The Hypergrid Newbie Glossary


ABANDONED LAND- Land in virtual worlds that the owner has simply walked away from, often leaving everything behind. Grid owners may take thier time removing abandoned land, as it improves grid statistics.

ACCESS LISTS-rather than huge ugly yellow banlines trashing everybody’s view, on the hypergrid regions that are not open to the public tend to have access lists. If you are not on the list, you cannot enter the region. They also tend to  be on their own, surrounded by void sims.

ADULT- While in SL the word usually implies commercial sexual content, on the largely non commercial hypergrid it can just mean people want you to be over 18 in real life if you are going to come on thier region for a broad spectrum of reasons; from the occasional feminist erotic poetry reading, to just not wanting to babysit other people’s children.

AFK- away from keyboard.

AGEPLAY- having a prepubescent avatar. A tricky business, as any sexual contact involving a child avatar, even having them in the same room as a bed with an adult poseball, can get you locked up for child pornography in most countries. Because of this, child avatars are sometimes banned from public areas on the hypergrid, and many individual region owners do not allow them. There was a huge controversy when the OS Grid banned child avatars completely, one senior member calling people who used them “sick”. That he was talking to the owner of a Harry Potter themed region at the time, illustrated a very relevant point: the presence of child avatars is predominantly valid. Children are an essential part of the human condition, and very few realities can be portrayed without them. Some people, such as the famous creator Arcadia Asylum, even choose child avatars as a statement that they do NOT engage in virtual sex.

AGE RESTRICTIONS: Overwhelmingly, OpenSim grids will only allow you to register if you are 18 or over. Craft World is one exception, but you must register your real age to be allowed on mature and adult regions.

ALPHA- a software industry term for the initial phase of development.

ANTIALIASING- a setting for your graphics that gives you a much sharper picture.

AURORA SIM- a fork of the OpenSimulator project.

AUTO RETURN- how a landlord can automatically  sends things back to a visitors  inventory, to keep her prim count  down, and her land uncluttered. It doesn’t mean you are in trouble or anything. It´s sort of good, if you lose something, normally, somebody´s auto return will send it back to you. Sometimes in OpenSim your region just starts doing this out of the blue. If you are renting, tell the grid owner.

AVATAR-  the Hindu concept of the earthly embodiment of a deity,  that became the term for  your personal manifestation within virtual worlds. The little cartoon person who interacts with the virtual world for you.


BANNING- Cutting off an individual avatar’s access to a region or grid. Although usually caused by the individual engaging in griefing, or other anti social behavior, a few grids do seem to be a somewhat “ban happy”, with banned residents not really understanding why they have been penalized. see closed grids

(The 4096 )Barrier, – in OpenSim’s early days, you could not teleport between hypergrid addresses that were more than 4096 regions apart. Addresses were divided into three groups, lower middle and upper.And although most addresses are in the upper category, this caused problems more often than you would think. Everyone got around the barrier by having landmarks in all three catagories, so if you got stuck in a lower address, you could teleport to a middle one, then to an upper. Although the problem was fixed in September  2013, it is only fixed on grids that are running post fix software. Not everybody updates, so although you can teleport over 4096 regions FROM a grid with the newer software, you may get stuck if your destination’s software is pre 09/ 2013.Which happens more often than you would think. Craft Grid maintains regions in the middle and lower catagories that you can landmark. From region Hydra(upper), take the gate to Midway(middle) and landmark. Now from Midway, take the gate to Ichnos(lower), and landmark. From Ichnos you can gate back to Hydra. Craft updates, hehe.

BETA – a software industry term for a second, pre release stage of development that usually involves testing by users. In standard corporate structures they tend to have”closed beta” where beta testers are hired or invited to troubleshoot the product. In the OpenSource world, beta testing is a freaking global rave.    The SOFTWARE RELEASE LIFE CYCLE is a big deal in any online environment, and it is worth having a tiny understanding of what the hell the tech heads are talking about.

BLAM GATE:  Invented by former Linden Pathfinder Lester and perfected by Sanctuary grid owner Shaun Emerald , blam gates are stone archways that teleport you to one destination, whose hypergrid address and name are hovering above. They are extremely reliable, and very widely used. When colored red they are permanently offline, when colored blue they are temporarily down. When normally colored, just walk into them to teleport. If it doesn’t work the first time , wait 20 seconds and try again. Walking into them softly works better than crashing into them.

BLENDER- free open source software for 3D creation. The learning curve is said to be a bit steep, but the buzz says that Blender is one of the best tools around. The website BLENDER.ORG has the download and LOTS of tutorials, there is tons more info and tutorials scattered all over the web. You can now use Blender for Mesh models.

