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.

This interview was recorded in 2015, five years before the Preserving Worlds pilot was released. It was originally meant to become a scene in the documentary feature Sarasota Half in Dream, but we ended up spinning it off into its own short.


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