My first Gimme Six article featured the Hosoi Ichiba sim group. Unlike other games, the places we love are subject to radical change. A couple of weeks ago it looked like this beautiful group of sims would be lost forever when it was announced the sims would be closing within a month. In the days following the announcement, many people came together with new ideas and alternative plans.
Yesterday, agreements were made with residents of Hosoi sims and sim creator & owner Amiryu Hosoi. These agreements lead to an immediate change but also preserve two of Hosoi’s greatest treasures, Japan Kansai and Japan Chubu. The China Wall and the Hosoi Ichiba marketplace at Japan Kanto will be are now closed. The closings are sad and a loss, but the two diamonds of the group remain, the role play sims.
Here is an article posted on Hosoi Ichiba blog, “A Possible Solution and a New Start…”
Although work on connecting Japan Kansai and Japan Chubu has just begun, this morning I took a quick trip over to Kansai, then made my way across the sim to the new gate leading to Chubu. Here are a couple of photos of the new beginning.
I made a quick tour of the region, camming here and there, and I feel it’s not quite time for us to feature the new sim group. However, all of the beloved features of these two sims remain.
Note: There is much praise to go around to those who saved Hosoi, but I want to give a shoutout to our own Canary Beck and her partner, Harvey Crabsticks. The couple went to work with Ami to help find a viable solution. This is an example of what is best about Second Life, when a community comes together to keep the community whole.
15 thoughts on “Hosoi Ichiba’s New Beginning”
It’s good that they’ve restructured into a similarly-impressive location, but I hope that they have a plan in place that lets them continue to function without having to resort to high-profile Save Our Sim stunts. SOS does not work as a long-term business plan.
Yes, SOS is not a plan for the future. From what I understand there are substantial commitments from those with vested interests, including the geisha community.
Reblogged this on Being Yordie Sands and commented:
I want to re-blog this on Being Yordie because Amiryu Hosoi’s sims have played an important part of my second life. In my chat with Ami yesterday, she seemed very upbeat about the future. She also sees building an interface between Japan Kansai (the geisha’s flowertown) and Japan Chubu (home of the Shogun and samurai).
So awesome Yordie! Thanks so much for keeping us updated!
Way to go Becky! Fantastic! I hope you’ll post something about this great news whenever you have a chance! 🙂
I spoke with Ami last night and she feels that most everything is in place, but we talked about the wall between the two sims and I could tell that she isn’t quite satisfied yet. So, stay tuned from both of us.
Out of interest from an obvious SL noob: how do communities like these form and why do they have to disappear like this one? It’s hard for me to follow what’s going on here.
Nevertheless, I can imagine it’s a sad day if a familiar environment get threatened. On the other hand, I can imagine that you enjoy the moments you have more if you know it’s only temporarily (opposed to the pretty static worlds of games).
I remember when Amiryu began building Hosoi Ichiba. She started by creating the great market as a place to sell her Japanese and Chinese furniture. However, she had a garden in the center of her market. In the garden there were Tai Chi balls and every day there’d be people who came to participate in the exercise. This is where it all began.
In time, Ami added more features to her sim, and more sims to feature the products she created. She created differently themed area and she sought geisha and apprentice geisha to more or less be part of the environment. Eventually she opened an okiya, a geisha house, and that was the start of real role play. Something similar happened with the samurai region.
The entire community was funded by the great marketplace, but as the economies of the world softened and SL seemed to stagnate, Hosoi sales softened. That’s it in a nutshell.
Ahhh now I understand! Thanks for the explanation, it’s a beautiful but sad story.
SL is free to play, but there are various ways to spend money in-world. Some of these put money in the hands of the platform provider, Linden Lab, some put money in the hands of other organizations or individuals. I suppose it’s kind of like playing Zynga or Angry Birds on Facebook.
I could make a t-shirt, or a sword, or a house, and put them for sale for anyone who wants to pay me. In fact, the SL fashion industry is HUGE both in terms of number of peeps who sell stuff and amount of virtual / real money changing hands.
But, like IRL I suppose, the biggest ticket item is real estate. They talk about “owning” land in SL, but really, all land, or “server space” is “rented” from LL. I suppose IRL you can “own” land, but you still have to pay property tax year after year. So in the end no one really “owns” anything. Then again, we’re mortal beings, so maybe “renting” is all anything really is anyway.
The base unit of “rental” in SL is the Region. It’s often called a “sim,” which is a term everyone understands although it’s technically incorrect, since more than 1 region can fit on a simulator (CPU) But it’s not a lot, is it 2 or 3 regions per machine? Something like that. Yordie’s frequent complaints about “sim crossings” is because even though your speedboat is just moving across continuous water… your data is crossing a “sim border” and everything is moving to a different server.
