An era, of sorts, has come to an end. The official presence of Montclair State University in Second Life has officially gone from 3 regions to 2. Montclair State CHSSSouth went POOF tonight, and disappeared into the ether, taking many memories with it.
CHSSSouth was the last of the MSU islands and was originally funded through an end-of-the-year grant from MSU’s Office of Information Technology. Our OIT was generous enough to continue to fund this region beyond the one-year grant. When Linden Lab announced that they were, in effect, doubling MSU’s cost on the island, it provided an opportunity for the university to assess its land usages. It was decided that the island would not be renewed.
At that same time, MSU began experimenting with opensim instances and now has its own hosted opensim grid. So, in essence, we got rid of one region and picked up four for a fraction of the cost. For what MSU was using that space for, an opensim alternative is more than suitable. In fact, its given us the opportunity to try things we could not in Second Life, thanks to the control we have over the servers.
Other than what MSU used the space for (faculty office space other than for classes, replica of a building that is just now actually being completed on our actual campus and ready to open soon, and some classroom space) CHSSSouth was known for two things: The VWER Meetings and the Free Land Initiative. The VWER has since found a wonderful home on the Bowling Green Virtual Campus. The Free Land Initiative was taken over by the VWER and moved to its own opensim grid hosted and sponsored by ReactionGrid. In June of this year, ReactionGrid notified the VWER that it could no longer maintain the sponsorship relationship and needed to shut down the VWERGrid. This put an end to the Educators Land Initiative.
The faculty space on CHSSSouth has moved to MSU’s opensim grid. The Finely Hall recreation and language classroom have been relocated to Montclair State CHSS, which is our original island. The disposition of that after its maintenance expires in April of 2012 is still in question.