BOT- short for “robot” and often used to describe anything automated, in virtual worlds bots are automated avatars, most often used  as a greeter. If you come into a sim and see someone just standing there, or sitting behind a desk, walk up to them, they will probably initiate a conversation, telling you how to activate them, for example by typing welcome bot// and then whatever you want to ask.  They can be very cool; I recently met a bot who answered philosphical questions! If  this piques your interest, here is more BOT info.

BRB- bathroom break, be right back

BULLET PHYSICS ENGINE- A physics engine used in OpenSim. It makes gravity and stuff. Vehicle aficionados get really intense about it.


CAMERA- term used to describe your point of view in relation to your avatar. By default your camera is about three feet  behind and a bit above your avatars head.

CLIENT-the part of any internet software that is in YOUR computer.

CLOSED GRIDS- Grids that are not connected to the hypergrid. Also, owners may partially close their grid from certain other grids . For example, if the owners of grid A are having a lot of complaints about the behavior of avatars from grid B, and banning individuals does not seem to be helping, they may just close grid A to all avatars from grid B.

COMMERCIAL GRIDS- Grids that are run by the owners as a business. They usually have their own inworld currency, such as 3rd Rock Grid’s Geodes and Kitely’s Credits. Residents of commercial grids are by no means all running commercial ventures, nor is the grid community necessarily heavily commercialized.

CONTENT- a term for inworld items-anything you can put in your inventory is content.

COPYBOT- controversial software that can copy a virtual item without the owners permission. Before Linden Lab’s draconian change  to their Terms Of Service, making it illegal for anyone but the sole creator to remove anything from Second Life, many people copybotted full perm items and brought them into OpenSim. Today, many people still choose to ignore Linden Labs, and take  items into OpenSim, often with the owners permission, sometimes without. Although the majority of copybotting goes on within  the commercial environment of Second Life for financial gain, OpenSim, with it’s loud opensource politics, tends to have the bad boy copybot reputation.

COPYRIGHT- can be a real flashpoint on the “free internet” opensource hypergrid. Who owns the rights to what are a continual source of debate, not to mention wild hyperbole and grandstanding. A LOT of crazy accusations are thrown around, and as you get to know the hypergrid community, you consider the source very carefully. Of course, sometimes somebody does actually rip something off, which will get most people deleting said item from their inventory, and removing it from their freebie boxes.

COSPLAY-  costume play, a Japanese trend/subculture where young people dress up as their favorite manga characters for role play, socializing, and events, such as Comikons etc. There are Tokyo cafes and nightclubs that cater to Cosplayers, and although the role play isn´t necessarily sexual, gender bending is common. Outside Japan, Western Sci Fi and Fantasy fans who dress as their favorite characters are also considered Cosplayers, and it has become a popular pastime  in virtual worlds.

CRASH-when you are unexpectedly disconnected from the virtual world. It can be very abrupt, where your viewer just shuts off, or it can be long and drawn out, with everything getting slower and slower, the screen blacking out, then a an error message appearing saying you have been logged out. Sometimes a window opens saying the viewer is unresponsive, and asks if you would like to log out. While all this is happening, there is often a “not responding” message at the top of the viewer, as though you need to be told that! Crashes can be caused by all kinds of things, at events, a lot of people teleporting in at once will do it, or just having too many people on the dance floor, hence the saying “It ain’t a party if you don’t crash!” If you are talking to someone and they start doing some repetitive movement like typing and typing but nothing comes up in chat, they are probably crashing. If you are crashing out if someplace alot, tell the region owner or grid owner. They appreciate the feedback, and perhaps together you can fix the problem!


DARK METAVERSE- OpenSim software has been downloaded far more than there are known grids, causing these mystery worlds  to be referred to as the “Dark Metaverse”.

DEVELOPERS- on the hypergrid, usually refers to the core developers of the Open Simulator codebase. People complain a LOT about the developers, but it is important to remember that they are not actually creating the code for the benefit of the hypergrid community, or OpenSim grids. They all have careers and  day jobs and their work on the code is oriented toward  forwarding THAT.

DMCA- The Digital Millenium Copyright Act is a ”  United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on theInternet. ” from Wikepedia.

DOWNLOAD- Loading software from a larger , main computer to a smaller one, usually via the internet. You can download viewers, the OpenSim software itself if you know what you are doing, and many websites offer  free downloads for OpenSim that include everything from furnished regions, to flowers and clothes. Run a search on Downloads, OpenSim , and see what happens.


