First with $ 5.00 regions. First with Canadian currency, through Podex, in a virtual world. And now, first to set a region cap on a virtual grid. Roddie Macchi, owner of the Great Canadian Grid, announced this week that the grid will set an individually owned region cap of 1,000. We asked Roddie about the new region cap and about the Great Canadian Grid (GCG).
Winter Silversmith: Why did you decide to set a cap on the region counts?
Roddie Macchi: The reason why is because it is a lot for one guy <laughing> Now, mind you I have a great team, and thank god, but to look after every region and everyone’s issues with regions and helping everyone as well for each region your day goes from five hours a day to twelve hours a day.
Winter: This started out more as a hobby for you didn’t it, your grid is now one of the fastest growing grids in OpenSim. Did you ever think you would be running a business instead of just a hobby grid?
Roddie: The biggest reason for the cap, well, I could just hire more help and keep going I guess. In the beginning I said to myself “Hey you know what?’ I ran a lot of grids going back to Sims Online Days when I was the largest EA land mass to running the largest Recreational Canadian Group in SecondLife. I know I would be great at running a grid!” and along came GCG.
Winter: This is more of fun for you than it is a business isn’t it, running the GCG grid?
Roddie: It’s what I love to do. I love looking after others and helping others. I’m good at it, probably because I love people.
Winter: What about the future, will the business aspect of things force you to change to become more like the larger grids that are more interested in money than fun?
Roddie: If I get to the point, where most do when they get big, and become ‘just that grid owner’ that no one ever sees or hears from much, or has to always ask the middle guy or submit tickets all the time… then the whole concept of why I decided to make the GCG becomes the norm, stale, live every other ‘business’ grid.
Winter: What keeps your view on things so positive and refreshing compared to other grids?
Roddie: I don’t go to other grids, nor do I go on their forums. I keep to myself and look after my grid and our residents, everyone on my grid is like family to me. Why would I want to go anywhere else?
Winter: <laughing> Are you asking me?
Roddie: Sure, what do you think about the GCG?
Winter: I love it, I’ve built my life here. I rarely ever go to SecondLife, maybe once a month, and it’s been ages since I went to another OpenSim grid. It’s a community, full of friends and neighbours, just like Canada.
Roddie: Exactly, we have a very tight community here that look out for one another and it’s amazing.
Winter: We talk a lot about community and the generous spirit in GCG, can you give me an example of this for our readers?
Roddie: Yes. I’ve helped my real life sister get onto the grid and as we were logging in, well, no one knew who she was or that I was standing right beside her. In a matter of thirty minutes she was greeted with open arms by a dozen people, given a free home to live in, free furniture and landmarks. It was amazing to see, but not unexpected, we’re just ‘that’ close a community. I was still practically in tears, though, to see how people were on my own grid and how very proud I was to see that happen.
Winter: That’s great, I’ve seen this happen many times myself in the GCG, someone says ‘Hi’ in the grid chat and is immediately welcomed by several people online. And when someone asks for help, unlike some other grids, they aren’t told to get out of the chat and join another group, no, instead they are greeted, given free items, landmarks, everything to help them feel a part of the GCG from Day 0.
Roddie: Yes, we are a great family grid indeed.
Winter: What happens when the regions reach 1,000 and the cap is in place?
Roddie: A lot of people who own land will be renting parcels and structures. If anyone decides they no longer want to own their region here, then people who want to purchase a region will be able to provided they are on our waiting list. You can expect because of our popularity that the waiting list will be long so please have patience you won’t be forgotten. They will, however, be a cap on the waiting list, as well, so that someone doesn’t try to monopolize on the idea and buy up a bunch of land to rent out. Each person on the waiting list will only be able to purchase two regions per avi and then we go to the next avi on the waiting list.
Winter: There was concern expressed that a cap on regions might have a detrimental effect on parcel rental prices, a lot of regions currently offer free housing. If parcel prices become unreasonable, like a larger grid we know of, what will you do to prevent price gouging?
Roddie: I don’t think, given our community, that price gouging will ever become a problem here, if it does then I will address it.
Winter: I read recently that you might have to raise the rates of existing regions if the population or inventory increased placing more demand on the servers?
Roddie: No, that information was incorrect. I have never raised the rates on grandfathered regions and I have no intention of ever doing so. As old $5 regions close, new $25 regions are created, the cycle pays for itself as the grid evolves.
Winter: Thank you for answering some questions for me today, is there anything else you would like to add?
Roddie: Yes, our grid will still take on new members, and be connected to hypergrid, and do everything it is right now. I feel this will not affect the economy at all since the hypergrid is very much open and people can still purchase stuff here. And we love Kitely, with their ‘direct to grid’ delivery system the hypergrid has made it very much a great way to find that one grid you can call home, live on it, and shop anywhere and everywhere.
Winter: Thank you, have a great day Roddie.
Roddie: You too, and I hope to bump into all of you one day on the GCG, it really is the friendliest grid in the metaverse!
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We are a roleplay publication featuring activities in the Manitou, GCG regions and beyond.
Kevin M. Klerks, Editor
(aka Winter Silversmith)