It is now clear that InWorldz will indeed shut down on Friday. Even though the GoFundMe appeal will almost certainly reach its funding goal within the first 24 hours (an amazing feat), that money will not be available soon enough to save the InWorldz grid.
Users everywhere are frantically packing up items from their inventories into rezzed boxes, in hopes that what they save can be salvaged for a new grid. (InWorldz technical staff are still working out the details and logistics. It’s still not clear how much can be saved.)
For many people who have spent years in InWorldz, this is a bitter end. I never had much of an investment in InWorldz—basically, just my Ruth mesh avatar, my hair and my clothes—so I will not suffer a loss. But to many people who invested a great deal of time and money into building homes and businesses in InWorldz, this is certainly a devastating blow. Some people are resigned; others are angry. Some are lashing out at Beth Reischl and her staff for not having the foresight to see this coming.
Where will they go? Many are choosing to keep their faith in Beth and whatever new grid she sets up to replace InWorldz. They want to stay together and try to keep some of the strong sense of community that they shared in InWorldz.
Others will no doubt choose to go back to Second Life, or to another OpenSim-based grid. Some, feeling burned, may choose to give up on virtual worlds altogether. (I hope they don’t.)
I plan to spend my last week in InWorldz visiting various sims and taking pictures. I’ll probably start with Yadni Monde’s sim, where he moved most of his wonderful sculptural creations over from Second Life. After that, I’ll just wander around, taking in as many sights as I can.
It’s sad, but it’s not the end. It’s just a new beginning, a new chapter.
I leave you with five pictures I took this evening of one of the more amazing builds in InWorldz, the sprawling Castle Marlar of the Land of Lar: