Back to Contents

Ewasx's "Broadened" Horizon.


Is it really different?

A couple of weeks ago I heard a rumor that, at the time, sounded ominous for
our favorite online 3D playground, Active Worlds (Hhhmmmm....... Maybe they
should pay me a stipend for that little plug). When the rumor first reached my
VR ears, the name was not forthcoming. Since then though, I've not only heard
the name, I've even joined them myself! (Shock! Horror!) That rumored place is
of course, Outer Worlds. When I heard about their homepage, I had visions of
cool new building software to learn. A different browser to get used to in
time. New VR friends to make and keep or lose as the case may be. The
possibilities were piling up so fast that when I did get there after
downloading their browser, I was breathless with anticipation as to how well I
would be able to adapt to all the differences! When I first arrived at Welcome
World (OW's version of AW's AWGate), I thought for a moment that I had double-
clicked on the wrong shortcut icon on my desktop. There was the all too
familiar AW globe icon there, spinning as it does in AW, in the upper right
hand corner of the browser screen. The ubiquitous world, contact and telegram
tabs on the left (after I registered). And not only did I see all those
similar, no, IDENTICAL things on the browser, I distinctly recall seeing
"Build 262" on the initial screen during the logon process! In my mind I
watched all those cool visions of new and exciting things swirl down the loo.
So I picked myself up off the VR floor of dispair, realization dawning that I
still had an opportunity to meet new VR friends! Well, some new friends I was
to discover. The first several that went on my OW contact list were already on
my AW list. However, new friends WERE forthcoming in short order.   : )
The differences were also forthcoming after reading the webpages of some of
the worlds in OW. For example:  "The Bank" (VR of course)  A concept that
clearly illustrates the country of origin of OW (At least in AW you had to
read the text of the homepage to know that. You need go no further than the
title in OW). My thoughts on that issue? Why do I have to pay for a plot of
land that I would like to build upon when I've already paid for registration?
Never mind that it's not REAL money. The fact remains that you have to spend a
certain amount of time in OW, accumulating VR bucks before you can get said
plot. What were we supposed to do with the build 262 software if we had no
balance in TheBank, play in Scrooble with it? (As of the date of this article,
I surmise that since you must have a citizen number to have an account in
TheBank, tourists are restricted from building in OW). Lest you think there is
nothing positive in OW, let me dispell that thought. The trampoline network in
OurTown was a fun little toy to discover. Ditto with the cool Woodstock pics
in TheStage (the wavs from actual PA announcements & taped performances were a
refreshing difference, dispite the LONG audio downloads required there). All
in all, I felt that I was exploring new worlds but worlds not significantly
different from AW to warrant all of the OW hype. Hopefully there will be some
interactive things added soon to places like Bathroom. A flush wav added to
the toilets would go a long way towards encouraging more "Bathroom" humor in
there. (LOL) Likewise, maybe a door or two that opens when you approach them
in some of the other worlds. In conclusion, I realize that people may be
wondering why I'm writing about a non-Active Worlds issue in this Active
Worlds newspaper. My answer to that is, Outer Worlds is so similar that there
really is no difference anyway! (This reporter's humble opinion only of
course. She would never pretend to officially speak for this newspaper. I'll
leave that to our esteemed Editor  : )


| Back to Contents 
This document maintained by 
Material Copyright © 1998 Simon Says