Dang, Another #SL Closing

Today I saw the announcement that the Sensual Stoneworks regions are closing. If you have never been there, this is an adult set of regions that have a large Adult Toys market place. The Stoneworks toys are not going away. They will be in the market place. But, the regions are closing.

Sensual Stoneworks New Mall

The region is worth a visit just to see the build. The creatives at Sensual Stoneworks are talented. That talent shows in the rebuilt region. Last time I visited I think it was 4 regions. Now it has been condensed into a single region. The lag is low, at least it was when I visited. Be sure to look at the sky.

SLURL: Sensual Stoneworks

The region has provided the Mall and various role player areas. Things there range from sensual to wildly outrageous. My friend Sec and I spent hours laughing at some of the toys and how we looked playing with them.

One can find Sensual Stoneworks’ toys in practically every dungeon in Second Life. Most of the big adult products creatives have stalls in the mall.

The Announcement:

I am very sad to say that the sim for Sensual Stoneworks will be closing.

After five years of operation, it has become obvious that times have changed. Sales and traffic have dropped significantly. People who used to come here just to meet up and have fun have moved elsewhere, or in many cases, left Second life entirely.

Some of this is also my own fault. After watching the decline of the sim’s traffic and sales to pay for it over the last two years, I decided to rebuild the sim. Considering that mesh was nearly a year old, I made the call, against several warnings of friends, to use mesh as my primary design tool. I spent literally two months making sure I had a firm grip on how mesh works in Second Life, and redesigned the sim.

That upgrade seems to have tipped the balance against us. Even though I was able to reduce lag and even design a new play landscape, none of it matters. I underestimated the unwillingness of people to use mesh viewers. This seems to have ruined the store.

Due to the fact that I am currently in danger of losing my job, and have been having to work large amounts of overtime in order to keep it, I simply do not have time to rebuild the sim again. Nor can I pay for the sim out of pocket myself with personal matters where they stand.

Please keep in mind, this is not something new: Sales and traffic have been dropping over the last few years. The release of new toys have not stopped this trend, even a little.

I actually have to say that this in some ways pleases me. When Sensual Stoneworks began, I remember a trend in Second Life to look down upon clientele. Even though they were willing to take your money, they would treat you poorly for your erotic tastes. That time is past. You have no small number of places you can now go in order to enjoy yourselves, many of them run by others with similar tastes.

And that makes me happy.

As it is, I will remind you that I will likely be setting up a small store someplace. And will also have shops on the marketplace as well. I also remind you that you have many places where SSW toys are openly available for your use. Sensual Stoneworks itself will not be going out of business and the group will remain. For now we are just going back to our beginning roots of a small store.

I should note that Sensual Stoneworks Updates will continue to exist and be my primary sounding board to all of you. Please feel free to stay and enjoy each other’s company as long as you like. Again, we’re not closing the store, just the sim.

The winds have changed, but that does not mean you can’t keep sailing.

Merry Mousehold
Sensual Stoneworks.
Minx Mousehold

I’m not sure how they see the use of mesh capable viewers as being a problem. Over 90% of user hours in SL are now on a mesh capable viewer. But, they may have made the change over too soon.

We are seeing a steady decline in commercial regions. While I prefer to shop in world for these types of toys and see demos, I understand the move to the Market Place. As Direct Delivery becomes more reliable, it will make more sense to operate from the Market Place.

Region Logo

Another incentive to give up land and work from the Market Place is going to be Experience Tools (ET)… or maybe they will reverse the trend. We’ll have to see. But, the hold the promise of an entirely new type of demo for products.

Whatever the case, if you have never been there and your interested in getting your kink on… visit now. I don’t have an official closing day.

If you have not visited in awhile, there is a load of new mesh toys.

When I first came to SL I took a number of building classes provided by Sensual Stoneworks. Some of the instructors are looking at how to keep that working.


This is a good instance of an example of the RL economy impacting people in SL. If you are not politically active American or up on the news, you need to wake up. The Obama administration is repeated saying there are no new taxes. They make George H. Bush’s ‘watch my lips’ sound like child’s play. Do a Google search on Obama taxes and pick the news sources you trust.

We can expect to see more economy forced region closings until the economy picks up. We know what turns the economy around. In 1920 Pres. Harding had a worse depression than the Great Depression of the 1930’s. It is not well know because it only lasted 18 months. He cut government spending and lowered taxes. I think that was the first time in American history that happened. America had the largest rate of growth and the middle and poverty classes saw the great raise in there living standards ever.

Later Pres Kennedy, Pres Reagan, and Pres Geo. W used tax cuts to get the economy going. Pres Clinton cut welfare and the economy picked up giving America 3 or 4 budget surpluses.

In 1930 Roosevelt increased taxes, created government programs, increased welfare, and massively increased the size of government. We had a decade of depression and we know it now as the Great Depression. Today Obama and the progressives are repeating Roosevelt’s tactics and it looks like we are headed for a double dip recession.

Don’t believe me. Dig through history, dig through the news, find both sides of the arguments and figure out how to tell who is telling the truth. If you are not smart enough to do that, you are not smart enough to vote. …and you certainly can’t help grow Second Life.