ERROR MESSAGE- a little grey box appears in the middle of the viewer telling you that, for example, you cannot teleport because the region doesn’t exist, or because a teleport is already in progress etc. Error messages can be about anything, and in opensim sometimes the software seems to be throwing them out just for the hell of it. On one grid everytime I teleport, it tells me I can’t go right before it teleports me! “Region doesn’t exist” is another very common one that is often meaningless. Teleporting from another region, or using a hypergate may get you to the “nonexistant” region without a problem!

ESTATE-  a term that refers to one or more Private Regions owned by an individual or group. The regions in the Estate normally have the same ban lists, sun settings, and estate manager. They will also share rules and guidelines as defined by the owners.

ESTATE MANAGER- a role assigned to a non region owner, which gives them the same abilities as the owner. Estate Manager does not work that well between grids, it is better to use avatars from the same grid if possible.

EVENT- 1) in Linden Scripting Language, or LSL, an event, sometimes referred to as a trigger, is when something happens. LSL is an event driven programming language, and all scripts revolve around some kind of trigger or event from outside or within the script that kicks its program into action. 2)  a party, dance, gallery opening, any planned public gathering is called an event. see Google + events

EXPORTABILITY- Several hypergrid enabled grids have exportability options for inworld content, meaning a creator may set items so they cannot be taken off the grid, and copied into fiscal oblivion. Kitely, Littlefield, 3rd Rock, and Spellscape are well known examples. If you live on a grid with this option, be very careful everything you are wearing is exportable when you teleport off the grid! Should you visit from a different grid, and try to copy a free gift, you may get a message that this item is “non exportable”, and can therefore not be copied into a “foriegn” inventory. I send the owner a friendly message, as I have found a great many people think their stuff is exportable, and isn’t.


FILTER- Grid owners are able to set filters if they chose as to what cannot leave their grids. This option is usually used by commercial grids, to protect their creators livelihoods. Should you be on a grid that filters, and you try to leave the grid with a “non exportable” something or other, you will get an error message telling you object X may not be exported. This is sometimes referred to as non exportability.

FREE CONTENT/FREEBIES- On the non commercial hypergrid, even if something has a price tag when you scan , the price is often zero. Most non comercial grids have shops and even regions full of free stuff,  featuring everything from airships to teacups. Why? Non profit OpenSim grids tend to be populated by a more opensource, free internet oriented crowd. You will often see the Linux penguin or  GNU, Free Software Foundation emblems or even  posters of  free internet guru Richard Stallman as Jesus Christ scattered about.

FREE LAND- Most non profit  hypergrid enabled worlds have some free land and housing. Ask!

FREE METAVERSE- a term often applied to the hypergrid, which is non profit and has no central authority running things. see metaverse.

FRIENDING- means adding someone to your list of contacts inworld. You can click on an avatar, or an item they own and, menus will eventually lead you to an “add friend” option. The person must return friendship for the connection to work. Once that has happened, you can see if they are online, and send private messages called IMs. Friending does not work that well across grids. When you log onto your home grid, your friends from that grid will probably show up. If you teleport to another grid, your friends from that grid might suddenly show up. REMEMBER, like your inventory, your friends list changes when you change  accounts!

FULL PERM-is a permission status that applies to virtual world objects. It means you can copy,( you can rez endless copies, and there is always a copy in your inventory, ) modify( take it apart, change textures, light it up etc.) and transfer (gift idea!)  an object.  In Second Life FULL PERM versions of  anything tend to be pricier. Because you bought something full perm in SL does NOT mean you are allowed to take it out of Second Life. In fact, it is against SL’s Terms of Service to take anything off their grid that is not 100% your own creation.

In OpenSim permissions can take on a life of their own, for example; the grid owner tweaks something in the  grid code and BANG! everything goes full perm. When in doubt, ASK before you take something big and shiny in OpenSim!!!!!

FURRIES-a virtual subculture that used animal shaped avatars and human clothing to create characters usually that walk upright and use human speech, while retaining some animal traits. In real life there is “Furry Fandom”, a sci fi fantasy fan base that appreciates mammalian anthropomorphic characters. They have conventions, publish magazines and comics, the whole sci fi nerd thing. ( I´m a lifelong Trekkie, so I can say nerd)


GLITCH- a term to describe little and not so little things that go wrong with software. Some come from the OpenSim developers, some come from individual grid owners tweaking the code, some come from your viewer. Ask your grid owner if you have a problem. They love feedback, and they can’t fix it if they don’t it’s happening. G+ communities are also a good place to ask questions.

