UPDATED: I’m Taking A Break


Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

UPDATE Jan. 11th: After an extended conversation this evening with Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg on the Sansar Facebook group, I want to make it very clear that I was *NOT* treated badly by LL in any of this. Both Kayla and Jenn treated me in a professional, friendly, proactive way. They are a credit to the team that Ebbe leads, and I do still have a lot of love and respect for Linden Lab. Ebbe has apologized to me personally and I do appreciate that.

However, I will wait for Linden Lab to issue new brand guidelines for Sansar before I start blogging again. I am really tired, and I need to take a break. I hope everybody understands! I won’t be gone forever, perhaps two or three weeks at most. The blog will be back, either as the Sansar Newsblog, or under a new name with a new focus.

I have had a rough 24 hours with the Sansar Newsblog. You can read Nalates’ blogpost to find out what happened. Isabelle Cheren mentioned it too. The blogpost in question is now back up with the original pictures I took Monday evening, after going through it with Kayla, Linden Lab’s Director of Marketing, and editing the text to remove the offending words “exclusive” and “early access”. I have also added a disclaimer to my blog’s subtitle in the upper left-hand corner, as requested by Kayla.

I have asked Linden Lab for clear, yes-or-no answers to two questions:

  1. Can I repost the pictures from Aech’s Garage? (The answer is “Yes”.)
  2. Can I keep the name Sansar Newsblog? Or do I have to change it?

I don’t want to lose that tight focus on Sansar, on which I have worked so long and hard on with the Sansar Newsblog these past five months. I’ve been getting up at 4:00 a.m. some mornings to get my blogging in before I go to my paying job. But if Linden Lab forces me to drop the name “Sansar” from my Sansar-focused blog (as LL had earlier forced bloggers in the past to drop the words “Second Life” from their blog names, a decision which forced the bloggers to scramble), then I see that as the company deliberately forcing me out of that niche, and forcing me to rebuild a brand from scratch.

I may not be a Warner-Brothers-size company, but my blog is important to me and, if I can believe the comments I have received in support, important to many others as well. Until I get clear, authoritative yes-or-no answers to BOTH of my two questions (Can I repost the pictures I took from Aech’s Garage? Can I keep the name Sansar Newsblog?), I’m not going to bother spending my time and money blogging for Sansar. Linden Lab can go find some other blogger to cover and promote their platform.

Right now, I have only a verbal okay from Ebbe Altberg at an in-world meetup months ago that the name Sansar Newsblog is acceptable to Linden Lab, but after this recent incident, now I want more. I want a clear “Yes” or “No” from someone official at Linden Lab that the company is not going to ask me to rename my blog.

Until I get clear “Yes” or “No” answers to BOTH these two questions, from someone at Linden Lab who is authorized to speak on behalf of the company, the Sansar Newsblog will remain on hiatus.

And if I am forced to remove the word “Sansar” from my blog name, then I will no longer be focusing near-exclusively on Sansar on my blog, either. Instead, I will rename my blog and give more coverage to High Fidelity, Sinespace, VRChat, AltspaceVR, Rec Room, and the other new VR-capable virtual worlds, plus Decentraland, Mark Space and the other new blockchain-based virtual worlds that are suddenly springing up.

And yes, if it is not clear, I am still very angry. I bent over backwards to accommodate Linden Lab’s requests, quickly, as soon as I received them. I feel like an idiot for letting myself get into this situation in the first place, getting all excited about some stupid movie-tie-in experience and taking photos and spending an entire evening pulling together a blogpost about it all, being excited to tell everybody about it. It got well over 1,000 views, including a sizeable number of click-throughs to the Sansar software download page.

And then to have the rug pulled out from under me yesterday was an experience I would rather not repeat. It has left a very unpleasant taste in my mouth, and I am no longer feeling quite as accommodating as I was before.

So, I will not be making new blogposts to the Sansar Newsblog until I get a clear yes-or-no answer from Linden Lab: can I keep the name Sansar Newsblog, or will I be forced to change that too? There’s no point in continuing to blog until I know whether or not I have to rebrand.

Pick of the Day: CES Booth

As I mentioned in yesterday evening’s blogpost, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich’s keynote speech at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas announced a virtual recreation of Intel’s CES booth, which you can now visit!

