Few places in SL have shaped my inworld life as much as sLiterary, so it was with great sadness that I read this weekend of the closure of this and its neighbouring sims. sLiterary has been the home of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – due to kick off next week – for the past four years and it was my first SL NaNo – AFK – which kick-started my identity as ‘writer’ in the metaverse. I wrote AFK in November 2007, checking in at the NaNo Cafe in sLiterary each day to update my word count, and the other writers I would talk to there became my first real experience of literary community. Of course, there are so many other projects based there, such as the amazing Globe theatre, but the NaNo Cafe and shrine have always had that special place in my memories; one of those places that feels like ‘going back home’ whenever you drop by for a visit.
I made my last such visit today and took a series of pictures of the shrine and Globe. The reasons for the closure are outlined by Ina Centaur in this blog post, so I won’t go into them here. Suffice to say, it’s a great loss to SL – part of the worrying trend of private sims shutting down (850 so far this year, according to this report) – and a reminder that the metaverse is no more permanent than the real world.