Old Virtual Worlds From Our Childhood That We Want RewrittenJun 25, 2022 | 1 Votes
For many of us, spending time in front of a computer or PC during our younger days has become a familiar and normal experience in our lives. This is mainly for those who were kids at the advent of the Internet or online era. Before the Internet became accessible to the average computer user, kids had to contend with just playing whichever packaged games were compatible with the micro-computers they had.
Still, the Internet brought in a lot of potential and possibilities when it came to playing games. One of these was the online virtual game world where gamers and kids alike could log in and get the chance to interact with and meet other kids and peeps online. Suffice it to say that activities like these contributed much to the dawn of Social Media.
For those who were young at the time (the first decade of the 21st century), online gaming, which opened up a new way to play games, became a norm for them. Several online game worlds or platforms dedicated to the young (and the young at heart) were introduced. They became popular with millions heading to their doorsteps, but as time went by, for whatever reason, these platforms started to wane away gradually or just stopped operating as suddenly as they began.
Looking back, for those who played the games, one can't help but feel the nostalgia and remembrance of spending hours on end having fun and experiencing the dawning of the online age by making friends, going on online adventures, marveling at the then cute and beautiful graphics and reminiscing what it was like to be young again and spending a lot of time on the Internet. With that said, let's take a look at some of these old online game worlds which aren't actively around anymore and have gone the way of gaming history. Games that many have loved like an old friend and hope can be given another chance to be remade released and operated for the next generation of kids today.
One of the most popular and pioneering online gaming platforms that came out in the early 2000s was MillsBerry. Released in 2004, the game platform was an advertising and marketing-based game targeted at the "kids" market. A kid logging into the platform was able to engage in several tasks and fun activities with one's customized avatar roaming around the (real world) product-oriented virtual world.
Though the game was created to market the products of the General Mills company for kids, the interactive online experience it brought to the young people of the time who played it is bound to bring fond and endearing memories of playing the game. Sadly, after just over six years, most of the kids had outgrown the game as player count drastically reduced prompting General Mills to shut down the game in December of 2010. Attempts and talks are being made to sort of re-write/re-make the game but then, it will have to be re-oriented for the kids of the current time.
Fantage was another (interactive) social platform launched for kids in 2008. From the get-go, the game gained a lot of popularity with an initial player base of around 80,000 users. If Millsberry was for kids, this game was a lot more for kids. Fontage however was geared more towards socialization and fashion with a lot of cute kidlike avatars and environments which young girls would probably appreciate more than boys.
Sadly, the game started getting buggy through the years and began to wane by 2016 when the little boys' and girls' player base started to outgrow the game. The game had three iterations, Beta, Classic, and New but poor maintenance and mismanagement on the part of the game's owners drove the game to its demise in its 10th year in 2018. To try to bring the game back, an app called "Le Shop Color By Number" was released for the mobile market and was said to have been created by former employees who worked on Fantage itself.
MigoLand was a free-to-play online social platform released for kids in 2010. Said to be the successor of the then-defunct Spineworld social interactive platform, MigoLand was aimed at the younger age market similar to that of Millsberry. However, though in a way, the platform worked like Millsberry, it wasn't product oriented. The game was just a way to bring kids from all over the world together to chat, play and have cyber fun online. Graphics were not as good as both Spineworld or Millsberry and had fewer activities compared to them but it did manage to gain around Five Million users (with many who bled in from Spineworld). The game is basically a romp through a kids virtual world where one can have a place of one's own and customize it to one's liking and visit friends and party with them as well. MigoLand continued to remain active until waning in 2016 when Playdo, it's publisher then announced a temporary shutdown today.
WeeWorld was probably one of the most successful and popular social gaming sites that came out at the start of the century. However, it was primarily aimed at the teen and tween market. The site was mostly populated by the teeny-bopper age range although adults and younger kids would drop in as well. WeeWorld was similar to the prior kid gaming platforms discussed but since the target demographics were a lot older, it catered to the commercial aspect of (then current day) pop culture going as far as enlisting promotion from celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Jason Derulo, the Pussycat Dolls, Avril Lavigne and Taylor Swift among a few others to continually increase and engage its user base.