During the CES convention, the booth is staffed with real-life Intel staff who can answer questions about the exhibits and direct people to linked experiences such as Aech’s Garage.  Here are some pictures I took yesterday (click on each picture to see a larger version):

In addition to the teleporter to Aech’s Garage, which I blogged about in detail yesterday, there is yet another teleporter in the CES Booth that takes you to an experience called Step Inside Intel 8th Gen Core, a supersize Intel chip you can walk around inside:

I was very impressed with all three Sansar experiences—CES Booth, Aech’s Garage, and Step Inside Intel 8th Gen Core—and I recommend you come into Sansar to visit all three!

You can install the Sansar software client, if you don’t already have it, at https://www.sansar.com/download. And then you can visit the Intel CES Booth by searching for “CES Booth” in the Sansar Atlas, or just by clicking this link: CES Booth. You can then get to Step Inside Intel 8th Gen Core, and Aech’s Garage (the Ready Player One experience) via special teleporters located at the CES Booth. See you in-world!

UPDATE: I have added a few more pictures of the CES Booth.

CES Booth 1 9 Jan 2018CES Booth 2 9 Jan 2018CES Booth 3 9 Jan 2018CES Booth 4 9 Jan 2018CES Booth 5 9 Jan 2018CES Booth 6 9 Jan 2018CES Booth 7 9 Jan 2018

Pick of the Day: Aech’s Garage, the Ready Player One Movie Experience in Sansar

This evening, I was able to visit two new Sansar experiences:

A while ago, on the official Sansar Discord channel, I had said that whatever virtual world gets the Ready Player One tie-in would get lots of publicity. Well, Sansar got that tie-in! I am so excited and happy! Congratulations to Linden Lab for landing this one!

And here are some pictures of the Ready Player One experience, called Aech’s Garage (you used to be able to get to it only from special teleporters within the Intel CES Booth experience, but now there’s a direct link):

Ready Player One 2 8 Jan 2018Ready Player One 3 8 Jan 2018Ready Player One 4 8 Jan 2018Ready Player One 5 8 Jan 2018Ready Player One 6 8 Jan 2018Ready Player One 7 8 Jan 2018Ready Player One 8 8 Jan 2018Ready Player One 9 8 Jan 2018Ready Player One 10 8 Jan 2018Ready Player One 11 8 Jan 2018Ready Player One 12 8 Jan 2018

NOTE: You can install the Sansar software client, if you don’t already have it, at https://www.sansar.com/download. And then you can visit the Intel CES Booth by searching for “CES Booth” in the Sansar Atlas, or just by clicking this link: CES Booth. You can then get to Aech’s Garage (the Ready Player One experience) via special teleporters at the CES Booth. See you in-world!

UPDATE 11:24 p.m.: SIN kindly shared with me one last photo from Aech’s Garage.

SIN's photo of Aech's Garage 8 Jan 2018

UPDATE Jan. 9th: Linden Lab has now made a direct link to Aech’s Garage available from the Sansar Atlas, here: [HTC] Ready Player One – Aech’s Garage. You really do owe it to yourself to download the Sansar client software (if you haven’t already) from the link I posted above, and visit this experience in-world. Pictures alone do not do it justice!

I understand that it took Intel, HTC Vive, Warner Brothers, and Sansar Studios of Linden Lab six weeks of work to pull all this together, and that work shows. This is a highly-detailed, mind-blowing Sansar experience, particularly in VR, and well worth your time!

Infographic: Comparing Sansar and High Fidelity

As I have said before, it’s only natural to want to compare two of the VR-capable social virtual worlds: High Fidelity (founded in 2013 by the visionary Philip Rosedale), and Sansar by Linden Lab (the company founded in 1999, also by Philip Rosedale, before he left to start HiFi; the current CEO is Ebbe Altberg). The two virtual worlds have much in common, but there are some significant differences between them.

My first blogpost comparing Sansar and High Fidelity back in August generated a fair bit of traffic for the Sansar Newsblog, but that post is now dated. Some of the information I gave is no longer accurate because of recent updates to both platforms.

So it’s time for an infographic I created using the free design service, Canva.com, comparing and contrasting both virtual worlds. (Philip Rosedale himself said that my infographic looked good, so I feel fairly confident that it is accurate. I don’t need Ebbe Altberg to sign off on my Sansar information; I am already somewhat of an expert in that particular area!)


I hope that this information helps people understand the differences between the two virtual world platforms. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and I want to do what I can to help correct it. Thanks!