GOD POWERS: Advanced powers that allow the region owner and estate managers to, among other things, reset permissions and take ownership of any item on the region.With OpenSim’s tendency to flip permissions on and off, this can be incredibly handy. Not all grids offer this option, but many do. Ask! ( most commercial grids do not offer this!)

GOOGLE  ACCOUNT– it is important to remember that the hypergrid is a just a bunch of people linked together by some code, with no centralized authority, and nowhere to get collective information. So how do we communicate on a daily basis, gossip, plug events, share tech tips, photos, irritate each other with cat memes, or go to war over mindbendingly trivial bullshit? Overwhelmingly the hypergrid communicates through the  free tools provided by their google accounts. And yes, everybody knows it smacks of “One Account To Rule Them All”, but without it, we’d just be a gaggle of leftie  tech nerds zapping around in the dark, wouldn’t we?

GOOGLE + – THE   social network of the hypergrid!  Get your Google account, go to g+ and create a profile, because 1)Even if you are not a big  fan of online social networks, the ability to ask 1000 people who know infinitely more than you a technical question is not to be dismissed out of hand. 2)  Going from Second Life to the hypergrid is like going from The Netherlands to Wyoming- you are dealing with a MUCH larger area, and a lower ,more scattered population. You are unlikely to simply bump into anyone casually. You need to information, and you need to plan.


GOOGLE + COMMUNITIES- This is where you actually start meeting people:) Some communities are open for anyone to join, with others you need an invitation. OpenSim Virtual is the largest hypergrid oriented community, with over 1000 members. Moderator and community founder Talla Adam  keeps the tone  civil and balanced;a great place to start. Craft World, Metropolis, Kitely, Franco Grid, 3rd Rock, and Sanctuary to name a few, have their own communities, where you can share photos, pose questions  make friends and keep up with grid info. Metaverse Tours has a community, as does the Hypergrid Safari and Hypergrid Nights. There is  Hypergrid Destinations, Friends of Arcadia Asylum, Arts in Virtual Worlds, Free 3D… the list is endless. If you find somebody’s posts and comments to be interesting, you can friend them. Soon your G+ page will read like a personalized hypergrid magazine! (Feel free to run a search on virtualchristine, and send me a message. I can friend you and help you get set up:))

GOOGLE + EVENTS- another massively useful tool. When you join a community, or a friend shares an event you will automatically be notified before the fact, my android tablet rings twenty minutes before they start!  If you are not quite sure how to set one up shawnkmaloney Craftgrid is the hypergrid’s go to man. Check out the instructional videos on his G+ profile,  or drop him a line!

GOOGLE CALENDARS- this Google feature allows you to create your own personal calendar of hypergrid events! They can be a tad convoluted to use and share, but shawnkmaloney Craftgrid’s mission in life is to get the entire hypergrid on them. Take a look at the instructional videos on his G+ profile, or contact him on G+.  Remember Shawn’s signature move is “crazy but extremely helpful”. He loves helping new friends, especially on Skype:)

GRID- the collection of servers, or software hosting computers ( in SL that means massive Linden Lab corporate computers, in OpenSim it can mean private server companies, university computers, or some dude’s  laptop) which, when networked together,  make the virtual world. The words grid and world are  used interchangeably.

GRID OWNERS- The people who set up the grid on it’s servers,draw up the terms of service,  pay the electricity bills, and maintain the grid. In OpenSim grid owners tend to be a very real presence inworld, troubleshooting problems, attending meetings, helping to, or  organizing events. They are often the first people you meet the first time you log on to a grid. Never hesitate to ask for help, or report something you see as a problem.

GRIEFER- Griefing is a broad term used in most online multi player environments, covering everything from theft, spamming, cyberbullying, to intentionally acting out of character in a defined role play setting. It means jerk.

GROUPS- Inworld, you may join or create groups, and chat within that group. Groups members may also be given powers on a region you own. Most grids have a big community chat group, where everyone can just say hi and pass on information. Translators do NOT work in group chat!! Groups do not work that well between grids. You will only get notices from a group if you are on it’s grid, and  cross grid chat does not seem to work at all.


HOMESTEAD- a small piece of land  usually intended to give one the feel for land ownership. A homestead is about a quarter of a parcel, which is a quarter of a region, which is a part of an estate.

HUD- is a Heads Up Display, an attachment worn by your avatar, whose display visible only to you. They can have any number of functions, some tell you if there are other avatars around, others offer teleports, many inworld games have HUDS that tell you your score etc.

