Blog

We have been discussing a change to USG for some time that I feel we're ready to move forward with.   Currently the grid as a whole is open to HG access. There are a few regions that have been restricted to disallow HG visitors.  In the next few weeks we;re going to be flipping this around.  USG will by default be closed to incoming HG access with the exception of a small number of regions.  If you are a region owner you may request that your USG region(s) remain open.  You might want to do this for instance if you maintain a store, etc.   Outbound HG will remain enabled. So USG residents can go out to other HG destinations.   The public regions that will remain HG accessible are: Utopia Skye Welcome, The Adult Hub and The Creator's Guild and CG3.

I'm going to be updating configs to implement this change effective the 7th of August, 2021. This will involve rolling restarts.    If you would like your region to remain HG accessible please enter a ticket in advance of that date and I'll implement the override to allow it.   Note: due to changing IP laws we may in the future implement additional screening of incoming assets.  If and when this is implemented I'll supply more information when the changes are implemented.

We wanted to write a quick note in regards to the closing of GCG and our position on it. 

Firstly, we are both very sorry for the residents of GCG that have lost their virtual homes.  Having been through our own heartbreak like this with InWorldz, we are heartbroken again for those whose virtual lives have been completely uprooted.  Like InWorldz, GCG appears to be shut down in a way that is hurtful for the residents.  There is a lot of confusion over how people can get backups of their regions, how to contact anyone, or even WHO to contact to get answers from & so on.  There has also been the normal frenzy of other grids attempting to acquire new residents.  We’re truly sorry for the people, the residents who find themselves in this position of confusion & sadness.

For those seeking another home, we have some thoughts on the matter that may provide guidance.  As users, we need to be smart consumers.  We need & SHOULD ask questions about any potential grid we choose & how it is run.  You don’t need to know a lot about the technology behind the grid to understand the need for backups and ways to get data in and out of the grid.  Ask about downtime. How much has the grid experienced and how those are handled?   But most importantly, don't decide about what grid to call home based solely on a charismatic personality.  Its human nature to want to trust & build connections & that's a good thing.  But when deciding where to spend your money, this kind of decision making can be a poor reason to select a grid.  We've seen people excuse all kinds of unprofessional behavior & allow poor business practices to happen because they "trust" the figurehead that's running the grid or the friend that referred them.  And this same reasoning applies to Utopia Skye Grid as well as Calli & Myself. 

We’re not in the business of trolling for new users.  But If people want to settle at USG we'll do our best to take care of them as customers.  Our focus has been a stable foundation that can grow as needed but that is sustainable as it is.  We maintain USG because it gives us a place to remember friends we have lost.  And it’s a place for people who have brought their products from SecondLife to distribute them to the OpenSim community through Utopia Skye.  Also, it’s a place for residents who are building & creating beautiful things that allow them to live in & extend their dreams.  Utopia Skye Grid exists because of the trust people have put in us in the past.  Trust that has been earned in continued uptime, transparent business practices & financial sustainability.  We've tried to reward that trust with a stable, robust service that is reliable & cost-effective. 

Utopia Skye is a small grid. We have received positive feedback in the past about our service and reliability.  We’re rather proud of that. There is, however, an alternative we could recommend if a small grid is not for you. 

  1. DiscoveryGrid - Run by Balpien Hammerer (https://discoverygrid.net/)
  2. Utopia Skye Grid – Run by Mike & Calli (http://utopiaskyegrid.com/)

DiscoveryGrid is also professionally run on professional grade servers with good business practices.  But as I said above ask questions and be a smart consumer. 

If you have friends looking for a new home & are interested in Utopia Skye, Calli or I will try & answer any questions.  Even if folks don't settle with us in grid, they are welcome in our Discord & may find help & advice here.  At the end of the day, with all that’s going on in our worlds both virtual and real, please stay safe & be well.

Mike and Calli

Due to the recent closure of Islandz, we have decided to make our closed beta program an open beta.  This includes beta only special pricing that will be honored for up to one year after we come out of open beta.

Please note that there are limited spots available and it is first come first serve.  If you find you are interested or know of someone you think might be interested; please join our discord server  or have them join the server (https://discord.gg/HCpeUqT) and message me directly.  I am Calliope Andel in our discord server as well.

We have always been about helping others and want to continue that tradition to help our friends who have lost their virtual homes.

 

Warmly, 
Calli

We started this grid originally with two very specific thoughts. 1. Let's create a place with technology we can control (to a certain extent) to do the best shows we could do and run our endeavors in a better environment than before.  2. Let's bring what the Golden Touch Community has felt for years into a grid that upholds the community mentality formed long ago when Utopia Skye came online in 2002.  I think in many ways we accomplish this today.  Over time there will be more to join us but growth will be organic, not forced.  Mike & I insist on this because we're eager to make our grid the best place we can in Open Sim and to do that we have to continue to be true to ourselves.

Which brings me to a number of thoughts about our roots as well as our present.  Utopia Skye, the community, was formed in 2002 by myself.  It started out of a small game called The Sims Online of which I was a beta tester.  it was my first entrance into online gaming and the wonderful world of virtual.  I felt back then, as I do now, that we have an obligation to each other even virtually.  This should come naturally, organically.. So when people started to come to my "lot" in Alphaville (called Utopia Skye) it was because they all felt some kind of kinship when they spent time with us.  Through their support, love and friendship I've been blessed to meet many people; people I would have never known had I not been online to meet them. Some of these friends are my best friends even though an ocean separates us. 

