Game Over: Virtual World Ends March 9, 2010

by Alphaville Herald on 03/03/10 at 7:49 am

Players point to pedo and paintball moderation as possible causes

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk game ends
there gone

The PG-oriented virtual world is to be closed March 9, a victim of hard economic times, according to There CEO Michael Wilson’s announcement. An FAQ at the site states that the company is buying back  virtual currency from players with a "Therebucks buyback" program for those who purchased Therebucks in the last month and for developers who made Therebucks by selling developer items. Therebucks collected from Sparkles, Tips, or give trades from other members are not eligible – so virtual escorts and other personal service industry workers appear to be out of luck.

did’s paintballer moderation policies hurt the game?

The FAQ hints at significant levels of player dissatisfaction with hard-to-control end-game emergent behavior. Player profiles have been disabled, and the FAQ explains, "So many members were using profiles to post pornographic links and images out C/S staff couldn’t keep up. We’ve temporarily disabled profiles until we can catch up and find a better solution."

Unfortunately, disabled player profiles make it difficult for in-game groups to coordinate moves to other virtual worlds. A source in Second Life informed the Herald that Therians in Second Life are considering organizing an event at Starlust for There refugees. Given the demographics of There, the Teen Grid is likely to see more refugees than the main grid.

According to our source, speculation among There players is that some of’s financial woes may have been due to sponsors pulling out after a recently public incident with a player named Brad Mitchell who was permabanned from, but ended up in the news after a cross country rendezvous with a 16 year old girl he met on the Internet.

Brad Mitchell griefing in

the internet can be dangerous

27 Responses to “Game Over: Virtual World Ends March 9, 2010”

  1. Orion

    Mar 3rd, 2010

    Gee, no way to create a new account either! Figured if the place is closing down I may as well sign up and check it out before its too late. Probly for the best though, sounds like it was filled with bratty kids and freaky pedos anyway.

  2. Senban Babii

    Mar 3rd, 2010

    I’ll be sorry to see There go on account of it being a little piece of virtual world history.

    But perhaps its demise (especially following the demise of Metaplace also) can serve as a cautionary tale for Linden Lab and Second Life users in general?

    Also, Brad Mitchell’s hair. WTF?

  3. Darien Caldwell

    Mar 3rd, 2010

    It’s also interesting to note that used to be owned by Forterra Systems, until they sold off There to the current owner, Makena Technologies, in 2005. Forterra then went on to concentrate on Corporate Virtual worlds, very similar to LL’s corporate offering.

    However, on Feb 1st, 2010 Forterra sold their corporate virtual world to a Defense Contractor in Virginia called Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

    And so the cookie crumbles.

  4. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Mar 3rd, 2010

    I was one of the early residents of There years ago. It was a fun place, but it left me wanting more, so I found SL. The vehicles were the main selling point of the virtual world for me, but content creation was as bureaucratic as getting something in the iPhone store, and I categorically will never spend time or money in a community where censorship is the norm (I will never own an iPhone or iGadget for the same reason).

    Reading the CEOs letter announcing the closing, a few things in their death spiral sound familiar:

    “Throughout the last year and this quarter, we have fought the good fight by churning out new features and revisions as fast as we possibly could. Our hats have to go off to the team, which have in a very short time introduced a whole new suite of casual games, a completely new foundation for our user interface, improved internal efficiencies for the product, real estate, a whole new level of Community Involvement, etc, etc. On top of that, we’ve revised our first user experience several times, making the whole process for registering and getting into the world (and continued to be amused when the same features appeared in other worlds).”


    It sounds like when There failed it was doing what LL is trying to do now with SecondLife 2.0 and a few other initiatives. I’m not going to say SL is going the way of There. There and SL are run differently, but the product is essentially the same. I don’t think LL is doing a better job in the area of creating a better interface and orientation than There did. Overhauling the UI and fiddling with the orientation process for new residents did not turn out great profits for There, so it probably won’t for SL either.

    It’s sad when a VW closes, but hopefully this is a warning sign to other VWs who are tempted to micro-manage and censor their users creations. Low barriers to entry are what fuels innovation and creativity online. Putting a licencee bureaucracy in the way to create unnatural barriers to entry so that fair competition does not happen is a terrible idea (I’m looking at you, Blue Mars).

  5. Sasha

    Mar 4th, 2010

    I didn’t know about the Brad Mitchell scandal! Interesting, and a bit creepy, especially the weird hair do…

    Still sad to see another VW fall down. I feel for all the members. They aren’t really given a lot of time to find each other and move to other virtual worlds.

    I’ve heard some virtual worlds are opening their arms and offering help, with some hefty prizes.

    For those There members looking for new worlds, I found and interesting pros and cons article about alternative sites. You can get to it by clicking my name.

    Good luck to those members!

  6. Errin

    Mar 4th, 2010

    Good News! i hope SL does it too

  7. Bob

    Mar 4th, 2010


    I noticed on the sidebar that you’d commented on half a dozen posts, all of them negative. Sorry about your shitty existence.


  8. Lina Pussycat

    Mar 5th, 2010

    Ok some things here really after having tried some years ago after i picked up Second Life, first off the lag even comparing to second life at the time i tried it was unbearable and this was on a 5 mbps – 7 mbps connection at the time with a video card that ran Sl just fine at the time (pre windlight before my current computer) Most stuff that we have freedom of in second life was not a freedom in, for starters they had to ok each and every item which had to be made outside of the game and then they took a cut of every sale of said item (sorta like what blue mars seems to be doing) The graphics of it were abysmal at best even though it was made at and around the same time as second life. People do complain about Second Life but its a smoother experience and thats the silly thing. I’m frankly surprised it took this long to fall but it was bound to happen without a complete and utter overhaul with how they operated the game, lag, graphics, building, and overall openness. It might of been good at one point but those days are long gone and have been for a good long while now. Its a shame to see yet another virtual world close but they need to start offering more.

