Kitty Goes To Gachatopia!

With September welcoming another round of the ever popular Arcade, it’s both an exciting time and a depressing one too.

Exciting because, in my opinion, it’s the BEST round of The Arcade yet. Depressing? Well, you try to get in; there are more green spots on the map than there were on my chops when I was a spotty teenager!

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See what I mean?

Fortunately there are plenty of ways to get your Arcade fix in-world without having to deal with Linden Lag. There are yard sales and flea markets galore, and each time a round of The Arcade arrives it seems that more are added to the ever growing list of places to visit when seeking a particular Gacha item.

The majority are private, meaning that they’re a personal collection of items to be found for sale at someone’s home, but some are public. These are a business enterprise all of their own; patrons rent tables and place their arcade winnings out for perusal and purchase. It’s a great idea and the majority of my collectibles  are sourced at these sales because you can usually find exactly what you’re looking for. 

Sometimes that elusive prize can come at a steep price. There’s always a lot of debate around whether or not rare items should be sold at an increased cost. Some argue that it isn’t fair, and that items won should be sold at the price listed on the Gacha machine that they came from, nothing more, nothing less. Others say that once you’ve considered how much was spent on the machine to win the item in the first place then what’s wrong with trying to recoup some of the money spent? You can spend a small fortune gambling on Gacha and may never win what you’re after, so why not just pay upfront to get it?

Of course there’s no hard and fast rule on this. Some creators object to their items being sold at higher prices, some don’t. But Gacha is addictive.  You become obsessed and yearn for a complete collection of items and it seems as though your Second Life isn’t complete without that one last piece.  The trick is to take a step back and evaluate how much something is worth to you.  A small increase on the cost price isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but paying thousands of Lindens for something that could disappear from your inventory in a heartbeat? That’s a big decision to make.

Browsing the stalls at Gacha markets  is a fun task, and it’s made even more entertaining  when those markets really make the effort to look  fun and enticing too. Sure, you can rez a few trestle tables in a skybox for your wares,  but it’s a LOT more enjoyable visiting somewhere a bit special to make up for the fact that you can’t get into the main event..

One such place is GACHATOPIA.

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I’ve completely fallen in love with this amazing build. It’s a brilliant 1950’s style sim dedicated to all things Gacha. There are shops to explore and trailers bursting with common and rare Gacha winnings.   The central area features a museum and the first dedicated Gacha auction house in Second Life, as well as gig space for live events.  To the sides of the sim there are retro style dwellings just begging to have their photographs taken.

It’s colourful, vibrant and makes shopping for prizes an absolute joy.

I caught up with the team behind Gachatopia, Morbid Deceit and Lucius Templar, to ask them why they had brought this mad, crazy retro vision in-world and what they had planned for it!

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What inspired you to create Gachatopia?

I think we were most inspired by the Gacha community. We had run the Trailerpark Yardsale on our home region since December 2012 and it was a total pleasure. We loved the people, we loved the vibe and we loved the machines! We had a vision for a bigger, better Gacha destination and since we had the extra sim we just went for it!

How many people are involved in the project?

It was just another one of our “couple” projects with Morbid taking the helm for concept, structure and layout. Lucius designed some of the main builds. Since opening we have added people along the way in different capacities – all of whom are Gacha fans like us.

Why did you choose the vintage feel? ( I love the way the sim looks, it’s beautifully constructed!)

We both love Googie art and architecture, mainly it just makes us smile. We wanted the sim to feel like the Trailerpark but in a bigger more epic way. Luke’s build, the Atomic Spire, was built very early on and set the tone. We will always be working on the sim design but that kooky retro vibe will always prevail.

With The Arcade beginning on Sunday, you’re sure to be busy here! What is your view on re-selling of rare items, especially at inflated prices? Some people really disagree with it, what are your thoughts?

First and foremost we believe that the creators permissions and terms of use are what should prevail and Gacha creators typically understand what it means to offer no copy , trans items to their customers. A rare item in a machine is set to a certain level of difficulty for two reasons. One, is to increase the pleasure of playing the machine. And the other is to make more Lindens by selling more items to people who are digging for rares.

