Grandfathered buy-down contributing to Lindex fluctuations?

The Lindex has been in a state of flux of late, something that has been the subject of discussion and speculation on a number of fronts. Reader Ample Clarity first pointed things out to me earlier last week via IM (I’ve been rather focused on other things of late, so haven’t been watching the broader news as much as I should), and I’ve been dipping in-and-out of conversations and reports on things since then.

The fluctuations started towards the end of 2015, and were perhaps first discussed on the pages of SL Universe. The discussion resumed in April, when further swings were noted,  causing additional concern among those looking to cash-out L$ balances, while sparking some of the more widespread discussion.

Lindex fluctuations (with thanks to Eku Zhong for the screen capture)
Lindex fluctuations (with thanks to Eku Zhong for the screen capture)

Various theories (and not a few conspiracies) have been put forward to explain what has been happening – although determining precisely what the cause is, is pretty much anyone’s guess. But purely in terms of the more recent fluctuations, New Worlds Notes (NWN) is promoting a theory which might just be plausible: that one (or more) large land estates have been liquidating L$ stocks in order to realise additional US dollar funds to take advantage of the Lab’s grandfathered buy-down offer.

The theory actually comes from Plurker T-Kesserex, who is quoted by NWN as saying:

I think it’s people cashing out to get capital for the $600 dollar sim price reduction … If you own 10 sims you need $6000, so that’s not easy without some cashing out.

At the start of the buy-down offer, Tyche Shepherd, of Grid Survey fame, estimated that around 85% of Homestead regions were already grandfathered, but only around 11% of full-priced regions of all types, leaving enormous potential in the market. During the first month, this figure increased to almost 21%, with the number of grandfathered full-priced regions rising from around 1,039 to 1960, demonstrating a thirst for conversion. Thus, the idea that one or more large estates might be liquidating L$ stocks to cover the cost of further conversions isn’t an unreasonable speculation.

But even if it is a fair assessment of the situation, it doesn’t offer any hint as to what  – market forces or otherwise – has been pushing at the Lindex since late 2015. Nor does it offer any comfort to those concerned about cashing out at a reasonable – or at least stable – rate. All that can be said for certain is that, if you have the need for L$ in your account, buying them hasn’t been this attractive in a good while.

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Art in trees and Tiny hosts in Second Life

Raglan Shire Art Walk
Raglan Shire Art Walk

The 2016 Raglan Shire Art Walk opened on May 15th, and runs through until Sunday, June 19th. One again it is a big affair – at the last count, over 150 Second Life artists and photographers were participating, and free slots within the exhibition spaces were still being filled.

The Art Walk, a traditional event in this delightful Tiny community which is not into its 10th year of life, will be the first opportunity for many to see the new build for the regions as well, this having only been completed in April – and there is a lot to see, quite apart from the extensive Art Walk, making a visit doubly worth while. Given the size of the community and the exhibition, knowing quite where to start can be confusing, so I’m using the Raglan Shire Welcome Centre as the SLurl for this piece.

Raglan Shire Art Walk
Raglan Shire Art Walk

Also, given the size of the event, getting around can also potentially be a little confusing – or tiring on the feet (particularly if you opt for Tiny form for your visit!). Fortunately, the organisers have recognised this, and brightly coloured teleporter stations are available to carry you directly to each of the regions. There are also touring hedgiepillars you can rez’n’ride at any tour rezzing post.

And, of course, if you’re feeling particularly brave, you can try the local mode of transportation – the catapults which can be found throughout the regions, which will shoot you to a number of destinations (not  all of them related to the Art Walk) with a satisfying “bwong!” as they fire!

Raglan Shire Art Walk
Raglan Shire Art Walk

As is usual for the Art Walk, the majority of 2D art is in mounted on the hedges found on the tree platforms, while 3D pieces tend to be at ground level. Given the volume of participants, the cross-section of art, both 2D and 3D is enormous, and touring the regions it is easy to come across familiar names (pauses to wave to Bear and Derry) sitting alongside those who are perhaps less familiar on the art circuit, but no less gifted. Whilst touring, it is also likely art lovers will encounter pieces displayed past exhibitions elsewhere. When this happens, tit’s a little like encountering old acquaintances – that warm rush of familiarity on sighting them among the crowd.

For those who enjoy a broad cross-section of SL art, or who are interested in discovering how broad a range of art can be found in Second Life, the Raglan Shire Art Walk is undoubtedly the place to visit – and you’ll always be assured a walk and friendly welcome from the Tinies!

SLurl Details