There.com was the second 3D Virtual World I joined and from June 2003 to May 2004, it was my only virtual home. I was a Beta and a regular, well known throughout the early days of There.
On Tuesday May 9th my former virtual home will close for good. My former residence at the Ebony Rock Funzone will disappear in the virtual ether.
The announcement comes as a surprise to everyone, including some of the employees of Makena. This thread at sothereforums.com is where a lot of former Thereans as well as former employees are going to talk about the closure as the official forums have closed completely.
From a technical standpoint, There was above everybody. The biggest wants of Second Life players today is copy protection, smooth transition from region to region, better ways to market products, and better vehicles. There had these things from day 1. Avatars in There have capabilities still not seen in any other game. Planet There was the largest avatar navigable 3D object, just slightly smaller than planet Earth. Actual land mass is about 650 sq km, about 1/3 the size of Second Life.
If I were to design a new “ultimate” 3D Virtual World, I would start with There, radically improve the graphics, the avatars, and steal IMVU’s awesome interface, steal Second Life’s system of building, add scripting capabilities, and animation import. At the heart of it though, it would still be There.
So long There, I will miss you.