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
The PG-oriented virtual world There.com 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 There.com’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 There.com’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 There.com, 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 There.com
the internet can be dangerous