WorldsChat is a social virtual world that was launched in 1994, and is still online today. Users can equip avatars and hang out in 3D spaces, conversing with each other over text-based chat.
WorldsChat allowed users to create their own spaces and avatars. Over the years, they transformed it in a way its developers could never predict. Today, it is not just a time capsule of the early 90's utopian web; it also contains a vast labyrinth of outsider art that has arisen within its fringes.
We spoke with GradualDIME, an amateur archivist documenting WorldsChat's user-created art and environments. He gave us a tour of his favorite places in WorldsChat, and told the story of what happened when 4chan's paranormal board discovered it.
- JimblysWorlds maintains instructions on how to access WorldsChat on modern operating systems, and other help resources and downloads.
- The WorldsChat Wiki is well-maintained and contains documentation on all aspects of the software, including its history, culture, events, and fan-created worlds.
- Wirlaburla's Site collects interesting media files and oral histories related to WorldsChat. It also hosts GradualDIME's WorldsChat research paper from 2012.
- There is a fairly active WorldsChat SubReddit where people discuss current goings-on in the community.