Activeworlds has been in existence since 1995, I got to get a few glimpses of the program in late 1995 by watching my brother in law at the time who went by Dogstar . I did not officially start playing in activeworlds till about the early to mid part of 1997 and late 1998 i decided to become a paid citizen. Needless to say i’ve been in activeworlds for some time now off and on, watched it soar to great heights in citizen population and decline several times. Though the 3d engine which is renderware is a bit old and outdated compared to some of the newer 3d places such as Secondlife, Open Grid and several others i still like to to think Activeworlds has the best building interface and has a community that is currently active.
Sure there are the trolls, haters and troublemakers like any social environment be it on the web or in real life, there is also those there that love activeworlds and the friendships they had forged there. As of late activeworlds has went through some updates that closed the doors on some of the community that could not or would not upgrade hardware and operating systems to be able to enter activeworlds. Most could not afford the upgrades and a few chose not to. Either way we lost a portion of our community to the updating of the software.
Like any online community Activeworlds community has its flaws, but in the end the community is a wonderful group of people. I mean how many Online communities last over 24 years. I have watched those in the community step up and help buy newer computers for other citizens, donate money to help some survive a period of unemployment and more. There is those throughout the years that have dedicated a tremendous amount of their time to help new member and old alike such as AW teachers, gatekeepers and peacekeepers along with the regular everyday cits.
Then you have citizens like Mel who has hosted the TGIF for a decade or longer to give fellow cits a place to come party and myself for a few years on saturday . Many DJ’s through the years have brought entertainment to activeworlds as well. We have had a mix of artists, musicians , computer techs and Authors as citizens through the years as well . So many Events through the years like awbingo, zookeeper, movie nights, dances and even community meetings kept the community strong and active. We have had collaborative builds such as the 20 year old city of sw-city in alpha world, the awexpo are and many other cities, private worlds and build projects as well.
Regardless of what some may think or say about Activeworlds it has had some of the most creative and dedicated people in its community. The fact its lasted so far around 24 years stands testimony to that fact. What Activeworlds has instore for the future far as the software is concerned may be unknown at this time, but i want to believe that the community will always be connected in one way or another.
Ray Barbier / Dovestar