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The death of the MMOSG genre

AnanaSUPREME

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:oops:During the early days of the internet, the participating public was fascinated by the idea of interacting with people all over the world. One such genre of games that facilitated the communication between users was the MultiUser Dungeons, where with lines of text [and a lot of wasted paper if you didn't own a monitor] people could engage in adventures with other users. As the years went by and technology improved, these MultiUser Dungeons would eventually become what is colloquially named the Massively Multiplayer Online Social Game genre [MMOSG for short]-- or as you may know it: Virtual Universes.
During the turn of the millennium, MMOSGs would grab the internet by the balls. The amount of choice you had with where you wanted to connect with others survived the DotCOM bubble. Every important internet company had some sort of Avatar based community, 3d chat clients were coming out every year and flash/java based browser clients were used in libraries and internet cafés all over the world. This is the time where the household names made themselves welcome and I am very sure you've heard of the following at least by word of chat:
  • Second Life
  • vSide
  • Onverse
  • Kaneva
  • IMVU
  • Wet.fm
  • There
  • Kudos
  • Oz Online
  • WoozWorld
  • Meez
  • Habbo
  • Zwinky
  • OurWorld....
The list could go on, I could continue to name all of the clients we had at out disposal...
But if you look for most of them these days.....

:(They don't exist anymore.

During the last decade we have lost an enormous chunk of the internet, any of you would know this if you are aware of what happened to Geocities... Another massive chunk of the internet we have lost happens to be tied to the MMOSG genre, as social media became consolidated and increasingly fitted to mobile devices-- the same happened to Virtual Universes across the web. The sites who could afford the platform switch managed to leave unscathed; by using their outdated infrastructure, they can provide their services to the new mobile majority that has uncomfortable data caps imposed on them.
Where does this leave the rest?

Java is no longer viewed as a good platform to host any content with, given that it is a bitch to code with...
Flash has been discontinued by the end of last year... The survivors of this platform have been attempting to provide their services by translating their data into Adobe Air [which isn't an universal platform and heavily relies on corporate infrastructure]...
VR is the new hot piece of tech available, but not everyone owns it as it's cost has been prohibitive for massive public consumption. As a result, people who want to use social services on the platform are limited to only a few options.

2020 was a year of severe isolation for everyone, as we were all trying to not claw at the walls for a way out,,, these services that provided us with connection had been abandoned and could not support the weight of the world trying to keep itself connected. Even though there are video-chat clients and streaming services, there is something empowering about not having to show your face to make your presence be known-- too look however you want and talk with whomever you find is an experience we've been missing for sometime as places of social gathering have been closing their doors WAY before quarantine. It's--


I don't know how to navigate this internet anymore.

Everything I knew only 5 years ago is now forever gone. GONE.

Showing myself for who I am incites threats and harassment from other individuals on the internet instead of the curious dialogues we all used to have.

It's difficult to talk to people when you don't know anyone; when you don't fit in, these clients are at times the only choice available...



So, where do I go now?



None of the surviving clients have evolved enough to satisfy what I am looking for... My hardware is sufficient but mediocre...


It's been a lonely time.
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IlluminatiPirate

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You forgot about PlayStation Home. I miss it so much. I had my little apartment and I could go on the world a troll with my buff bird outfit.
I think VR is gonna bring this stuff back. I already see alot of videos on VR Chat.

The last day of Playstation Home was so peaceful and apocalyptic.

View: https://youtu.be/14WEPjsqbdo
 
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eco

Worlds 3D is still around and 'haunted' by nexialist. I don't know what happened to it after the nexpo video got uploaded but it probably drew a bunch of attention to it.

I'm pretty sure like one dude runs it out of his house still. It's a miracle that it's still running at all, given that the Java it runs on is so dated you have to downgrade the version you run on your computer to open the program
 

BobbyTrivia

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You forgot about PlayStation Home. I miss it so much. I had my little apartment and I could go on the world a troll with my buff bird outfit.
I think VR is gonna bring this stuff back. I already see alot of videos on VR Chat.

The last day of Playstation Home was so peaceful and apocalyptic.

View: https://youtu.be/14WEPjsqbdo

I had completely forgotten that this even existed; thanks for the reminder! I wasn't too big into PSHome but I played it a handful of times after it was released and thought it was cool as heck... then Modern Warfare happened to me :)
 
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Vaporweeb

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Worlds 3D is still around and 'haunted' by nexialist. I don't know what happened to it after the nexpo video got uploaded but it probably drew a bunch of attention to it.

