I was recently contacted by an old friend, Foxyfurman Kumaki, about a recent development in the virtual world Avination. As the estate owner in Second Life of the old Foxworth sim, he and Linden Labs got along less than well. Eventually, he and his partner moved to the mainland, getting a shop there (and paying only a tiny fraction what he once did).
He also decided to check out other virtual worlds, and soon found one he liked: Avination. “This was the first world that I could log into easily,” he told me earlier this year, “This is less money and more stable from my view.” Foxyfurman reported the number of sims back then as 800. More recent statistics of the Opensim based world show over 1100, with almost 26,000 members, almost 9000 whom logged in within the past month.
One thing Foxyfurman liked about Avination was the difference between it’s policy on gambling and that of Second Life. Because Linden Labs is based in the United States, it has to deal with the government’s less than friendly attitude with Internet gambling. A few years ago, Linden Labs banned all gambling in Second Life. Later on, it began allowing some games such as Zyngo, if a case could be made they involved some level of strategy. But there was at least one occasion Linden Labs changed the rules and ordered gaming halls to comply, or else.
“In Avination,” Foxyfurman told me, “it is straight up gambling. AVN is in the UK, so games of this type are semi-legal.” An article in VirWorld wrote about gambling there, describing a casino that was so big, his viewer couldn’t see it all.
Unfortunately, Avination’s relaxed policy on gambling got unwelcome attention from Paypal. Foxyfurman told me the reason Linden Lab had put the pressure on Zyngo halls earlier was because of Paypal, “Paypal is international, and they do not like it.” Avination had been using Paypal for it’s residents’ convenience. But because of the gaming, they were thinking of leaving, “it looks like AVN has few choices: ban gaming, or find a good and easy payment method.”
Some days later, Foxyfurman had some good news, sending me a notecard, with a message to AVN’s staff from Paypal:
Thank you for providing additional information
regarding your website/s and business in order
to comply with PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy.
After a recent review of your account, we have
found that you have completed the requirements
to remove the limitation and have granted an
Furthermore we are glad to inform you that you
have been approved to use PayPal as a payment
option for your sales on the following website/s:
So it seems the gaming halls are in Avination to stay.