The creator has been paid for every item that was won from the machine and has given the player permission to do what they want with the items they have won. Rares are resold at a higher price because it takes more Linden to get them and there are fewer of them around. Rares being sold at “inflated” prices is typically because the person selling it has no grip on what the market value is.

At Gachatopia we try to help people as much as we can, to better understand market value and to keep things “in the spirit of Gacha” which is ultimately about playing the machine. At the end of the day, no one should be in disagreement about re-sale. It is part of Gacha culture. There will be people who push resale price boundaries and there will be creators who push the rare percentage boundaries but as with most things in life, the best people and creators will fall somewhere down the middle.

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 As well as Gacha items there is a fantastic auction house and museum here too. I really loved the museum, are the exhibits from your own personal collections or have you approached designers?

Right now the collections are our own items. We do hope to have exhibits up that are curated, mainly because it will take more than one person to complete them but also because it can be fun to have your things out on display. When the Googieheim (a play on the style of architecture we love called Googie and the Guggenheim Museum) is complete, we will have plaques set out naming the people that contributed to the displays from their personal collections, as well as information about the creators and their landmarks.

Are there any content creators that have voiced their support to you regarding this project?

Gachatopia is year round exposure for content creators. We have had awesome feedback from creators and you never know who you will see here on the Sim enjoying themselves. That’s all the support we need.

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I’m so thankful to  Lucius and Morbid for their brilliant answers to my questions, and strongly suggest that you zoom over to the sim to check out what is available. I really do get a very positive feeling from this place; it’s being run by people who clearly have a passion for the Gacha movement and I really hope it will be a great success.  It’s a great place to while away a few hours (while you’re watching the green dots on the map at the main event!) and while I was there I saw a lot of traffic to the sim.  If you’re tempted to rent your own space at this location I’m afraid you’ll be lucky, all the tables were taken when I visited. I think that is in part to their incredibly reasonable rates; a table costs just L$150 per month for 25 prims, a trailer L$300 for 50 prims and so on.  Renters can also use bid boards and participate in the auctions too; bid-boards cost L$50 per day, and auction podiums are L$75 a pop.

Here’s wishing a heap load of Kitty-luck to Morbid and Lucius and everyone at Gachatopia.  

I can’t wait to see what the forthcoming holiday seasons will bring for us Gacha-addicts at this astonishing location! 

Like what you see and want to go visit? CLICK HERE! 

**Note: The next Gachatopia LIVE auction will be held on Sunday September 8th at 1pm**

Kitty goes ga-ga for Gacha!

When I was a little girl, Gacha machines as we now know them didn’t really exist. (By that I mean the large gift-giving behemoths filled with toys and candy that they’ve become today)

Gachas in my day were much smaller in stature and the prizes were usually a plastic ring and a Bazooka Joe, if you were lucky.  My local Gacha was outside the ‘Blue Star Café’ in the village where I grew up.   In fact, we didn’t even call it a Gacha.   I’d never heard of that word until a few years ago.  In fact I don’t know what we called that particular machine.  But I can remember that it had a motorcycle chain holding it down, although no-one would ever have wanted to steal it, and it was 2p a punt.( Let me put it into context for you; the local newsagent had one of those plastic mannequins outside of a little boy wearing callipers collecting pennies for The Spastic Society!  How times have changed, and yup, I’m *that* old! )

I think Gachas are now much more common and cost a few quid, if not more, but you can get some pretty awesome prizes from them . Looking back though I was quite happy with my Bazooka Joe gum. They were brilliant actually; with their little comics inside the wrapper. I never did save them up and send off for a prize though; I kinda wish that I had now.

Now, I was going to say that you can enjoy Gacha in Second Life without the expense, but that’s a big fib, because the Gacha festival is upon us from March 1st (TOMORROW!!) and it’s going to cost you some serious lindens, purely because of the amount of amazing items that you can win. 