I'm pretty sure like one dude runs it out of his house still. It's a miracle that it's still running at all, given that the Java it runs on is so dated you have to downgrade the version you run on your computer to open the program
Worlds.com exploration videos are a guilty pleasure of mine. There's something incredibly fascinating about these lovingly handcrafted worlds sitting completely empty for years, but still accessible to anyone.
 
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BobbyTrivia

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Worlds.com exploration videos are a guilty pleasure of mine. There's something incredibly fascinating about these lovingly handcrafted worlds sitting completely empty for years, but still accessible to anyone.

The company's own timeline reads like a condensed "the birth of a patent troll" story.

I watched most of this video. Tries to be creepier than it needs to be:


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9LWzr-_ibI


This explanation in the comments seems the most likely, though:

> When 4chan's paranormal was going in there and playing investigators I somehow ended up hanging out with the "cult people". It's literally just a bunch of old dudes/chicks who used to play the game and now like to freak people out. They were aware of the allegations. A lot of the "secret" areas are a modder exploring how to mess with the game by making inaccessible areas and one of the people there specifically is an artist that liked drawing creepy stuff. That's about it. A lot of them even admitted that when they want a spur of newcomers they create threads on purpose.
 
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AnanaSUPREME

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You forgot about PlayStation Home. I miss it so much. I had my little apartment and I could go on the world a troll with my buff bird outfit.
I think VR is gonna bring this stuff back. I already see alot of videos on VR Chat.

The last day of Playstation Home was so peaceful and apocalyptic.

View: https://youtu.be/14WEPjsqbdo

Rest in peace... Also rest in peace the ps3 and psV. Sony is a careless bunch.
 
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cynthiune

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I'd like to think MMOSG's will make a comeback in a very real way in the coming years. Shit isn't going to go back to normal in the real world; 2022 is going to be more upside-down than 2021, and people are going to be looking for an escape. I'm sure a lot of people are gonna eat Facebook's mEtAvERsE shit up, but something else is bound to spring up and fill this void that seems to be getting larger as of late.
 
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s0ren

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I'd like to think MMOSG's will make a comeback in a very real way in the coming years. Shit isn't going to go back to normal in the real world; 2022 is going to be more upside-down than 2021, and people are going to be looking for an escape. I'm sure a lot of people are gonna eat Facebook's mEtAvERsE shit up, but something else is bound to spring up and fill this void that seems to be getting larger as of late.
I do think as VR becomes more popular the idea of virtual worlds for just hanging out will get revived. VR Chat is already super popular for instance. As interesting as things like Second Life were, if we're going to be honest they were not attractive to the average person. They were clunky, many were part of the first push for microtransactions in games, and they involved a lot of things that were jarring to normies (i.e. having sex in SL). I haven't really dived into VR so I don't have a take on VRC but I hope they can build on the established genre and make something ~cool~.
 
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brentw

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I remember when I was a kid around 10 years old, and we got the internet for the first time, for our new Macintosh Preforma Power PC with a whopping 14.4 kbps internet connection! Somewhere, maybe from TV or a movie, I got the idea in my head that a virtual 3d world where I could walk around and chat with people existed on the internet. But this was several years before such a thing actually did!

And I have a distinct memory of spending a ton of time on all the search engines I knew of, desperately trying to find it. But I always ended up disappointed with what little I actually found. Chat rooms with static pictures of locations and customizable avatars was about as close as it got. At the time I didn't understand computers well enough to realize that what I was picturing in my head (basically second life) wasn't really even feasible on the hardware and internet connections of the mid-90's.

Ironically by the time second life did come around I no longer had any interest. I was busy playing Ultima Online, and Unreal Tournament 2K3.
 
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Aral Khanym

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Oh Habbo. I remember being 12 or so and spending hours on those copy servers (no idea how they were called in English, but in French they were called retros) of Habbo, playing with my friends while we voicechatted on Skype, and always picking a pink color for my pet cat and naming it Nicki, because at the time I had that weird crush on Nicki Minaj don't judge me
I've never played the other ones listed here, but I remember a Facebook game... Smeet I believe? It was something like that, and again, I remember having had a lot of fun then.


Maybe they will come back in VR, who knows? I don't trust VR at all though. I'm very much afraid people, with all the craziness going on in the world, may get seriously detached from reality because of spending hours and hours in VR. I'm afraid it may cause an epidemic of psychosis, not to mention the possible beginning of a world that pretty much only relies on VR and if the government doesn't like you for a reason or another (bad social credit score, for instance) they may deny you access to that VR. Either way I'd prefer to see them coming back in a newer version on browsers, rather than in VR. Because at least when you look at your laptop/tablet/computer/whatever's screen, you are still in the real world. You won't, like, become so absorbed you lose control with reality.
 
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