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So, I was recently updating my played games list on here. Initially when I made my account. I just checked every game I could recall having at least tried. But, I wanted to trim it down to just the games that i played for some period of time. Have good memories from. Or never really stopped playing. And, I wanted it to more accurately reflect when I picked those titles up and how long I played them for (actually have been pouring through old saved registration emails and such). One game I hadn't seen on the list was Active Worlds. Which I thought was odd. Because things like Second Life and Entropia Universe are there. I doubt very many people actually read these played games list. But, still I'd like Active Worlds to be on mine (I am still active on it to-date after all).
So, for any who don't know. Active Worlds is a VU (Virtual Universe). Or Social MMO if you rather (not unlike Second Life). It was opened in 1995 and has ran until present. Pre-Second Life it was at one point one of the most popular things of it's kind (about 30k people was the most I ever saw on some years back at a time when VU's rarely had more then 10K on at any one time).
Now before you vote or reply...let me make my case for adding it (if you want just the cliff notes. Scan for the underlined bold text).
So, what do i consider it's qualifiers. Well It is comprised of worlds (100's) Most of the ones that are owned by users are open to the public worlds. And, the largest of them (Alpha World - roughly the same size as California irl) is a public building world (any one can build on any empty land they find and mark out and what you build is yours forever). So it is massive, and it is user built.
It's also free to play. One has the ability to buy their own world and basically be god of their own little chunk of VU. And, one also has the ability to purchase additional outfitting things for their avatar from a Mall. But, you are at no point required to do either. It used to have an unlimited trial with a subscription. But, they have eliminated that in favor of depending on world owners to fund the environment.
You can make an account, learn to build, find some land, and create what ever you like -within code of conduct vs. the rating of the world, world ratings being G to X - as big or as small as you like. Though it is dated overall it does have some tech's that no other perhaps at one time but no other VU even really touches on well. Building is primarily based off using duplications of object found in object yards (AW has 10's of 1000's of objects). But, object you use can also be modified extensively (even to where they no longer resemble the original objects).
There is also a high level language native code that can be used to program on AW. While development has slowed on it. It is still bug fixed, moderated, and has updates and new content occasionally. And you could explore everyday all day for years and not even see or experience every thing there is in Alpha World alone (not even counting the other worlds). Which is all to say it is content rich.
You can interact online in real time with other users. Local or distant regardless of what world you are one. you can maintain a contacts list, ignore list, private and public communication with users. Build and explore together, just hang out, or ignore everyone if you so choose. Granted there are probably only about 200 active users left. But the possibility and likely hood for interaction is there. Currently it is a pretty small and very tight community. Which is to say it is Multi-Player/Online.
It has had full fledged MMORPG built on it in the past (to scale that would have actually blown your mind comparative to what we have a available today). There are several gaming worlds. And games players have made can be found throughout. Meaning there is a gaming element.
I also think Active Worlds deserves a chance to be great again. Currently...There is one person developing for it. If it could get some exposure. AWI could likely after time afford to higher more programmers. And, really put development back into full swing. And, this sites games list might help with that. Without renewed interest. I don't see it staying open past 5 more years. And, I would be really sad to see it actually go (i have been a user since 2001).
Finally, I invite people to give it a look before weighing in: https://activeworlds.com/index.html