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To serve and to protect : Active Worlds Army.

  It's proven now, some cits are willing to fight for AW. The time they spend in AW, they want to fill it for all of us. If you ask me i think that is a hell of an engagement. Since a few days officers of the "A(ctive) W(orlds) A(rmy) " try to recruit soldiers on GZ of AW. And they got the authorization of the PK's. At least the latter weren't trying to stop them. Questions were asked tho. And the officers were pretty sure of themselves. They mentioned some names that kind of muted the curious PK. This paper will raise a few questions, which we feel need answering. Because no one likes soldiers marching around with visions of burning houses, power failures, server crashes, dead avatars, mass destruction,  military coups and marshall law, unless maybe these soldiers themselves. The few answers they gave on GZ indicated nothing of that. Their intentions seem to be clear and peaceful. They want to protect the AW community from the threats from outside. 
After hearing this on GZ, and after the subject came up again elsewhere in AW, it seems to be time to go into the matter a bit.  

This army seems to consist of very young citizens, and maybe even tourists. In order to join you need to be younger than 20. Is this AWA looking for young ppl that can be molded easily? Or do theey just think of physical fitness? We surely can imagine that marching the faces of the Active Worlds is physically demanding, but a lot of us citizens are very fit til respectable age. After all we're all in ACTIVE Worlds, aren't we?  

The threats to AW are countless. But they almost all come from within. And to handle these, you need a secret service. An Active Worlds bureau of investagation (ABI), an Intelligence Agency (AIA) or an AW Yard. Or will this army jump on every poor tourist on GZ that would dare to type a four letter word? Squashing him with Mathilda and Leopard tanks, runnig the poor guy over with Willies or Bombardier jeeps ? Will we have an Agusta chopper circling over GZ all the time ? Sounds like overkill to us. 

Some of you will remember the flooding of AW. Maybe AWA will help evacuating cits from their flooded property, if and when it happens again? They'll have a crew inflating Zodiaks, and looking for cits that are too much in panic to use their teleport menu. Is that in AWA's program? 

But none of the above mentioned scenarios will become true. When it was discussed on another GZ, it became clear that it probably is a group of young people that want to make themselves useful for AW. Compare it to the YMCA. We only fear that there's not a lot of dangerous streets in AW left, to be crossed by old ladies. And it seems to us that areobic lessons in AW don't add a lot to anybody's fitness. Of course there's a lot they can do together : building things, composing midi's, drawing pictures, explore the worlds, go to AW school and later the university and organize parties. You, dear reader, can probably think of more. If this is the intention, why call it an army? Let it be noted that some citizens and some of our reporters think such an initiative would be great, though. 

Naah, here at the paper we think it's an initiative to stop the actual AW users from going elsewhere. In one of our previous issues we mentioned the "Palace" scheme. In the meantime another AW-browser based universe has opened and AWA tries now to give ppl a purpose in AW. So they'll stay and not run off. At least we like to think that. It could be possible that Bill Gates tries to make the whole world believe that AW is such a hostile environment, faced with such threats that it needs an army. That would frighten a lot of people and make them stay out of AW. And since we know that chatting is in man's genes, they'll go looking for other environments.   

Too many questions, too few answers. AWA, we'll be watching you.     

                                               Simon Says
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