Anyway, a Region is 256 x 256 meters. Or 6.5 hectares. Like IRL before airplanes, you sort of “own” the sky too. You can build anywhere up to 4km in the sky. A “full” region comes with 15,000 prims. Like many things, 15,000 can be an insanely lot, or disappear in no time, depending on how you work.
In SL a 6.5 hectare, 15,000 prim region is USD 300 / month. Or USD 3,600 / year. That’s SO much money!
On the SL clone grid “InWorldz” the regions cost 1/4 the money, and they have 3x the prims. So effectively rents are 1/12 of the SL price.
For me personally IW doesn’t run as well. Although others say it runs just fine for them. The traffic there is way less. Like way less than 1/12 of SL. So if you just want to create, IW (or another of the MANY “clone grids”) is a way better deal than SL.
In SL the world is always full of people. But there is SO MUCH real estate, that most places you go are actually empty. This is part of why people really hype art openings or dance club events or DJ sets etc. Places can and do get really packed. But if you just started walking around you wouldn’t see very many people.
Anyway, the “problem” is that Regions in SL are way too expensive. IDK anything about LL’s business model and I’m neither an economist nor an accountant, so I don’t mean they’re too expensive from supply and demand or business model perspective or anything like that.
What I do mean is that in 2007 in the peak of the hype cycle, when IBM and a zillion other companies were opening outposts in SL, the rents were probably nothing at all to them. But with all those folks gone now, and “ordinary citizens” doing all the rentals. It seems like if you’re a “big merchant” you can do pretty well, although you do have to sell a lot to pay your rent.
If you’re a creative type it’s an awful lot of money to dig up month after month in support of creativity. Even InWorldz is a lot more than you’d pay for a really fancy WordPress setup. (a pro / corporate WP could, of course, cost way more than that, but I just mean a nice “prosumer”)
I guess it’s not really fair to compare though. In that the gigabytes that Gmail or WordPress orYouTube or SoundCloud give you for “free” — that’s all disk space — none of those places are really giving you dedicated server space. So LL / SL have a more unique commodity.
But at InWorldz prices, or even a bit less, “hobbyists” could afford regions. At SL prices there’s always another crisis looming since the costs, IMHO, are just too high for what most peeps use them for. Not too high for designer shoes or sex beds, but too high for hobbyists, creative tinkering, art & architecture installations, etc
Ohh, thanks you so much! That was a great explanation. I understand a lot more about how SL works now.
good contribution, Yes, LL is way to expensive but it is also very stable, I have been in Os projects and even have OS running at my studio. They just can’t compete with SL yet. LL made a big mistake when launching Destination Guide. At first I was very proud we had 4 out of 4 sims in there. Later on I noticed a lot of low quality and even “under construction” sims in teh Destination Guide.
Nowadays I am not honored at all. Most of it is not worth visiting, sorry for being rude. LL should have keep it selective, quality focusses. We, the sim designers and owners are the main attraction and showcase for LL. I also think LL should have done something in return for us. Like in the time I am in SL I payed LL around USD 150.000. Makes me think, Why should I pay for their showcase?, weird huh;-). Anyway, I decided to not abandon my community and keep up 2 sims. Merged them and now the scenery looks even better.
Cant waitto see the improved graphics and the link with Steam (40.000.000 users). We will hang in there as long as we can.
Thank you so much for visiting us here at iRez! 🙂
As I hope you know, Yordie, Becky, and so many of us are just jaw-droppingly in awe of the beauty, grace, elegance, and power of your work.
I’ve heard people say that the LL Region pricing model can’t stay the way it is for too much longer. I’m certainly not the one to know about that, but it might change a lot if there’s ever “Land Tax Reform” 🙂
Like you, I’ve dabbled just a little with InWorldz, OS Grid, SIM-on-a-USB-drive, etc. They are all quite amazing, but I agree they haven’t worked as well as SL. Although there are a number of artists who have moved some or most of their work to IW and seem to be very happy there.
We’ve all been feeling so sad about the news of your closing, and now so happy and relieved that a compromise has been worked out. On our little iRez end of things Yordie and Becky have been so strong and so inspiring in their support of your work.
Thank you for all your incredible, sublime work Ami. And for somehow keeping it running for so long. And thanks also for dropping by iRez and saying hello.
If you’d ever like to write a guest post for iRez, we’d really love that – just let us know. It could be about “this,” or about any other aspect of your work or virtual creativity that you might like to talk about.
Thank you so much Van, yes, you, becky, Yordie and so much other people are the best one can wish for. I will stay some more time in SL and I am happy I took the decision to keep up the 2 best regions. I even think the connected regions are better then ever.
Thank you again for blogging about us Van.