HYPERGATES- hypergrid teleportation portals that come in all shapes and sizes, from the stone arc blam gates, to pretty blue bowls,  some offer you a menu, some interface with your world map, some you walk into until you teleport. People are coming up with new shapes all the time, so as a rule, on OpenSim, one shouldn´t walk through any sort of arch or doorway that shimmers slightly inside without landmarking first!

(THE)HYPERGATES.COM- if you Google the word “hypergate” this website will come up; ignore it. It is a completely outdated  site for a system that registered grids for the menu on big inworld teleporters that looked like a Stargate. The system never worked  that well, and it seems the company has dropped the whole idea. Everyone leaves the gates up because they look cool.

HYPERGATE HUB- is a collection of gates to various destinations on the hypergrid. With hypergrid addresses  working about half the time, a collection of hub landmarks in your inventory is invaluable. The largest and most well maintained hub is on Sanctuary Grid , which boasts 112 blam gates on an attractive recreational VAR region. The hypergrid address is:

HYPERGRID- the super teleportation system which connects independently run grids/worlds that use OpenSim software. There is no PLACE called the hypergrid, it is simply code that links grids together. see Hypergrid Community

HYPERGRID ADDRESSES- consist of two parts, the grid  default address, such as

and a colon and region name, such as


which put together   and pasted into your world map search engine, should get you to region Crossroads on Kitely grid.  This technique is by no means 100% reliable, so if it doesn’t work after a few times, don’t worry too much. Go to a hypergate hub, take a gate to Kitely, and then run a search on the region name. Please see our Hypergridding for Newbies page for more information.

HYPERGRID COMMUNITY- a term often used to describe the inhabitants of the grids that are linked together by the hypergrid. see hypergrid


IAR- Inventory Archives ;a copy of your  viewer’s inventory, in individual folders, or it’s entirety that you can save to your computer! Not all grids give residents this ability, but most grid owners are happy to oblige if you ask for one! People also put collections of IARS on the internet, for anyone who is interested to download!

INWORLD- when you are in a virtual world . Inworld meetings, inworld events, inworld friendships are common usages.

INWORLDZ- a large closed commercial grid with a fantasy orientation. Although it started with OpenSim software, it has never been on the hypergrid, and it’s code has been so altered and reworked that they no longer consider themselves part of OpenSim.


JUMP-  a hypergrid teleport is often referred to as a jump


KITELY- the largest commercial grid ever to join the hypergrid Kitely  also pioneered  a non exportability option, and founded the Kitely market, kind of an for virtuality.


LAG- when your avatar’s movement loses all fluidity, as though it is swimming in a sea of molasses. Often precedes a crash. Lag is usually caused by the server or your computer having too much to process. Too many scripts or a high prim load , too many people can cause lag server side; having your browser open to a page that takes up alot of your computer’s CPU,  having  certain settings too high in your viewer,  having an outdated viewer, or a slow internet connection can cause lag PC side. If there is no apparent cause, lag will often improve as you visit the region more, and your computer “gets used” to being there. Also see re-log.

LINDEN LAB-  or LL for short;a privately held San Francisco based company founded by Philip Rosendale in 1999, maker of Second Life, the leading virtual 3D world.

LOD- Level of Detail; a characteristic where objects lose detail from a distance.

LOG ON/IN OFF/OUT- means the same thing as logging onto facebook or twitter, when you  initially enter or exit the virtual world with your viewer, you are logging on or off.

LSL-Linden Scripting Language. Used in OpenSim too


MEATSPACE-a humorous reference to non virtual life.

MESH- “The capability to bring polygonal  models created with external applications(such as Blender) into Second Life.  Mesh creations are potentially more visually engaging and more efficient, as the  method of calculating an effective  Mesh prim count measures the relative impact the object will have on performance of the region.” Dumbed down, building with mesh gives a much more realistic appearance than prims, with a fraction of the impact on the land. A 100 prim item, when made in mesh, will not only look more realistic, but have a 3 prim land impact! Not all viewers can see mesh, so having the latest Firestorm viewer installed is important. Mesh can take longer to load in your viewer, so your friends may not have hair or legs for a while,  AND you can only see mesh from certain angles, so if you walk around a piece and it suddenly disappears, you know what happened.

MANUEL JUMP- an OpenSim term that refers to a hypergrid teleport that is accomplished by pasting or typing a hypergrid address into the world map search engine.

METAVERSE- a term coined in Neil Stephenson´s 1992 Sci Fi  novel SNOWCRASH, where human avatars interact with each other and software agents in a computer generated worl,that had evolved from the internet. “Meta” means beyond and “verse” refers to the word universe.  Today the word ” is commonly used to describe our collectively shared online space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and  physically persistent  virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet.”

MICRO AVATARS – I have personally never seen one, but these ankle high avatars are the latest thing. They have micro clothes houses vehicles etc. They tend to be furry little animals or fairies.


NEKO- Japanese for cat, Neko is a popular form of Cosplay in the real and virtual worlds. Although their shape remains essentially human, Neko Cosplayers have fur patterned skin, cat ears , tails, you get the idea.

NONPROFIT GRIDS: Grids that are run by their owners as nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit grids tend to not have a their own currency, and are sometimes run by universities or educational groups. While most nonprofits grids have some free land and housing, or allow you to run one or more regions off your computer attached to their grid at no cost, they almost all have a rental system for regions maintained by the grid owners.Payments are often referred to as donations. Before Kitely, the bulk of the hypergrid was nonprofit.


OAR- The OpenSimulator Archive lets you save an entire copy of a region, from the mountains right down to the coffee mugs in the lodge, into your computer. Not all grids have this option available for resident use, but are usually happy to make you a copy. Most grids save an OAR of your region  regularly as a safeguard. People also load OARS onto  websites for sale, or free use.

OBJECT- a prim, or linked collection of prims.

OPEN GRID PROJECT- here is the OPEN GRID WIKI, if your interested, but in a nutshell, this project is about SL residents being able to teleport between different virtual environments. Several “Gridnauts” have already been successfully teleported to Open Sim, but Linden Lab’s interest seems to have waned. There is no more talk of SL joining the free metaverse.

OMC- Open Metaverse Currency, a virtual currency used by about 30 Grids, bought and sold on the Virvox exchange, it can be exchanged into most real world currencies, and linden dollars. OMC is hypergrid enabled, so you can shop anywhere you can travel with the same avatar!  REMEMBER, the bulk of the hypergrid  has a non commercial orientation. I have been on the hypergrid for 2 1/2 years, and have never been in a situation when I needed an inworld currency.

OPEN SOURCE-open sourcing something, is essentially removing the copyright from it, allowing anyone to alter whatever it is at will. Anything , from medicines to literature can be open sourced, but it’s most well known application is probably in computer software. The OpenSim project is a direct result of Linden Labs Open Sourcing it´s viewer. The term “Open Source”  was coined in 1998 when the OPEN SOURCE INITIATIVE was founded. The OSI movement has strong roots in the free software and hacker community, and I often get the impression, that a companies decision to go open source is really just bowing to the inevitable. Instead of spending a fortune in what is probably a doomed attempt protecting your copyrighted  material, why not just let everyone have a go at it, at no cost to them or you, and build off the results?

OPENSIM- the OpenSimulator project is a software platform that hosts hundreds of  individually owned and operated Grids.  OpenSim is an  OPEN SOURCE project,  meaning that it is more of a cooperative, with anyone contributing to and messing with the codes. Although the creation of the project  stems directly from Linden Labs making it´s Grid viewer open source, Linden Lab and OpenSim are completely separate. OpenSim is non profit;. there is a board of trustees and no CEO. The software is free for anyone to download. A great many educational institutions and disgruntled SL residents have packed up and gone to Open Sim worlds as Linden Lab continues to jack up fees and virtually eliminate resident participation in decision making. .

OS GRID- the biggest nonprofit Grid on the OpenSim platform, with about 11, 900 regions. It is the test grid for the opensim developers and was the first grid to run on opensim software. Many newbies think the term “OS Grid” refers to the entire opensimulator project. It does NOT. It is the name of ONE grid on the hypergrid!


PARCEL- an area on grid that is about one quarter of a region. Parcels may be divided up into several homesteads.

PERMISSIONS- all in-world content has permissions options, which reflects the creators wishes for it’s distribution. Some things are set to copy, but not modify. Others are set to no copy, no modify, no transfer. Others are set to copy, but no transf-you get the picture.

PHYSICS ENGINE- the part of the computer network that is the grid that regulates the physical virtual world- you know, stuff like gravity

PRIM-short for “primitive”, prims are the building blocks of virtual environments. You can create them with the BUILD function in your browser. The prim default form is a box with a plywood texture,but if you click the little wand button on your build menu you will be offered several shapes to chose from. You can twist, cut and turn them inside out with your build program.  The official Linden Lab line is that prims consume SIGNIFIGANT computer resources. A region can hold about 15,000 at any given time; landlords pay Linden Labs for their prim allowance,so if you rent, and go over your allowance,  beware; your landlords will absolutely react. If you are just visiting and try to rez anything in an area with a no rezz symbol in the address bar on you browser, you will get a reaction too. Prims are the building blocks of OpenSim as well, but allowances tend to be a whole lot bigger or just  more relaxed. I pay slightly more for an entire region on an OpenSim grid, than I would for a  tiny 200 prim sky box in Second Life, and I have a prim allowance in the thousands. And thousands.


QUATERNION- a mid 19th century mathematical concept that is now Linden Scripting Language math speak for” rotation”. Here is the SL WIKI: QUATERNION. Go ahead. Knock yourself out.


REZ or REZZ-  to create an object or make it appear. If you are on a forest sim, and are surrounded by tall grey blobs instead of trees, the trees are not “rezzing” for you. Clicking edit on  objects can cause them to rezz clearly. Sometimes relogging helps. If it is your forest, and you see the trees clearly, but your friends never do, you may want to swap the trees out for something other peoples computers can handle.   The term is originally from the sci fi  film Tron.

REGION- an area on a grid that is usually made up of several smaller parcels. Several regions are usually referred to as an estate. Regions are also sometimes referred to as sims. On Kitely Grid, regions are referred to as worlds.

RELOG-  Logging out then logging in again, usually with the hope of improving your computer’s interaction with the region. Also some group roles or memberships need a relog to go into effect.

RL- real life.


SANDBOX- an area  where you can mess with your builds, or unpack your new freebies; be sure to check the symbol list next to the address or look for posted signs. Most sandboxes have rules, such as no scripting, nudity or  combat. Many also tell you how long you have before auto return kicks in. Remember, be nice and take your stuff with you when you leave!!!

SCRIPT-“A script is an asset, much like a notecard or any other inventory item. When it is placed in a prim, one of the building blocks of all simulated physical objects,it can control the prims behavior, appearance and relationship with other prims it is linked with, allowing it to move; change shape;color;or texture; or interact with the world.”- Dr. Karen Zita Haigh,(resident name Karita Zabaleta), co author of  the official guide to second life scripting; SCRIPTING YOUR WORLD, who has a Ph.D in computer science and builds robot brains. Dumbed down, it is a little program that makes inworld  content do stuff. Second Life scripts may not work that well, or not at all in OpenSim.

SERVER- where stuff is on the internet. Whether you have an item on ebay , a Facebook page, an online email account or a region in Second Life, you have to log in to use these things. Why? Because your account is in Ebays, Facebooks, Yahoo mail or Linden Labs  really massive computer, or server. With OpenSim software, YOUR dinky little laptop can be the server for a grid that is connected, via the hypergrid, to hundreds of other grids. Some people set up extra personal computers in their basements or garages if they want big grids with lots of stuff in them; a huge and tricky task.  In search of a smoother ride and less aggravation, some grids hire professional servers to house their stuff. Obviously in OpenSim, server quality is a big subject, here is the link to the very understandable and infinity more well written WIKIPEDIA ON COMPUTING SERVERS

SIM- short for simulator, which can refer to hardware; the physical server machine at Linden Lab or whoever the hell the sever is hosting an OpenSim Grid, simulating one or more regions.  This machine is also called a Sim node, or Sim host. Sim may also refer to software; sim processes running on the sever machine that simulates regions. Accurately, but  in common usage, Sim is often another word for region. The last word from Linden Lab is ” Most accurately, a region is simulated by a sim process running on a sim node.” Whatever.

SINGULARITY– A virtual worlds viewer popular with  builders. Not quite as user friendly as Firestorm, but extremely sturdy, able to handle the choppiest waters of the worst hypergrid weather ever. Opensource and free.


TERMS OF SERVICE- or T.O.S. The contract you sign with a grid when you open an account there. Irregardless of what it says, in reality the user has no real rights, and can be banned at any time quite arbitrarily. Due to the international nature of virtual worlds, litigation is usually out of the question. Another reason it is important to pay attention to things like G+, if a lot of people  are complaining about a grid owner, that grid may be best avoided. Metaverse Tours recommends registration on Kitely ,Craft, or Metropolis, well established grids with excellent reputations. For more information, see how our how to register page.

TERRAIN FILES- .raw files that can be downloaded from the internet, or your hard disk drive onto your opensim region to create a terrain, or landscape.

