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Tuesday, February 14, 2012


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Arcadia Codesmith

Reincorporate as a super-PAC, string up a banner that says "Klatuu for President", and thumb your nose at the IRS.

I know that's flippant, but it would seem that organizations that exist to serve and educate the public have a much harder time of it than those that exist to launder bribes from the Robber Barons.

zazen Manbi

The ISM has been saved, just today.

Rowan Derryth

When I was with the now-defunct Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum, we received non-profit status under the corporation Virtual Museums, Inc., which still exists. So I'm not sure why they didn't grant the status in this case, but the applications are very tricky and exacting. In might be worthwhile looking into a partnership with VMI, under their status?

Katherine W Prawl

Thanks for the beautiful write-up! There's some good news:we have accepted a donation that should bring the sims back online for now, as soon as some payment issues are settled. Of course, the question remains of funding for the future, but we have some good feelings about that, too, with offers of help from several quarters. As always, it is a matter of continuing the effort, but I think we'll survive. Maybe we will even get tax-exempt status someday, too, or partner with someone who is. Anyone who would like to support the museum can donate via PayPal to [email protected] or leave L$ in the tipjar at Science School sim, or pay AyeEss Emms (the ISM's landowning alt account). Thanks again for your help!

Pussycat Catnap

In a sense this is related news to the Linden Games post a bit further down.

SL may not be a video game yet, but it soon will be. Except one with no means for the game hosts to fund themselves... so that too won't last.

But the difficulties more and more places face in funding themselves are just going to keep eroding the variety of content in SL.

OpenSim might not be much today, but in time we might find ourselves in a situation where all the avatar-content is in SL, but all the places to go and use that content are in OpenSim...
- leaving them both somewhat vacant.

Troy McLuhan

I left the ISM management team in 2007, so I wasn't aware of the recent difficulties. I did notice that the sims had vanished, but I didn't know why.

Most of the people who built the ISM exhibits (rockets, spacecraft, etc.) have moved on to other things, in some cases many years ago.

If anonymous donors want to keep pumping money into it, then that's fine, but they should have no illusions. It's more like a relic from days gone by than the home of a living and vibrant community.

Troy McLuhan

Incidentally, the spaceflight museum, as a community, started at Burning Life 2005, which was in August or September of 2005. The group had a few mainland parcels where they kept their rockets etc. The first private sim (Spaceport Alpha) was purchased in April 2006 or so.

Nyoko Salome

;\ bah... i would have loved if it had stayed open. was one of the first places i'd visited... i hope it can be reinstated someday...

Katherine Prawl

ISM is coming back (as soon as we get the account straightened out). Here's a link to a PDF that includes a history of the museum's early days:


Emerald Wynn

Hamlet, could you please start a feature called "Sim Birthwatch" about new sims? Just to counter the sad, morbidity of this one? I feel bleak whenever I see it in my Google Reader, although I appreciate the heads up if it's a sim that could possibly be saved - or at least put on life support - by donations.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

I want our SL Spaceports to make it, but if they do not, they follow a certain poetic trajectory. Human space travel is following that now.

This began as a long reply here...so I blogged it up. http://bit.ly/ybJvK0

Lani Global

A shame to see such a valuable museum and engineering project be lost, and even if restarted, still be in constant peril.

It is a down side of putting everything on a walled garden where the owners and builders do not control the server.

Perhaps the project should encourage the creators of the objects in the sim to export their parts of the projects to an XML external archive. From there, the museum could live in virtual endless life, as an OpenSim *.oar file, or simply a collection of XML files on a website.


shockwave yareach

It is a sad commentary on this country, that our rockets sit in Museums, not even the IRS will recognize them as being museums, and we have to bum rides to the space station that WE built and paid for with the Russians because we have no rockets anymore.

America no longer deserves a space program. America has forgotten how to lead and how to dream. But we may yet be able to visit a moon base in our lifetimes, if you can learn Chinese that is.


The ISM was one of the big examples I'd cite as proving the educational value of SL (and virtual worlds in general). Linden Lab is extremely short-sighted if they let a treasure like this disappear. Rather than risk letting it fail or emigrate to an OpenSim environment, they should find a way to guarantee ISM and sims like it with significant cultural value are preserved.

I propose a "historic landmark" system of (for example) ten of the best sims in SL to be used to advertise the virtues of virtual worlds supported for free each year of their existence. Of course, each year, new nominations are accepted and there'd be a bit of competition to keep landmarks worthwhile, but even former landmarks would have some room to boast and perhaps kept on an official list of valued sites.

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