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Accidental find: Virtual World Analysis by Homeland Security

AnanaSUPREME

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This is something I had no intention on finding, but the information is very interesting considering how many virtual worlds have dropped dead just a decade after this was written.
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IcarianDragons

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too bad the commodification of the internet and the rise of social media happened in the first place. I love looking at the old virtual worlds that are still up. do you remember the name of that one really long webpage with all the old yahoo pages on it? it was sorted by theme, with space, and hell, heaven, construction, etc. such a great place
 
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AnanaSUPREME

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too bad the commodification of the internet and the rise of social media happened in the first place. I love looking at the old virtual worlds that are still up. do you remember the name of that one really long webpage with all the old yahoo pages on it? it was sorted by theme, with space, and hell, heaven, construction, etc. such a great place
The death of virtual worlds also has a lot to do with the lack of time people have for leisure because everyone is working themselves to death for meager wages. These platforms were unable to adapt into the mobile format and as a result they were abandoned simply because the money to do the work was not there. This is why IMVU is the sole survivor of all that carnage and it's just disappointing considering how featureless the service is, I could name so many other better virtual worlds but that will not change anything... If I didn't have my PTSD holding me back I would do something about it, but it's too hard to even open a book even if my life depended on it. I have tried to get the idea to be accepted by others but I keep getting shut out, nobody cares about ideas without evidence.
 
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naa

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The loss of virtual worlds is really, really sad. I feel like I see a lot of people champion VRChat as an alternative, but it honestly lacks a lot of freedom and having something be audio-only instead of allowing for text communication can inherently make it hard to cross the boundaries of country and language. I can type something and have anyone who knows enough understand, but if I speak my accent gets in the way in a lot of cases, I know I'm not the only one that happens to either. There's also a notable lack of customizability unless you have knowledge of 3D modeling, so it's a lot less approachable.

I miss things like SAPARI where you could roam around as an avatar and type to people. For a while, a lot of people were keeping up independent servers hosting discontinued virtual worlds, but that has died out too. I also miss being able to make my own space and avatar and customize things so much. I liked having a virtual home.
sapari_cat 2.gif
 
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IcarianDragons

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lack of motivation is a real killer. roblox is still fun to play though, as it solves the language problem (kinda), but it's too reliant on individual games imo.

things may suck now, but at least we have this site, and places like cameronsworld.net are still up. I might talk to my old computer science major friends and see if they know how to make any kind of similar sites tbh...
 
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AnanaSUPREME

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The loss of virtual worlds is really, really sad. I feel like I see a lot of people champion VRChat as an alternative, but it honestly lacks a lot of freedom and having something be audio-only instead of allowing for text communication can inherently make it hard to cross the boundaries of country and language. I can type something and have anyone who knows enough understand, but if I speak my accent gets in the way in a lot of cases, I know I'm not the only one that happens to either. There's also a notable lack of customizability unless you have knowledge of 3D modeling, so it's a lot less approachable.

I miss things like SAPARI where you could roam around as an avatar and type to people. For a while, a lot of people were keeping up independent servers hosting discontinued virtual worlds, but that has died out too. I also miss being able to make my own space and avatar and customize things so much. I liked having a virtual home.
View attachment 2973
Not only has the experience downgraded, the barrier to entry is higher as well. Even though we now have cheaper VR headsets that dont require a rig to run they still cost as much as a console. We could've had a better experience with phone VR if companies didn't stop giving a damn, but they dont care about the average consumer, they only want to attract the people with all the money in the world instead of reaching an audience that already has good enough devices for the experience.
 
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naa

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Not only has the experience downgraded, the barrier to entry is higher as well. Even though we now have cheaper VR headsets that dont require a rig to run they still cost as much as a console. We could've had a better experience with phone VR if companies didn't stop giving a damn, but they dont care about the average consumer, they only want to attract the people with all the money in the world instead of reaching an audience that already has good enough devices for the experience.
Totally agree!! VRChat has options to use it without a headset but it's clearly not built around it, which makes it a worse experience and honestly pretty clunky. VR headsets also just don't really feel quite as comfy as using a computer or a phone to pilot around a virtual world in my opinion, there's a lot more involved movement-wise and you can get migraines from overusing VR headsets, not to mention the possible problems if your vision isn't good enough for them to be a seamless experience. It feels like VR as it is now is something you have to dedicate a lot of space to also, otherwise there's a risk of hurting yourself or breaking something when you move around. It's not like desktops or laptops where you can just sort of cram them into your tiny apartment or bedroom. Phone VR might be different, but I think you're right that VR companies just don't care about us.