I’ve had a sneaky-peaky at the preview page and it’s left me giddy with excitement to the point of feeling like a kid waiting for Christmas day.  Seriously! I’ve been looking forward to this event all week, and now that it’s almost here I don’t know how I will sleep tonight knowing the amazing stuff that awaits.

And trust me when I say there are some truly amazing items to play for as well. From collectibles to clothing, to furniture, glasses, musical instruments, skins, poses, headgear, jewellery,avatars and even gypsy caravans!  There’s something for everyone at this event.  It is going to be IMMENSE.

I’m both pleased and pissed that there’s a tumblr where you can view the items. Pleased because it gives me a chance to work out what machines I’ll be hitting up tomorrow, and pissed because it just reaffirms the fact that I have about 24 hours to wait until the event starts.  I can’t wait that long; the tension is killing me!

So while I wait I’ll share with you some of the vendors that I’ll be visiting. Alas, I can’t visit every single one without taking out a pigging virtual loan or selling a body-part.  These are Gacha after all and there’s no guarantee what you’ll get, but some of the prizes are outstanding.

Let’s have a shufty at a few…

I’m all about collectibles, as my post earlier this week may have proved, so with that in mind I’ll definitely be visiting the NARDCOTIX ‘Puss Pillow’s vendor. I mean, this ticks ALL my boxes. Cats + Pillows= one happy kitty, and JUST LOOK AT THEM! They’re so bloody GORGEOUS! I’ll be having ALL of those thank you very much. L$50 a play, with  a choice of 12 pillows to win. It’s hard to pick a favourite from the picture but I will really be hoping to get either of the two rarest in that machine.

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HALF-DEER  have provided a range of cup-cakes that I’ll be hitting up with gusto.  I blooming LOVE cupcakes, and these look scrumptious, and are just too cute to not have in your virtual abode; there are ten to win at L$25 a shot. Again, I don’t mind which one I win from the selection either, so long as I end up with a full set! They will look darn tasty in my kitchen won’t they?

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Time for a rousing chorus of  “It’s so FLUFFYYY!” because INTRIGUE CO.  have designed a new selection of Plushie Pals for the event. They’re circus themed and look flipping brilliant! The rares in this machine are actually props, a tent and a marquee so that you can play Circus in Second Life. Again, they’re all stunning so no,  I can’t pick just one because I’ll be happy with any of them.  But then again, the Zebra is calling my name..!

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Every girl needs a teddy bear, and the Candy Bears from SWAY’S are just perfect companions for cuddling.  There are 24 to play for,  with the ‘Rainbow’ and Confetti’ bears being the rares in this selection.  At L$25 a play they’re not going to break the Linden bank too much either!

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If you can recall my previous post about the COMMONER Kitchen Storage Jars then you’ll know I’ll be throwing some more Linden their way and trying to win myself some of these Brash Cans. There are three sets to collect featuring vices, prescribed meds and glam attire. I’m not sure which ones I’ll aim for, although at this moment in time some Xanax wouldn’t go amiss! (I’m British, I had to ask what that stuff was for on Plurk..)

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My final collectible choice are the ‘Bento Friends’ Bento boxes from STANDBY. These are super cute with 11 animal themed mesh bento boxes to be won, and a rare item comprising of a table and cushions for you to use while enjoying your bento feast. NOM!

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That’s my pick of the collectibles, so what about wearables?

Well, I’ll definitely be having a shot at winning some of the rare Wool Felt Cat Hats from MILK MOTION. There are *gulp* 60 to win, but I have my eye on the starry cap; it looks rather swish, don’t you think?  I’m pretty sure this is going to be a hugely popular gacha item, and is just L$50 a go.

