Ming the Mechanic:
AlphaWorld - virtual real estate

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 AlphaWorld - virtual real estate2002-03-05 20:02
10 comments
pictureby Flemming Funch

Another type of place to meet in is virtual reality. My favorite place so far is a place called AlphaWorld. About 3-4 years ago I had a lot of fun there and built an NCN Information Center and various other buildings there. And a few other NCN people, like Roan Carratu were hanging out there too, and building buildings next to it. And my kids and all the kids on my street were busy building there. Anyway, all of that still exists, and it could very well be an environment for exploring new civilizations. So, come by and visit if you have a chance. The software unfortunately only works on Windows, but you get it at Active Worlds. It doesn't cost anything if you're only a "tourist" there, but you can't build. The coordinates of our little village is in AlphaWorld at 895N 814W. Let me know if you succeed in going there and I'll meet you.

For those who're mystified about what I'm talking about, it is a 3D virtual environment. There are roads and houses of all sorts, in a large valley amongst some mountains. There's blue sky above and you hear the birds sing. You also hear music coming from nearby houses. You walk around in virtual bodies called "avatars". You can choose what style of body you have. The bodies can walk or run or fly, and can do a few other things, like bow or wave. When you are close to other people you can chat with them, and what people are saying shows up in text boxes above their head.

You can build new buildings. Essentially you pick some lot of unused land and you just start building. You've got lots of different building materials and pieces to choose from. Once you're building somewhere, nobody else can build there. But they can build something next to you.

Now, there are interesting dynamics that happen in how community forms and how conflicts happen there. You can control the land you're building on, but not the land next to it. So, even if you plan and build a serene temple with water falls and flowers and manicured gardens, if you don't watch it, some kid might build a shrine to their favorite heavy metal rock back next to it, some monstrous skyscraper with large billboards pointing in your direction, and loudspeakers blaring all day. So, you somehow need to work things out with the people around you.

Note that this is technology that is a few years old, but not a whole lot advanced in that area since then. At the time virtual reality was sort of the next frontier and everybody expected that the web would move to some kind of 3D VR environment pretty soon. And, mysteriously, it didn't happen and the technology is rather dormant. It DID happen as far as online games is concerned, but most adults who are browsing the net haven't even been in any virtual reality environment at all.


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10 comments

5 Mar 2002 @ 20:58 by bushman : OMG
Ok, Ming, whats with this bizzar syncronicity stuff? lol.
I used to pay 19.95 a year to build on active worlds, and I did have a mansion there, don't know if its still there though, and I dont realy remember my coordinents, but next time you go there look around 5000n 1500e, I had a huge area way out there , bet they removed it, maybe they have a listing, my name there was emprivan, look for road names, Heather, Ivan, emperor, the road i followed out of alphaworld gate was frank, something or other I don't remember, lol. I loved activeworlds. The past rears its head?
I still have the original install on here in my archives, bet its realy updated now, guess I'll have to reinstall it and get updated.
Thanks Ming
bushman :}  



5 Mar 2002 @ 21:12 by ming : Virtual roads
Hm, it looks very empty around 5000n 1500w. Even checking on the AlphaWorld Map it seems all virgin territory. I don't believe they've removed stuff for old accounts. There's a risk of it being removed, if it is somehow in the way, but mostly they've just left it all where it was. I used to build back when it was free, and then came back a couple of years later and got a paid account, and everything was still there.  


5 Mar 2002 @ 22:31 by bushman : Hmmm
Well they defietly changed stuff, I havent been there for almost 5 years, locks me up in 5 minets, lol. Ran into someone from here though, just before it locked up a third time. It never locked up before on this machine. And also we can't get to your location. You have to be a citizen to get there. Would be cool to have a room like active worlds on here though, unless of course it locks things up, lol.
All my stuff is up to date, so it could be my slow desert tortis connection, well i'll defrag tomarrow and see if that will fix it.
:}  



5 Mar 2002 @ 22:54 by silvrgryfn : Looks Amazing!!
Thank you ever so much for the link!! I can't wait to get my registration in!! ;) I don't know what there is to explore being a tourist, doesn't seem like much, but I am really exited to explore after getting my citizenship!! :) Thanks a mil!!!  


5 Mar 2002 @ 23:00 by bushman : I found it :}
Well by this map its still there , the square thing in the middle with the 10 mile long lawn across the street, lol, was going to make a golfcourse there.
[link]
Im guessing that the mail box and webpage flag have my old stuff from pasadena on it, if you go there see if the web page takes you anywhere, lol. Nebicanzers watergardens?
:}  



5 Mar 2002 @ 23:47 by shawa : Synchronicity
Yep, me too! I was thinking of that kind of place to experiment a few things, and up you come with the link! I´ll go over there, see how the shoe fits...  


6 Mar 2002 @ 00:29 by ming : Nice Place
.. Bushman, I'm standing in your living room right now. 10 mile long lawn, heheh, yeah, who doesn't need one of those. Anyway, since you used the program, probably, they've changed it so that it depends on graphics acceleration hardware on your computer. Most computers from the last couple of years should be ok for that, but possibly yours doesn't have the right stuff. I don't know why they did that, because it doesn't look or work any different than it did before. And you're saying you can't go to my place without being a citizen? Oh, right, you do need an account, of course, but it can be the free kind, I think. For the record, your old ID is 244155. Damn, it looks like they just upped the prices for the membership last week.  


6 Mar 2002 @ 00:39 by ming : Time Flies
Looking at the dates of this stuff, it was actually in February of 97 I was building most of my stuff, and your stuff seems to be from October 97. So, 5 years. And everything still looks spotless. ... I've thought in the past about owning my own world, if enough people were interested in playing around in it. But a problem is that people would still need to have citizen accounts in order to build in it, and with the new pricing they have, that makes it a little harder.  


6 Mar 2002 @ 01:00 by jstarrs : My first time...
...very cool! Thaks alot Ming!  


6 Mar 2002 @ 15:50 by bushman : They knew we where comming.
Ya, big jump, from 19.95 to almost 70.00 a year. Would be a great place to create a test community. I have a new vid card , seems that this lockup problem started when I updated to IE 5.5 .  


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