Tuesday, March 09, 2004


The cost of land continues to creep upward, if we're to judge by the closing bid for the rental rights to an entire simulator (roughly 65,000 square meter plot of contiguous land, all contained on a single server.) In early January, in the first auction of its kind, Fizik Baskerville took rental rights to the island of Avalon for US $1200 plus change; later that month, FlipperPA Peregrine acquired rental rights to the land of Indigo for a bit more. So that seemed to be the upper limit, bid-wise. But on February 29th, Kelwyn Gallant won the bidding war for rental rights to the mountainous, Southern region of Seacliff-- but in the end, he paid US $1,560.00, for that privilege. (And since the simulator is surrounded by water on all sides, the amount of usuable land is even less than Avalon or Indigo, by a factor of some ten thousand meters square.)

Because Baskerville represented a branding agency and intended to incorporate a few elements of off-world commerce into his island project, a fear among some residents is that more real businesses will soon be coming in, buying up whole regions, with even more explicitly for-profit purposes.

This, however, doesn't seem to be the trend so far.

To wit, as reported earlier, Peregrine's Indigo has been converted into a group project featuring a massive, gothic castle and a nearby park. And as it turns out, Gallant's plans for Seacliff are equally community-minded. In this effort, he is supported by a group known as the Wood Elf Alliance, which boasts several dozen members.

"I got involved because I was shopping for a 16K parcel to share with Eddie Escher and Fallingwater Cellardoor," Gallant tells me by e-mail, "and we hadn't had much luck, so when Ananda [Sandgrain] came up with the idea of the Wood Elves, I thought it would work better for us all if we joined forces... The four of us decided on our maximum bid (based in part on the median price of similar land sales so far) and I volunteered to do the bidding and put it on my credit card."

"We chipped in to help Kelwyn get it in the auction," Ananda Sandgrain further explains, when I meet her on a Seacliff peak, a few days after the auction. "It was all arranged thru Paypal."

"Did you freak out as the auction price got higher and higher?" I ask.

"Yeah! Especially when it was at $1000 a day before the end. But we got it just $60 over our estimate. If you were to base it on the prices paid in Limantour, the whole place would have gone for over $2000."

The plan is for the four elves who put up the original capital to keep half of Seacliff, while selling the rest to their fellow elves in the Alliance.

"I'm hoping this will be a really fun place," says Ananda, "more focusing on the joy of love and nature, rather than pain and sex. Lots of giant trees, flower sculptures, etc. It's going to be all about nature, and small graceful builds, and I'm sure we'll dream up some great activities along the way. Possibly some social activism."

"So how will you cover monthly costs, if I may ask?"

"We'll figure it out," says Ananda, "I'm not too worried about that. There are so many elves looking for a place like this, I'm sure we'll do well."

Zana Feaver, who happens to be listening nearby, pipes up: "Long ears, unite!"

Posted at 08:26 AM | Permalink


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Hee hee. You shouldn't mislead people Hammy! Water isn't "Unusable" at all.

Posted by: Relee Baysklef at Mar 9, 2004 4:28:17 PM

Water isn't unusable, but 10k meters of Linden owned land in the sim is. Which makes this not really an entire sim purchase, for more than any truely full (and terraformable) sims have gone for. I expected the opposite but I think the fact that Seacliff is helluva gorgeous won out over prim count.

Posted by: Cienna Rand at Mar 9, 2004 5:31:37 PM

Umber is the same way with a strip of Linden owned land all around it.
I could see the use for that if Umber or Seacliff were attached to more than one sim but they aren't.

Posted by: Camille Serpentine at Mar 11, 2004 11:34:45 AM

I believe that Umber is surrounded on three sides, east/west/south, in order to keep the land from being raised and destroying the natural peninsula terrain the Lindens had originally terraformed.

Seacliff is owned all the way around I'd guess to keep it an island.

I don't see anything illogical about it.

Posted by: Bino Arbuckle at Mar 13, 2004 7:20:33 PM