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TABLEAU VIVANT  have two fantastic Gachas this round.  First up are some back-packs. I don’t often wear bags in Second Life, but these would change my mind. They look great, are non-rigged mesh and feature resize scripts too for a perfect fit. Not only that but I’m intrigued by the three rare items in this Gacha, because two of them are surprises. We can see that one of them is a bunny back-pack which looks unbelievably squeesome, but the other two are shaded out so you can’t see what they are.  It’ll cost you  L$75 each time you try to find out.  Worth a shot? It’s one of the more pricey Gacha items, but in my opinion more than worth it.

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And so is the Spirit Hood available from TABLEAU VIVANT’s second gacha in the event; this features a virtual version of those animal hoods with mittens built in that everyone was wearing around Christmas (yes, I’ve got one in real life, shush) Judging by the picture this looks to be quite a promising item, BUT it’s one-size rigged mesh so I recommend that you try a demo before parting with your L$75. If the demo fits, then there are 27 to win. Fingers crossed the demo fits me then!

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NYLON OUTFITTERS  have an ‘Art Nails’ mesh nails Gacha at the event and you can win one of ten sets of nails. It doesn’t say on the poster if any of them are rarer than others, but I certainly have my eyes fixed on the ‘9 Lives’ and ‘Party animal’ set. At L$50 a try I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for some luck on this one; they’re rather fancy aren’t they? I love the quirky presentation and styling of these so much!Image

I’ll also be hoping for good things at THE SECRET STORE  where you can win a pair of vintage roller-skates.  There are twenty different styles, with three rares. I’ve not been roller-skating in Second Life for a LONG time, but if I win the Panther skates I may be inclined to have another go!

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There are a number of skin Gachas to play at the event, and all of them look totally fabulous so I guess I’ll be having a punt in all of them, but the one I will definitely be hitting a smidgen harder than the others is from PINK FUEL.  Why? Well because they have a skin called ‘Von D’ which looks right up my street. There are 7 skins available in the Gacha and all of them look very enticing and original. The Elphaba, Cyber Grey and Ch-Ch-Oco skins have really caught my eye too; in fact I’d be happy winning any of them. L$100 for a quality skin? Yes please!

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I haven’t told you about every single Gacha machine at this event because at the time of writing MORE images keep being added to the site, and to be honest I’m squealing so much in real life I’m about to give myself heart-failure.  I’ve not told you about the gorgeous dress from BAIASTICE,  nor the amazing mesh lamps from TROMPE LOEIL or the bedroom furniture from SCARLET APPLE, or the hair from TRUTH.  OMG, some of the brightest and best that the grid has to offer are all here, and then some! There’s an official vendor list here.

If I was to try to write about everything that would mean I’d be here all night working myself up into a frenzy and I’m excited enough as it is. I have a sneaky feeling that it’s also going to be an utter swine to get into as well, so it may be one of those rare occasions in-world where it may be kind to the sim and to the rest of us if you consider de-primming and using a low-arc avatar for your visit.

Of course, with these being Gacha items you can transfer them, so that means if you get duplicate items you can swap them. The fun is in seeing what you get after all, but if you’re not lucky you’re your winnings why not  ask around on Plurk or in ‘The Arcade’ group to see if anyone has any swapsies? But don’t forget you can also gift your winnings to friends, and that for me is key.

In-world events like this are all about having fun and sharing the love with those nearest and dearest, and I can think of one chum in particular who may find herself receiving the odd item from me, especially if it’s too pink for my liking!

Enjoy the event guys, hope you get all the goodies you wish for!

You can keep up to date with the latest by following The Arcade on Plurk

OMFG, just as I finished writing this post this appeared on the list:

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<Kitty expires from excitement>

P.S. I haven’t posted a LM because I don’t know where it is yet!! Will update when I know:)

Oh, and a quick note- be sure to check out the official Arcade blog.  There’s an amazing photo competition with an astonishing array of prizes up for grabs that you must enter!

(All items at the event can be seen here. Imagery featured in this blog-post is from The Arcade Shopping Guide site. Huge thanks to Octagons Yazimoto, Katharine McGinnis, Emery Milneaux and Umberto Giano and all the vendors involved for bringing this event to the grid!)