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This week is a special week for our friend Dirk Mathers/Massiel, this week Stonehaven turns 5 years old. 

Stonehaven was a BSDM playsim in Secondlife created by Dirk Massiel.  Stonehaven no longer lives in Secondlife, it has a new wonderful home in OSgrid, as part of the Littlefield community.  Stonehaven moved to OSgrid April 1st 2011, so we celebrate two events, the 5 year anniversary of Stonehaven and the 1st anniversay of Stonehaven in OSgrid.  Stonehaven region has come along in leaps & bounds in OSgrid, slowly building a wonderful community of BDSMers wanting a safe, fun place to play and hang out in.

To commemorate this event, we will be having a weekend long party at Stonehaven Party Isle starting at 9PM PST until 1am PST Friday April 13, Saturday April 14th, and Sunday April 15th. And in addition to this, we have decided to setup an actual RL set of prizes for this celebration. After much debate over what might work as an RL gift for the global community here in OSgrid, we have decided that iTunes Gift Cards were our best option. (click link for more information) http://forums.osgrid.org/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=4057

Today I feature a interview with the wonderful man behind Stonehaven, I have known Dirk for around 16 months now, and I can say with no bias that he is truely a special person and one the nicest people I have ever known in any world.

Link to Dirk’s blog – Stonehaven – janitor’s closet http://stonehavenjanitor.wordpress.com/

How long were you in SL?

I first came to SL in November 2005.

What was your avatar name there?

Dirk Massiel.  I’d been Dirk, Dirk M, and Dirk Mathers in various places for a long time.  When I came to SL I had to take an approved last name.

How long have you been in OSgrid

My rez date here is May of 2010.  Stonehaven officially moved from SL to OS in April of 2011.

What prompted you to create Stonehaven?

In the early days of BDSM in SL, cages were the only way to restrain an avatar.  I collected them and wanted a place to share them and use my cage thrower.  I saw different places with different themes but none really fit my own Safe, Sane, Consensual style.  The final impetus was having Ally B swoop my scene at Deitide one night.  She just took over the cage I was using and my captive.  The two girls went on to play on their own and I was left alone and looking like an idiot.  That’s why I have a rule about not interfering with someone else’s scene.  If I’m invited in or someone safewords, that’s a different thing.  If two people are just playing, I never interfere.

Why did you leave SL?

Tier.  I used to pay tier with a shopping mall.  Marketplace sucked the life out of it.  Linden Labs got greedy.  Now instead of getting part of something, they get all of nothing.  I have to believe its incompetence instead of maliciousness.  They tinkered with the in-world economy without understanding it.  This is only one in a long line of incredibly stupid moves and outright lies.  The Mono Bug, Adult Verify and Aristotle, Zindra, the merging of teen grid, this latest third party viewer nonsense, this insanity with Linden Realms.  Linden Realms… They are taking an old platform, but one that still has flexibility enough to be bounded only by your imagination and reducing it to little more than a cell phone game.  From limitless vistas to Super Mario Brothers.  Congratulations.  Absolutely brilliant.  If you doubt me, look where all the recent hires have come from.  Gaming backgrounds.  They are turning SL into a video game.  Its absolutely tragic.  And like some demented underscore are the sycophants who will continue to sing the praises of their Linden masters no matter what.  Its like an abusive relationship.  I have a news flash for you — Linden Labs doesn’t love you and they’re going to keep abusing you.  All of these were contributing factors, but tier was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

What bought you to OSgrid?

Price and familiarity.  Land is cheap, everything else is free and the platform is very much like SL, at least from a user’s standpoint.  Same viewers.  Not a big learning curve to transition from SL to OS.  It reminds me very much of the SL of three or four years ago.  Back before the Mono Bug.  Toward the end of our time in SL, we were calling the place Laghaven.  You know something is seriously wrong when you’re nostalgic for three year old software.  I imagine it does burn LL that they’re being undermined by their own (former) user base.

What do you like best about OSgrid compared to SL?

The freedom.  No Linden overlords with their artificially created limits.  The ability to back contents up to an OAR file and take it to any OS based grid.  Getting your own content that you created yourself off the Linden grid is like escaping from East Berlin during the cold war.  According to Linden ToS, they own all the content.  Here, whats yours is yours and no one can ever take that away from you.

How do you spend your time in OSgrid?

I like to sit and chat on the Stonehaven patio.  Almost any topic can pop up.  When I’m on my own, I spend a lot of time scripting.

Do you see a future for OSgrid in the long run?

OSGrid is at heart a test bed for the Open Sim software.  As long as the Open Sim software continues to be developed and supported, there will be an OSGrid.  The fact that people are choosing to come here and build anew proves Linden Labs is wrong.  This platform has life in it yet without undergoing some transformation.  Even if they’ve given up on it, the user-base isn’t ready to yet.  If we can’t build the kind of world we want in SL, we’ll go do it somewhere else.  We may be tiny, but we are mighty.  And one day, when HyperGrid actually works, all the little grids will be linked — and who will be tiny then?

Do you create things in OSgrid?

Yes.  I make gadgetry that I need and I’ve made some BDSM toys.  In fact OSGrid has been quite a boost to my learning and creativity.  For example, I wanted a song display board to show the current song and artist on the region music stream.  On SL, I would simply have gone out and bought one that was close to what I wanted.  Here, I got into the nuts and bolts of how a Shoutcast server passes that information and how I can get it on a prim.  If I had questions about how to do something, I could just ask around.  Because no one is making money off anything, people are much more willing to lend a hand and share their tricks.  As a result, I built a board that does exactly what I wanted, and I got a fun learning experience too.

What advise would you have for people wanting to come to OSgrid?

Break out of the mental prison Linden Labs has you in.  For all its blunders, LL has done one thing exceptionally well.  They’ve created myths and ways of thinking about SL that are extremely hard for people to break out from.  And they’re all designed to keep you in SL and making them the most money possible.  One fallacy is the need to earn money.  Why do you need to earn money in SL?  To pay tier.  Land is cheap in OS.  Everything else is free.  There is no commerce here.  Forget money.  You don’t need it.  We do things and build things purely for pleasure.  Another is this insanity about prim limits.  They don’t exist.  You can have as many prims in a region as you want.  You can make as big a prim as you want. The limits are artificially created to get you to buy more land.  But the biggest thing is the idea you have to choose.  If you play World of Warcraft does that mean you can’t play Eve?  If you sign up with Champions do you have to close your City of Heroes account?  You don’t have to choose between SL and OS unless you want to.  If you do decide to move here, bring a bunch of friends with you.  You’ll have a lot more fun than doing it alone.

Pictures of Stonehaven then……

First incarnation of Dirk Massiel

Chic Dirk Massiel

Stonehaven pics from Secondlife

Stonehaven alive and well in OSgrid

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