Monday, October 11, 2010

So What Is It with Virtual Worlds?

We have this talk a lot amongst us privately, about what drives people to Virtual Worlds and of course what drives them out. Usually, we come back to full circle about what it means to people to be in a Virtual World. Now, obviously that just doesn't mean InWorldz, it can mean games like World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, or even FaceBook. Short version: community.

It really all boils down to that. When you're running amok killing ogres or snowbeasts or spiders, or farming your crops, or gabbing with your friends at a nightclub, it all boils down to your friends and the portion of the community you communicate with on a daily basis. When you play in an MMORPG, you join a guild for the camaraderie, the help, and usually you make a few friends in there. When you're in a grid such as InWorldz, you meet people who help you out, you join groups, and you interact with people. These are the reasons you keep logging in. Sure, you may want to go kill 500 critters to get that neat piece of armor you need next, but you'd be bored silly doing so if you had no one to talk to (well other than those who are completely anti-social, but in current MMORPG's that won't get you through raids and such unless you join a PUG).

That community, is more than just a sense of being, it's of belonging, of friendship, of people you can rely on to help you out. And it's something we spend a lot of time fostering in our world. It's also something that drives us, as the Founders, to continue working as hard as we do every day, as many hours as we can, because we see our community, and how each and every single one of you reach out to each other. Like any big family, sure there are squabbles, sure there are disagreements, and sometimes things get a tad out of hand, but on the whole, our community is strong and helpful.

I touched on some of this the last blog I did, although not nearly in this route, but what it means to us to know our residents. But it also means for our residents to know each other, and us. So today, on my semi-quasi day off, I spent some time wandering our world and our forums. There's been one thread in particular I've been following: Disabilities - What are they? That's not the only thread I follow obviously, but it definitely caught my attention this week. I was amazed at how everyone in the thread opened up and let us all have just a small peek into their RL and what they go through. Thank you, every single one of you. What may seem to you as just a quick glimpse into your reasoning for being here, to us, it's a reason to keep going on each and every day. To bear with all the complaints, the bugs, to listen to all the upset and yet know, that every single one of you has your own special reason to be here.

The other thread I love to monitor is InWorldz Picture Album! - Share Your Photos Here. I love this thread, because it let's me see into your regions and builds (or silliness) that I simply do not have time for otherwise. Some of my favs (I've taken the liberty of just uploading them here):

By Talia Fournier

By Emilie Autumn

By Amaranthim Talon

By Koshari Mohana

By Yvette Clavenham

Well, I have a whole lot more than that  :)  I think, what's most amazing, is that no matter what you are InWorldz, be it tiny, dragon, furry, fairy, lover of fantasy, GOR, Anime, whatever you're into, that when you go to our welcome area, or hang out on our forums, there is always this incredible sense of help and belonging. Sometimes we lose our way, but I see our residents reach out a hand to someone and say, come back, or let us help.

While we tend to get alot of thanks from our residents, it's really us who should be thanking them. Without them, none of this would be worth it (and believe me when I say we never knew if it would be worth it). Without our residents retaining that strong sense of community and building on it and making sure it's given to every new resident and passed on, we wouldn't have this community at all. That, is worth more anything I can say here.

So, next week, I plan on putting some stuff out about some of our regions, both larger land masses and groups and smaller ones. I'm constantly amazed at what our residents come up with! See ya InWorldz :)


  1. Very good post i really appreaciate being a resident of inWorldz.

    Why i use virtual worlds is for the reason i nowadays have a quite boring irl job. Before i worked at an advertising agency, thats what i have a degree in. But now only boring administrations (i did choose it myself because of kids).

    So i let of some steam here and I have a chance to be a bit creative at least, in virtual worlds. Im really hooked =)

    But the most important is the community as u say. Im first and foremost a social beeing and i rather chat around then create stuff at the end of the day :)

    Hugzzz to u all founders and residents of inWorldz!

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  3. Decided to remove the comment since I realized that I couldn't edit it to add more.

    I agree that it's community that is the key. I first heard about IW from a friend in SL who mentioned the prim differences. That initially intrigued me and I went ahead and investigated. Within a week, I found myself talked into a major build project over st Snake River and had accidentally crashed 5 sims courtesy of a vehicle with a running script. OOOPSS!!. Thanks to you and Tranq for killing the wayward creation of mine and not hating me for it in the process. Like what you had mentioned in the disabilities thread, I debated posting in it at first and then realized that these weren't just people in a forum but a number of them have become friends in the meantime. There is no way that I would have posted in something like that "across the street". Community, friendship and worthy of trust. You and the others have shown that time and time again.

    I look forward to seeing the pics that you'll post concerning the various regions. I'm also looking forwards to the day when you and those other two maniacs you call co-workers can get lost in my maze at Snake River. A part of me wants to be there, another part of me wants to be completely and totally off the grid when that happens! (chuckle)

  4. Well without you guys working to make us all happy, we wouldn't have an IWZ either. So it is a perfect balance of awesomeness...

    Thank you founders for being the awesome to our sauce!

  5. @Deson, I'm sure someday we'll have a few employees where we can actually hang out in the grid more and check out the places like your maze. And we look forward to that day as well, in the meantime, we'll just keep making sure things work as well as we can and getting things done :)

    @Southie, Can we now debate which came first... the sauce or the awesome? :D

  6. @Elenia, I agree that you need more employees in the future. Perhaps near future considering growth that you have been experiencing. In the meantime keep doing what you're doing and all is cool.

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  8. Sheesh, typo hour helped me form a broken sentence...

    who cares, the awesome is the sauce....but the cake (the cake being our latest research ;))...that is a lie!