At a certain point it feels like companies just decided the average consumers for escapist stuff like virtual worlds or personal web pages are an undesirable audience, which can kinda just lead to us all feeling more alone, since there's less places to connect with other likeminded people. I think things like virtual worlds or even just things like geocities let us all really interact on our own terms. It made it so much easier to meet people and make friends, because you could talk to someone directly without having to give out all your personal information or feel like you're bothering a stranger on the street. It might just be me but it feels like there's something inherently difficult about messaging someone on say, twitter not just because of the layout of the site but also because the entire site is so connected to real life? Like, I have a twitter account and enjoy using it but it's not an easy place to start up conversations or make friends. There's really no replacement for things from the older internet tbh
 
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Shi_dawg

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Totally agree!! VRChat has options to use it without a headset but it's clearly not built around it, which makes it a worse experience and honestly pretty clunky. VR headsets also just don't really feel quite as comfy as using a computer or a phone to pilot around a virtual world in my opinion, there's a lot more involved movement-wise and you can get migraines from overusing VR headsets, not to mention the possible problems if your vision isn't good enough for them to be a seamless experience. It feels like VR as it is now is something you have to dedicate a lot of space to also, otherwise there's a risk of hurting yourself or breaking something when you move around. It's not like desktops or laptops where you can just sort of cram them into your tiny apartment or bedroom. Phone VR might be different, but I think you're right that VR companies just don't care about us.

At a certain point it feels like companies just decided the average consumers for escapist stuff like virtual worlds or personal web pages are an undesirable audience, which can kinda just lead to us all feeling more alone, since there's less places to connect with other likeminded people. I think things like virtual worlds or even just things like geocities let us all really interact on our own terms. It made it so much easier to meet people and make friends, because you could talk to someone directly without having to give out all your personal information or feel like you're bothering a stranger on the street. It might just be me but it feels like there's something inherently difficult about messaging someone on say, twitter not just because of the layout of the site but also because the entire site is so connected to real life? Like, I have a twitter account and enjoy using it but it's not an easy place to start up conversations or make friends. There's really no replacement for things from the older internet tbh
gotta love good ol' commercialization.

I miss when the internet was a crazy shit show, that was real freedom. You can find things like that today but they are so few and far between, it just feels like all the charm is gone by now.
 
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vaporwavemaster1

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仮想世界にたくさんのリンクがあるとき、私は楽しんでいます。適切に設計されたサイトは、多様な情報の迷宮になります。これは確かにきちんとしたポスターです。あなたは装飾のためにそれを掛けるべきです
 
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AnanaSUPREME

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仮想世界にたくさんのリンクがあるとき、私は楽しんでいます。適切に設計されたサイトは、多様な情報の迷宮になります。これは確かにきちんとしたポスターです。あなたは装飾のためにそれを掛けるべきです
I honestly wonder what it would've looked like in colour, it probably had a lot of blue and green.
 
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bees

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lack of motivation is a real killer. roblox is still fun to play though, as it solves the language problem (kinda), but it's too reliant on individual games imo.

things may suck now, but at least we have this site, and places like cameronsworld.net are still up. I might talk to my old computer science major friends and see if they know how to make any kind of similar sites tbh...
Roblox! I loved that game growing up and I still play it sometimes even though it's just been going downhill since I first started playing in 2009.
 
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soren

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"Immersive virtual and gaming environments can no longer be dismissed as a fad."

This is great as the first line lol. I think in essence they were right though, the metaverse and virtual ontologies play a major part in a lot of people's lives. Even if people don't use Second Life or Worlds anymore, the internet has always been its own world where people present themselves differently. If you think that it's a stretch to call forums or IG a virtual environment, I base this on them effectively fulfilling the same desire for most people. Consider a still thriving virtual world, Azeroth. It has survived as a world because it still fulfils a meaningful function, namely giving access to a video game. The OG virtual worlds were effectively 3D chat rooms, the 'normal' internet and social structures around it have evolved to the point that these aren't really necessary anymore. The novelty isn't there and meaningful social experiences are more accessible in other modes.

The death of virtual worlds also has a lot to do with the lack of time people have for leisure because everyone is working themselves to death for meager wages.
I'm not sure that this is true. Virtual worlds were always maintained and frequented by hobbyists and youth, a small group of primarily upper middle class people living in Western Liberal Democracies who had access to good computers. I don't think there's really that big of a difference between 1995-2007 and now in terms of real wages to justify this claim. In fact, given the increasing accessibility of the internet there should be more people than ever just based on proportions, even if the average person is shut out. I think what is more likely is that as the internet has expanded, the different types of outlets for creative people have also expanded. Virtual worlds were one of the few places where you could make a place for yourself on the internet and create things for other people. Now you make a YT channel, creating forums and chat groups is more accessible than ever, and so forth.
 
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