Initially released in 2000, the game's operation was based in Glasgow, Scotland with a number of branches located in London, Boston, as well as other cities in the USA. This social media platform was quite long-lived and the users that logged into it had always some activity to engage in aside from socializing, making friends, and meeting a lot of rude people in the game. Heavily monetized, the platform sold virtual goods for user avatars, such as clothing, accessories, as well as food and drink items. Also, the platform was partnered with big-name companies like RCA, MSN, Skype, and AOL among others.
One aspect which made WeeWorld so popular where the customizable avatars available in the game called WeeMees that Microsoft began offering the avatars for use with their Hotmail customers via its MSN chat service. As a long-lived social media platform, WeeWorld had its share of social controversies as it is a fact that there are wolves online who prey on innocent and unsuspecting minors. Aside from getting millions of hits on a daily basis, the site has over 180 million WeeMees created worldwide.
Sadly, the point was reached where the company no longer saw the platform as a viable and profitable endeavor and decided to sell it by 2014 to Glasgow business Opinurate who finally decided to close the platform down in 2017. As of 2020, the game's website (weeworld.com) is now listed as being for sale.
After the era of MySpace and Friendster, the rise and growth of Facebook as the premier global social media site has been left unchallenged till today. Facebook has created a lot of features available to its users not only to communicate and share information with each other but to engage in various online activities as well. One of these is Facebook's own gaming site which has spawned bestselling games like Plants vs Zombies, FarmVille, and Angry Birds among others. One of these games which became so popular was launched in 2008 by PlayFish and was called Pet Society.
The game was sort of a pet caring simulation presented in a social media environment where owners could customize their pets (whether it was a cat, a dog, or whatever) and engage in social pet activities which earned their avatar pets points or coins. The platform was also heavily monetized as items were available that could be used to groom, dress up or feed the pets. Appealing mostly to real-life pet owners (usually women and young girls) Pet Society provided a wonderful experience to the pet-loving Facebook users of the time.
At its peak, the game had around 50 million monthly players, 5 million daily players and made as much as $100,000 a day through sales of in-game items. Sometimes the changes that occur in the gaming industry could affect the health and longevity of a game and the continual shift of many casual and online Facebook players to mobile gaming somehow decreased the number of dedicated users the game had. Finally, with the liquidation of PlayFish to Electronic Arts, the Pet Society platform was shut down in 2013. As Pet Simulations go, there are a number of Pet Society clones available in the mobile gaming market today.
Pixie Hallow was released in 2008 by Disney Interactive Studios for the PC gaming market as a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based on the Peter Pan storyline and in addition to the Disney Fairies franchise that ran from 2008 to 2013.
Released to coincide with the 2008 film, Tinker Bell, Pixie Hallow lets players experience the world of Fairies in an online adventure where one gets to create and customize one's fairy avatar and fly around the various locations in the game interacting with the various denizens as well as other online players.
From 2008 to 2013, the game was able to grow a loyal community following as the game appealed to the young and young at heart (usually the girls) and to other fans of Disney and Peter Pan. Upon it's closure in 2013, its loyal gaming communities remained active on blog sites and vehemently argued against the closure of the game though sadly to no avail.
Attempts have been made to re-write Pixie Hallow by a couple of its loyal communities. One was released in 2013 called "My Fairy Maker" by the FairyABC Community and another being worked on since 2018 by the WeThePixies Community. Despite Disney pulling the plug on the game, Pixie Hallow will no doubt remain in the young hearts of its loyal gaming fans.
These are just a few of the online game worlds of the yesteryears where many had spent a considerable time and chunk of their childhood days. Whether these games get the chance for a re-write, re-make, and a new release or not, they will always remain in the hearts of those who loved and played them and to be remembered as a venerable part of computer gaming history.