Friday, June 11, 2010

The Questions You Should Ask When Expanding to OpenSim Grids

If SpotON3D is not the grid for you, that kewl. It would be impossible for any one company or grid to meet the demand of such a diverse and passionate community. We still want to help out anyway we can. These questions are designed to help you evaluate the risks and limits as you explore all your options, rather than eliminate any grids.


1. Does the gird have a certified https:// website?

2. Under About US or CONTACT US do you find a reference to real world contact information, i.e. phone, email that associates with their dot com, physical mail address -not a post office box.

3. Do the founders/exec staff use real identities or game character names?

4. Are you given contact information that clearly identifies the owners, their physical address, a working phone number and email addresses that are answered within 3 to 7 days?

5. If needed, would you have enough information make a complaint to the Better Business Bureau or even the legal authorities where you live?

6. Do they have a user verification system to minimize griefing risks?

7. Do they have a working economy? If so, is it based upon trading one virtual currency for another, like VWallet for Lindens? If so, can you identify the person(s) behind that system in real world terms?

8. Do they have a system in place and staff to deal with griefing and copy bot risks?

9. How do they handle minors on the grid? Is the grid segregated to keep kids that might come in out of areas they should not be in? How would they handle a report of a pedophile? What is their stance on child avatars?

10. How are payments for land & products handled – through a recognized subscription service like PayPal or manually?

11. Can you cash out via trusted money system like PayPal?

12. Do they provide records of all payments for product, services and land rentals?

13. Do they have a TOS in place?

14. Is the grid’s structure based on a peer-2-peer hosting or a hosted solution? A peer2peer grid is where you host your own sim and link up to their central asset server for storage of the communities content? Or is it a fully hosted solution like Second Life® or SpotON3D™? If the second is true, then is the grid hosted on someone’s home server system or a professional co-location?

15. What would happen to your content if you were to have to leave? Would they reserve The right to continue to use, distribute or sell your content on their grid or through a web based selling system, or would it only exist in the inventories of those you sold to and your own avatars?

16. Does the grid have a system in place to report and/or resolve social and legal disputes through?

17. What is the grid's stance on legal Intellectual Property Rights? Some folks believe simply don't believe in IP or copyrights and see no reason to respect such laws. You need to ask subtle questions to determine where they truly stand in this issue if you hope to use the grid in question as a secure selling destination. The easiest way to do this is to ask if its okay to bring in sculpts and textures you've purchased from SL. If they don't ask you to get the permissions of the original seller, or have a 'no see-no hear-no speak" stance on such things, then that is most likely a good example of how much they would respect your work in someone else's hands.

We hope these questions help you in your exploration of the many wonderful grids available on through the Virtual World community. SpotON3D will be hosting community events for all the virtual would community in hopes that we can rebuild bridges to the many folks who have left out of heartache, frustration and financial redress. These are hard times indeed, but together we can make something even better - let the phoenix rise again.

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