TIME ZONES- a freaking pain on the very, very international hypergrid . Some grids set their time where the grid owners and servers are, Metropolis, for example is run by Germans, and so Metro “time” is simply German time. Many grids set their grid time to PST or Pacific Standard Time, because that is SLT or Second Life Time, which many people are accustomed to using as a reference. It is also good to know what the grid’s predominant nationalities are, as events tend to be in THEIR optimal times. For example, Craft Grid is probably 70% central Europeans, so most parties or openings tend to take place at about 9.30 CET.  One of the truly spectacular aspects of G+ event listings, is that the event automatically appears on everybody’s screen IN THEIR OWN TIME ZONE!! Heads up to Americans, Europeans often use the 24 clock hour  clock, not am and pm, so 1pm is 13.00, 2pm is 14.00 etc.

TRANSLATORS- a hypergrid essential, the welcome region of most grids offer free translators. You copy them into your inventory, and wear them. A menu pops up, asking you your native language and then the language you want to translate. On Craft, you will want Italian, on Metropolis, German, on Franco Grid or Logicamp, French.


UNITY- A software package that can create virtual world environments and is frequently used to create games. Many feel it is more flexible,and has better graphics than opensim. It doesn’t require a special viewer, but uses a normal internet browser. Unity version 5 is now free, though you have to give them a percentage of your profits if you make money.  Go forth and make games.

UUID- an abbreviation for Universally Unique Identifier. It is a  128 bit(16 byte)value which is generated in such a way as to make collisions very unlikely. In LSL they are in the key  variable type. Every object and avatar in a virtual environment has a UUID. They can be divided into four groups 1.Assets, which are handles for anything that can be inventory. 2. Instance UUIDs are assigned to all the prims, including the root prim, every time an object is rezzed. 3.Avatars and groups receive one time Account UUIDs that are  public.4. Parcels and regions have Land UUIDs. SL and OpenSim. Dumbed down, it is a little number inside every part of every piece of content. Often gets borked when an item is taken from one closed virtual environment to another.


VARREGION – regions in OpenSim that are about 9 times the normal size. Big area, no region crossing lag! They can only be used with the latest version of OpenSim and the Bullet Sim Physics Engine. You cannot teleport to a varregion from a region running older code.

VIEWER- even though you are online, you cannot interact with a virtual world using a regular internet browser, like Mozilla, Internet Explorer or Chrome. You will need to use your internet browser to download a special viewer. Remember, you can no longer use your Second Life Viewer on OpenSim!  The most popular, user friendly viewer is Firestorm , which is free and opensource.Be sure to download the Open Sim version! Also see Singularity.

VIRTUAL CHRISTINE- An unstoppable force of nature in both physical and virtual realities.

(The)VOID- Any part of  Second Life/ OpenSim that does not have a simulator. It looks like ocean , but cannot be entered. It is literally, what lies beyond the “edge of the world”.

VOID SIMS- also known as Empty Sims, Open Spaces or Ocean Sims, are no build, protected areas, usually ocean, that exist to separate normal sims, yet allow travel. Landowners like to purchase them to isloate their property Unlike Voids, they are a functional part of the Grid, but simply have such a low prim count that four of them can run on one simulator.


WELCOME AREA-most OpenSim grids have a common area for visitors and new residents. They tend to be set on the regions default address. There are often landmarks, freebies, basic instructions for people completely new to OpenSim, also grid owners or older residents will drop by to answer questions. In my  OpenSim home grid, Craft, the Friendly World, at Hydra Station, there is nearly always a real person available  to help you out.

WINDLIGHT: the name of SL´s atmospheric rendering system. Your browser uses it on OpenSim too. It enhances skies, lighting,  and other such atmospheric environmental graphics. You can jazz up your environment for photos , movies, or just plain fun with hundreds of free additional Windlight settings to your client software! Go to SL WINDLIGHT WIKI for more details.

WORLD- in OpenSim the words world and grid are used interchangably. On Kitely Grid ONLY, do  they call regions “worlds” making it a tad confusing  when their residents start interacting with the rest of the hypergrid!

WORLD MAP- opened by a small map icon on your viewers toolbar, your world map shows you where you are on a grid, if there are other avatars around you,  allows you to run searches for grids and regions, and teleports you there. On the hypergid, it is important to remember that you must be ON a grid to run a region search. Also, a common glitch is your world map showing you no land at all, or the land from your home grid, even if you are no longer there. This glitch does not affect your world map’s ability to search, find and teleport.

WRIGHT, MICHAEL- OpenSim core developer, aka Darren Guard, often referred to as the founder of the OpenSim Project. Wright Plaza on the OS Grid is named after him.




ZETAMEX– a popular grid and region hosting company, specializing in server support.