Utopia is text-oriented virtual world on the internet, free for everyone to “live” in and contribute too. For more information, visit the Utopia site (Dutch).
During my early exploration of the internet in march/april/may of 1998, I encountered the DDS which provided me (then) with free e-mail, but also had a virtual world, a MOO called the Metro. I became totally addicted to that text-oriented world, the MOO concept, as it is a sort of living book, much more than some plain chat environment. During my “metro-time”, I also encountered NowMOO, a more stranger but pleasant and funny world.
Since I had dialup at the moment, I couldn’t stay online very long. So I asked if I could get a MOO database, to do some local programming when I was offline and I received a Metro core1. I started playing with this core, which I had called TempMOO on July 11, 1998. It soon got out of hand, it was holiday, I had finished my exams and was preparing to go to university. Cipriano, Gert and Jeroen joined to help me and TempMOO got quickly renamed to Utopia — a peaceful joyful world. Within months there were a lot of people helping and building and Utopia celebrated its official opening on December 21, 1998.
Utopia has grown until 2002, having over 180 people active in the world. After that, it seems to have slowed down a bit. Participants came and went, but there were less players left. This doesn’t change the fact that the activity has been slowly growing since 2002. If less people are present more, it is still quite busy!
Utopia has grown ever since (at least in activity) although development slowed down a lot, mostly due to the lack of time of most of the participants. So, as chief of staff (with the staff called Wizards, I am the Arch Wizard), I perform maintaince in Utopia mostly. Now being one of the largest MOOs in the Netherlands, there are still a lot of people expecting everything to work of course.
1 A MOO core is a stripped database. All base elements are present, but there are no players, no rooms/buildings. It is meant as a starting point.
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