Browse other people’s worlds, surf the internet, play games and even watch a movie in this open world application.
Bring social media to another level via virtual worlds.
Build your own world and creations and share it with others to see and experience.
One of the earliest virtual world builder platforms on the internet is Active Worlds. This online application goes way back to 1994 when developer Ron Britvich released WebWorld, a 2.5D online virtual world where people could chat, build and travel the web.
In 1995, Britvich was joined by other developers and WebWorld was renamed as AlphaWorld. The platform gained a strong cult following as it favored the use of user built content and later that year, it was renamed to Active Worlds and officially released as Ver 1.0.
Since then, the platform has grown through the years with newer and better versions released periodically to implement the advances of internet technology and graphics in the industry.
To date, Active Worlds is currently at Ver 6.0 and is continually patronized by thousands of users worldwide. The platform is available in different languages from Spanish, English and French all the way to Japanese. It is available for all ages although some areas are restricted to an adult or mature audience depending on the content.
Simply put, Active Worlds is basically an open world builder where one can chat with other online users, navigate the web, visit other user made worlds called "worldlets" and of course create your own world.
The platform is Free2Use with a client that is downloadable for free. However, owning or rather renting virtual real-state will require a citizenship which means a subscription fee of 6.95 USD per month. This is if you want to preserve that which you build as a current existing worldlet accessible via the Active World server. The server is huge and has a total virtual land are the size of California and running out of space won’t probably happen.
The platforms basics are quite user-friendly and get more sophisticated every version update. However, building a world and customizing an avatar requires some learning. This is not a problem though as there are available tutorials on the platforms website and the platform itself.
Once you have the AW browser up and running, all you need are the arrow keys to move around and the + and – keys to fly up or down. Flying does get you faster to where you want to go to. You can get around and visit other people’s worlds via a Gatekeeper map. Just consult the map as there is usually one around or at least a portal, and click on where you want to go to and energize… you’re there! Good job Scotty.
Interacting with objects or other avatars is as simple as clicking on them. Some will respond and others maybe just plain objects. Clicking on an instrument may give you a demo on what it does. A radio may output some broadcast or music while a screen may either show you a picture, a picture slide or play a video. Files like these can be uploaded to the platform as well as web page URL’s which can be browsed in real time by online kiosks just like surfing the web.
Building can get complicated at first but with the tutorials, even a child nowadays can get away with a structure or two. Of course it would be better to have some experience working with graphics applications both 2D and 3D if you want to build really intricate worlds from natural looking topography like mountains, rivers, forest and the like to detailed architecture like buildings, mansions, sport arenas, cars, boats and anything one can think off just like those goons who have nothing better to do than build adult content worlds as if there isn’t enough porn already on the net.
Pictures or texture abound and can be uploaded. If you wanted to put up that picture of your beloved pet hamster who passed away 5 years ago, well, go ahead! You can even frame it for all to see. What about that recorded lullaby your Grandma always sings to you as a child, upload it for everyone to hear! After all, why make your own world if you can't put some bits and pieces of yourself into your labor of love?
If you really would like to get into world building and learning how to use and create virtual world experiences, be it in e-learning, social science (as interacting with others is an essential feature), games or just plain fun, Active Worlds though kind of outdated is still very active. You can even use it with a headset for VR applications. The platform works for Windows and Mac.
And don’t forget the hamster!