    Much as people do have some disdain for what LL do with Second Life they by far have the best offerings as far as an overall package goes. Yeah lag and performance could be better but compare what you can do here to what you can do in any other world out there.

  9. Wayfinder

    Mar 9th, 2010

    Here’s the scary part folks: there is nothing that went on THERE that doesn’t happen on Second Life every day of the week. No online community or game is immune to sudden shutdown. It’s a risk in any such environment.

    I think the major problem with THERE is the same as that expereinced on Second Life: the board was mis-managed and didn’t pay attention to its customers needs and wishes. In this, Second Life is no different. SL had zero growth in 2009; that should give someone a big clue.

    In truth, I’m sad to see THERE go. Many people enjoyed the environment and community there. Sure, there were bad elements, just as there were on SL. Identically to SL, there were people on THERE who should have been permabanned much earlier than they were. But, when people aren’t logging in, when money isn’t coming in, when they’re losing members, it falls to management to figure out WHY and FIX it.

    That is an area where both THERE and Linden Lab fails miserably. We see LL patting itself on the back for such amazing innovations, while customers are virtually screaming at them. We see them handing out narcissistic press releases when their growth rate is stagnant.

    If anyone things SL is immune to what was experienced at THERE… our community needs a reality check. THERE went out of business simply because of mismanagement and falling to the power of a superior product (Second Life). Second Life’s popularity could vanish just as easily. From what we saw in 2009, I would say that’s already happening. We will see what the future brings.

  10. Wayfinder

    Mar 9th, 2010

    LOL, I have a bad habit of posting first and then going back and reading prior posts. I find it VERY interesting that the majority of the posts above seem to echo the sentiment of my post, namely: that Second Life seems to be headed the same direction.

    Isn’t it sad folks, that we can see this… yet Linden Lab seems totally blind to such issues?

  11. Misery

    Mar 17th, 2010


  12. thereisgone?

    Mar 28th, 2010

    I enojed very much and spent a lot of money on it. I was so frustrated I decided to write about my story in

    I totally agree, There failed because of the stupid rules.

    See what I wrote about this: Virtual World Collapse:

  13. Reem Taha

    Apr 22nd, 2010

    I loved I’d do anything for it back ….
    My avvie was reemtaha
    I had soo much fun in it
    Many are pissed cause of how much money they spent n one of them is me
    This is fucked up ily !! ♥ =]

    If i need to express more feelings i don’t thing they’d put the comment so nvm =]

  14. Reem Taha

    Apr 22nd, 2010

    N your the fucking shitty people if you think it was a good idea to shu there down cause sl or onverse and imvu are fucked up There was amazing =]

  15. Babylexy

    May 2nd, 2010

    Tbh im so glad shut i don’t think i would have been able to get off the game without it shutting it was so addictive + Brad Mitchell was always a pedo and always will me and i don’t understand why i stuck up for him all them times in cosmo he promised me that he wasn’t a pedo and now his names all over the internet as a dirty pedo who needs to go and get a fucking life!! oh wait he cant hes locked up cos one of his there daughters fell for his little trap Anyways Tally ho :)

  16. Rebecca Warren

    Apr 21st, 2011

    For all of the former Thereians who truly miss there, now is the chance to get it back. Just by answering a few questions sponsored by Michael Wilson the fonder of Makena Technologies and contributor to The more people who fill out the survey better the chances of reopening. They are thinking about reopening There with a subscription fee. Please go to the old website to fill out the survey. P.S. spread the word!!

  17. Yep

    Aug 8th, 2011

  18. pSychocent

    Aug 17th, 2011 is reopening. Clean slate

  19. Breen Whitman

    Aug 17th, 2011

    You lying sock puppet cunt @pSychocent

    “ is reopening. Clean slate”. It is invitation only for old avatars…which have recieved an email. They are trolling for $10.

    Fuck of you shill.

  20. Yep

    Aug 18th, 2011

    *%^$#%^!!!!!!! %^$$&*(*(*&$!!!!!!!!!!

    I think Breen has emotional problems. :D

  21. hobo kelly

    Aug 18th, 2011

    ***WARNING***JLU*ALERT*** Somebody has cracked the JLU PhantomZone griefer system built by Kalel Venkman and they have the IP addresses of EVERYBODY that the JLU has been spying on. Thousands of avatars. Somebody has all the INFOS but has protected the IP addresses of people listed but they have DUMPED the whole thing here:

    the website may not last long – GO NOW and see if the JLU has your infos…

  22. yiffy

    Aug 18th, 2011

    @ Yep.


    @ Breen Whitman: U mad

  23. Tux

    Aug 18th, 2011

    I am looking forward to the JLU’s response. Although it’ll be another wiki leak. Denial, pretending its not theirs and saying they have never seen it before. Then pretending it didn’t happen whilst claiming they are prosecuting the owner of the list. Then finally falsely claiming this is some sort of terrorist act and probably calling the police or something stupid like that.

  24. Senban Babii

    Aug 18th, 2011

    /me turns to face those concealed by the shadows and says

  25. Anon

    Aug 18th, 2011

    IP list looks fake, or taken from some other system. This looks like a hoax.

  26. Anonymous

    Aug 18th, 2011

    This looks like CDS data to me. Yes, real IP addresses. But where it actually came from is anybody’s guess.

  27. Ricky T.

    Aug 19th, 2011

    I’ve looked at this list of IP addresses, and it looks suspiciously similar to leaked IP addresses from the RedZone fiasco. Somebody’s trying to retread old hackery and pretend it’s new.

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