Over time the folks who were in the original Utopia Skye grew up, grew apart, started living their lives beyond gaming & virtual.  However, I left the website and forums up.  I wanted for them to continue to be a place that you could come and remember or come and join in whatever iteration Utopia Skye found itself in, at the time of any member's return. Many. over the years have trickled back in, but we also have new folks coming frequently too. 17 years after its formation I like to think Utopia Skye is breathing and humming with new vibrant energy that merges wonderfully with the existing foundation, which now includes The Golden Touch.  

Annually the Golden Touch meets to determine its show schedule which includes both stage shows that are spectacular (we're working on our march 30th show called "Que Sera" as we speak!) and our club events where you get to participate with the dancers in some of our previous show numbers. We have also been a long standing charity supporter since our inception in 2013.  Mostly we have supported Relay For Life, a charity near and dear to my heart. But this year we made some changes which bring me to this moment in time, writing to you about our origins.  The Golden Touch has decided as a collective that we will be a charitable organization supporter 100% of the time.  The entire group, made up of people from all walks of life, decided to use their talents to perform in Open Sim on a massive scale and give back to real world charities as well.  I am incredibly humbled to be part of a group that can go beyond the individual and show such generosity to others.  

We also decided to expand our borders with our charity organizations.  To that end, we have decided we will support two charities all year long. This year after 8 different charities were considered we've finalized our voting and determined our organizations will be: 

1. Doctors without Borders Click here to learn about Doctors providing lifesaving medical humanitarian care, and speaking out about what they see globally.

2. Global Animal Rescue Click here to learn about this organization doing all they can for those who cannot speak.

 Mike & I were discussing these just this morning and decided that we too as a grid would also support these charities with events throughout the year at all of our venues including our adult venues.  I encourage any other group or venue to consider doing events for a charity even if not the GT and grid selected ones.  There is no greater boost to spirit than knowing that you've helped another soul; animal or human. In this way we all reclaim our humanity and live in our hearts.  This is what the community of Utopia Skye taught me back in 2002, and what The Golden Touch and indeed Utopia Skye grid, remind me of now with these choices. 

As I always tell Mike before he leaves for work each day: "Do Great Things". I think this group, the grid and the entire community is doing just that. My thanks to you all.

Today we are celebrating Christmas, the time of year where everything is supposed to be warm & bright.  Where everyone’s happy, and somehow, we all find time to reach out to touch one another.  I’ve found over the years that this is less and less true. I’ve been dismayed to find that Christmas has become a commercial place full of brightness that burns like the fluorescent lights of a warehouse.  That the smiles on faces are plastic remnants of smiles they might have been long ago.  That the hugs and love we feel, see, give to one another never quite reach our hearts.  I find there has been loss, there are still struggles, there are continuing pains. I find many sitting alone wondering where their next meal is coming from or if they’ll survive another day, week, month.  And I wonder how we can find a place of joy amidst all the sorrow.

Where am I going with this?

Who we are online mimics our experiences offline. It mirrors the elements of our very real-life selves and the world we come from. It shapes how we act, whether we hide online, or come out and be loud. It’s a compartmentalized place that somehow has unlimited potential to let us be our best selves no matter what that best self looks to be.  It’s a place that for some can bring back the memories of old.  The happiness once felt.  It can heal.  It can bring about an abundance of joy.  It lets us try new things without fear. But we must get past the negative things that mirror our real-life that limit us. 

We must reach out to others, even though a great number of people do not reach out in real life. We must create joy even if we don’t feel it in real life, so we can share it.  Because in doing so we open our hearts.  And then, THEN the magic happens.  Then you reverse the mirror. And what you feel online begins to mirror itself in your real world.  Then you find maybe you reach out a hand to help another or a smile not only sits on your face but reaches your eyes.  Then you find maybe you CAN try something in real life or at least be willing to investigate it. Then in building a creation other people can share in, you begin to realize there are things you can build in your real world to manifest joy, even in your own heart.

Nothing is perfect in virtual, the same as it is not perfect in the real world; and NEITHER place is a cure all.  But maybe if we all try to pay attention to each other virtually we might just find a connection that moves us; or a person who makes us smile, or a group who can help us, or a club that we find comfort in.

For us Christmas has always been a time of connection.  To connect with family, see friends of old, make new friends, find new loves, and a time to even connect with ourselves. Personally, for me, it is a time to connect with my heart; that place that I used to live in so long ago. 

So, this Christmas I find myself in this reflective place.  We don’t have a tree up in our house, no garland strung merrily, not even a wreath to adorn our door.  But Mike & I have found a space of peace and comfort with each other. And we do this online as well as offline.  We have a lovely tree created by such creative people online.  We have candles flickering on our mantle.  We have friends we can say hi to when we log in.  We have people we make friends with, who join us from time to time. 

We have connection.  We have community.  We have a grid of people who believe in this enough to be part of it.  So, this is our Christmas & it is warm and full.  We celebrate this with you all, because without this, without YOU, Christmas is just a number.

Warmest wishes for joy, community & love; from our grid to your home.

Mike & Calli & all of us at Utopia Skye Grid

Email

Utopia Skye Grid; Where Creativity & Friendship know no limits.

utopiaskyegrid.com:8002