Firestorm will be opening their new Gateway regions to the public on Saturday, October 31st, with both a special Halloween party and the launch of their Spooky Nights Hunt, which will run through until Monday, November 30th.
The Firestorm Gateway is one of up to 20 new Community Gateways which will soon be opening as a part of a trial of a new Community Gateway programme initiated by the Lab, and which I previewed back in September.
The idea is to allow communities and groups within Second Life to build their own gateways focused on bringing new users into Second Life and to help get them started. These gateways will include web pages to attract new users to them, which will include a registration API to allow those users to sign-up to SL and create and account without necessarily having to go through the central registration process at secondlife.com.
The Firestorm party and Spooky Nights hunt do not mark the official opening of the new Gateway programme as a whole – the Lab will hopefully be announcing this is due course. However, they do present the opportunity for Second Life users to explore the Firestorm Gateway regions, five of which will be featured in the hunt, which will also serve as the first event designed to attract new users to Second Life via Firestorm’s website.
A special stage area has been created for the party on October 31st, which will feature Mankind Tracer and Nance Brody, among others. There will be more details on this announced by the Firestorm team in due course.
The Spooky Nights Hunt will take place across the five activity regions of the Gateway, and it is hoped it will provide fun and interaction for both established and new users. Right now, and in support of the hunt, the Firestorm team are reaching out to Merchants who are willing to provide goodies as hunt prizes, with Jessica Lyon, the Firestorm project manager noting:
Although it is a Halloween hunt, the hunt remains open after Halloween. You can make a spooky gift or not.
If you are a Merchant interested in supporting the hunt, please hop over the Firestorm website and the Spooky Hunt application page for further information.
As well as participating in the hunt, newcomers and visitors will be able to explore all six of the Firestorm Gateway regions, which include an orientation region for people new to Second Life and a social area where people can meet and interact (and where questions on using Second Life can be answered). In addition, they’ll be able to participate in any of the activities offered across the regions. These are designed to present a broad feel for the things people can enjoy in Second Life, and include fly aircraft, sailing, jet skiing, scuba diving, playing games, etc. In addition, they can explore a simple role-play environment, or use the sandbox area to learn the basics of building.
The Firestorm Gateway opening will focus on a Halloween party of Saturday, October 31st, followed by a month-long Spooky Nights Hunt in the 5 activity regions of the Gateway
One of the most important aspects of any Community Gateway is providing volunteers who are willing to spend time in-world providing help and support for new users as they arrive. If you would be interested in supporting the Firestorm Gateway by becoming a mentor there, please send a note card with your name and relevant background information (e.g. whether you have been a mentor in the past, experience in helping newcomers and users, etc.), to Jessica Lyon.
To keep up to date with preparations for the party and the hunt, as well as with further news on the Firestorm Gateway, keep an eye on the Firestorm website. I’ll hopefully have more news on the Gateway programme itself as it is announced by the Lab and / or more Gateways come on-line.
If you are participating in the Gateway trial programme, and would like your Gateway to be previewed in this blog, please use the contact form to drop me a line, or contact me in-world.