5 thoughts on “Dang, Another #SL Closing

  1. Did you just try to blame President Obama for the Second Life economy?
    Unless he is responsible for the inflated price of land, the inability of new visitors to stay interested in SL for more than a day or the inability of LL to address even the simplest long standing technical problems, then i would say you are barking up the wrong tree.
    Sensual Stoneworks closed because there is absolutely no reason for anyone to want to go there. Either you have been there before and you have what you need, or yu can get it faster on the marketplace or you are new and your not goingto be in SL for more than a day anyway.

    • The economy in SL is based on real people that live in the real world. The RL economy does have an effect on the SL economy. Merry Mousehold said, “Due to the fact that I am currently in danger of losing my job…” I think that is a very clear tie to the RL economy.

      In the boom years of SL (2007 +/-) the price of land was much higher than now and the concurrent use of SL was much greater. See the Experimental Charts at Dwell On It. The cost per sqm has been in decline since 2007 in a near parallel to user concurrency and private region leasing. If your thinking was right and land price affected user concurrency, we should see an increase as land prices have fallen. We haven’t.

      Also the chart of land prices does not show the decease of land in SL, few regions. As more regions drop out and there is less land, the price should go up. That is basic economics 101. It hasn’t. So, the decrease in land price is even more dramatic then the chart shows.

      Your idea that there is no reason for people to visit Stoneworks more than once is also a bit wacky. Places like Stoneworks and Grendel’s always have new products to see, have more to see than one is likely to see in one visit, they have RP areas to attract visitors, Stoneworks has building and other classes, and Stoneworks is a place to meet people. I doubt you have any actual statistics to prove your point of one visit per user. But, that doesn’t stop you from stating your uninformed ideas as facts.

      If you look at the chart of unemployment provided by the US Bureau of Labor Stats, the unemployment rate line changes to a direction of increasing unemployment in May 2007. That is about the same time we see a reverse in SL land prices. It is also notable that the Democrats took over Congress in January 2007. An enlightening exercise is to add the years to show when Democrats or Republicans controlled Congress and which years which president was in office.

      I didn’t try to blame Obama for the SL economy. Nor even for the RL economy. But Obama certainly has NOT fixed it and he has been President for almost 4 years. Harding turned the economy around in 18 months. Roosevelt took 12 years. Kennedy in about 6 months. Reagan in less than 12 months. It is worth noting that Roosevelt needed a war to turn the economy around and that his policies and Obama’s are nearly the same. We have historical proof of what turns an economy on or off. Harding, Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, Geo. W. did it. Roosevelt and Obama did things that prolonged the depression.

      It is also worth noting that most Unemployment Rate Charts use the U3 numbers. They show unemployment decreasing since 2009. But, one does need to understand how the numbers are figured and look at the other ‘U’ numbers. The U3 numbers are based on a pool of workers, the work force, 100 people. The number of unemployed, say 10, is divided by the work force. So, 10/100 = 10% gives us the unemployment rate. But, when people run out of unemployment benefits or stop looking for work they are dropped from the work force pool. Let’s say 5 people drop out. The work force (100-5) is now 95 and the unemployed (10-5) are 5 so the new rate (5/95=5.3) drops. But there are still 10 people not working that once were working. Never trust a government number until you see the math behind it.

  2. In 2007, a full sim cost around US$90. Recently, a friend had been trying to sell a full region for US$300. So don’t try to tell me that SL land isn’t expensive and that reality isn’t a reason that people for the past 6 years have had to sell their lands. Sure, back in 2007, a lot of people bought land, but since then, a lot of people have gotten rid of their land too. The rate by which the average club goes from opening to closing its doors hasn’t changed much either, and many of them are going over to the OpenSim grids because they can buy land for their venues for a third of what SL sell land for. Add to that, OpenSim had mesh, and has many other features SL doesn’t have, and it’s surprising how many people carry on with SL when they’d have more freedom for creation and be able to pay less to do it. Not to mention you can have your own grid on your computer for free and have it connected to numerous grids through the hypergrid, which SL has pretty much abandoned with their new policies.

    But it is about the economy, which is another reason why people are not going to shell out US$300 to own virtual land when they could use it to try and keep their real life land. Guess the housing bubble hit SL too. Which all the more is a good reason to down size and come over to the OpenSim grids.

    • If you thought I was telling you SL land was inexpensive, you missed the point.

      The RL economy definitely has an affect on the SL economy. The US$300 per month tier is unlike other games that are considered mostly recession proof.

      • SL is a fixed economy anyways. It pretty much is set to accommodate for the people that pay the most into it. Probably better for those that find LL’s economy to be too expensive for them because of the RL economy to move on to something less expensive. OpenSim could be a good venture, as possibly even InWorlds and Avination, which are closed economy grids based on OSGrid technology. Now that OpenSim isn’t tied down by LL, they can go about developing things more, and even work on making OpenSim more open to virtual content creators as well. There is a market already growing in these areas, and the land is much better priced to suit even recreational purposes for owning land.

        Too bad a lot of people on SL are blinded by the pyramid scheme to know when to quit and move on.

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