants to check it out without actually going there, I'm sure the wiki page has plenty of images.
(For CeeJay this could also be a venue for your friend to display his artwork and reach an international viewer base!)
It does cost SL money (called Lindens after the creators) if we wanted to create an actual group for people to join. But... it is a one time cost and I have the ability to do that as well (luckily the USD rate exchange to Lindens is extremely low, pennies on the Linden dollar you can be a millionaire in SL for under $20).
I would really like to see the group reach a much bigger audience and bring in more people from all over the world.
I am very excited to present this idea to everyone. I see a potential for our group to expand with new members and see a resurgence in chats through a new venue that hasn't been seen since the beginning in AOL. We can move forward with the technology as it expands and create a presence on the platform of virtual reality.
Thank you for your kind attention.