Sometimes, it takes just one…

As I’m sure many of you know There.com is closing on March 9th, 2010.

Lots has been said about this, both good and bad, and I won’t go into that right now. I’ll have lots more to say later.

I’ve been spending time in World as much as I can, and last night I ran into a member who had something to say. I’ve elided their handle, but here’s the chat log:


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx: I can not thank you enugh …I used there.com and another avi I had to overcome the addiction of crack cocaine
michaelwilson: OMG
michaelwilson: Wow
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx: this world kept me busy and the drugs off my mind
michaelwilson: I’m so happy to hear that


That, alone, makes it all worth it.

If There did indeed help even one person in that way, that’s good enough for me.

(This doesn’t mean I’m not sad There’s closing, nor that I don’t appreciate how’s it’s impacting others. It just means that if we’re lucky to enough to make that kind of difference in one person’s life, we should be happy about that.).

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  1. #1 by Grimreapz on 2010.11.23 - 3:44 am

    Mr Wilson,
    You could easily have charged monthly subscription and all dedicated Therians would gladly have paid… No point in crying over spilled milk, but I miss the damn world and cant find anything even remotely similar……

  2. #2 by Alejandro on 2010.10.06 - 11:52 am

    Dear Mr.Wilson

    Im not going to give you some piece of junk thank you story of my life , because im sure you’ve had enough of those . I just want to say how dissapointed in the company who kept there.com running as a program and as a WORLD. Things or world’s like these, especially in there’s case shouldnt have run out this early as it is not a Television series which simply runs its seasons until ratings fall then eventually cancellation. I am shocked at the amount of grateful letters and poster’s you have gotten since its closing because all the money they have spent, time they have wasted and and effort into working and buying things in a world that would all of a sudden evaporate into thin air. I have personally played there since 2003 until in closing , taking long term breaks every few months . Theres closing happened to be on one of those long term breaks so as soon as I came back i find oop there is over, bye now with a WHOLE week of notice beforehand. ….I know you and your company have tried extremely hard to keep there on and because of recession it had to be closed , its very surreal that something as modern as this can close so easily when it has had such an impact on people over the globes lives, and its surreal because it seems immpossible something like this in 2010 could just vanish

    Furthermore
    I will thank you for Creating this world which i have enjoyed it while i could but since I Paid a hell of a lot of money into 6 Different Avatars over 7 years and spending at least $2000 on T-bucks i wont thank you for letting me into there.com . My point is that this world simply SHOULDNT have Closed so abruptly and should have been Well planned , it is extremely unproffesional for there.com to have closed.I will Happily get to enjoy Other things such as World of Warcraft or Second Life which im sure wont just dissapear all of a sudden.

    I wish you well in whatever you plan on doing next (Hopefully not opening another virtual world, taking people s of their money and closing with a weeks notice)

  3. #3 by Alejandro on 2010.10.06 - 11:47 am

    Dear Mr.Wilson

    Im not going to give you some piece of shit thank you story of my life , because im sure you’ve had enough of those . I just want to say how dissapointed in the company who kept there.com running as a program and as a WORLD. Things or world’s like these, especially in there’s case shouldnt have run out this early as it is not a Television series which simply runs its seasons until ratings fall then eventually cancellation. I am shocked at the amount of grateful letters and poster’s you have gotten since its closing because all the money they have spent, time they have wasted and and effort into working and buying things in a world that would all of a sudden evaporate into thin air. I have personally played there since 2003 until in closing , taking long term breaks every few months . Theres closing happened to be on one of those long term breaks so as soon as I came back i find oop there is over, bye now with a WHOLE week of notice beforehand. ….I know you and your company have tried extremely hard to keep there on and because of recession it had to be closed , its very surreal that something as modern as this can close so easily when it has had such an impact on people over the globes lives, and its surreal because it seems immpossible something like this in 2010 could just vanish

    Furthermore
    I will thank you for Creating this world which i have enjoyed it while i could but since I Paid a hell of a lot of money into 6 Different Avatars over 7 years and spending at least $2000 on T-bucks i wont thank you for letting me into there.com . My point is that this world simply SHOULDNT have Closed so abruptly and should have been Well planned , it is extremely unproffesional for there.com to have closed.I will Happily get to enjoy Other things such as World of Warcraft or Second Life which im sure wont just dissapear all of a sudden.

    I wish you well in whatever you plan on doing next (Hopefully not opening another virtual world, raping people of their money and closing with a weeks notice)

    • #4 by Michael Wilson on 2010.10.06 - 11:52 am

      Please see my comments on later posts in the this blog.

      As I said there, for every $1 members paid there, I had to put in at least another $1 to keep the service running that month.

      I’m as sorry as everyone else that There had to close, but I don’t think I “raped” anyone out of there money. If we’d made even the smallest profit, or even broken even, I might agree with you, but that’s unfortunately not the case.

  4. #5 by Percepti0n on 2010.05.03 - 11:53 pm

    This may be rather late but better late than never. I have had, for the most part, a miserable life losing all of my loved ones due to death. I have went through many other troubling times that I would rather not discuss publicly at this time. I feel that most of it has caused me to develop tourette syndrome, separation anxiety disorder, ADHD, depression, and a few other things around age 12. I’d always cry myself to sleep because I barely had friends, as I was always made fun of and beaten up daily on the way home from school. I am severely shy as well, so I find it very difficult to socialize in the real world and make friends. It’s something I have been trying so hard to run away from, because I want to be able to socialize. I want to be able to talk and hold conversation with people, but I just can’t.

    I eventually turned to virtual life to escape from my misery by way of gaming. I started my gaming path by playing an old Microsoft game on the MSN Gaming Zone, titled Microsoft Ants. It was a 2D RTS game, very addicting I must say. The player population was well over 600 when I started to play it, but through the years has seen a decline in players due to speedhack, routers starting to become widely used (the game was peer to peer, and routers blocked people from playing, even with port forwarding – come to find out that MSN used the wrong game launching code), and Microsoft’s lack of interest in fixing the problems of the game or updating it. Empty promises were made by MSN, or questions were somehow dodged. Much like There.com, the Ants was more than just a game. It was a community of its own, like a family. It was the game where I grew up in with many others my age who grew up there as well through our early teen years. Eventually MSN decided to announce that it was closing all multiplayer games and throwing us to the curb.

    I lost many great friends, but it led me to There.com… A friend was telling us one day about There.com, so I came to check it out in the beginning of 2004. I immediately fell in love with it. It was like heaven to me. The first thing I found and took complete interest in was buggy racing at Dune Valley. Once again, I started becoming attached to many people that I could say were best friends. I found that I was able to quickly open up to people on There.com, unlike in the real world, and other games. Something was very different about There.com, like it just seemed to be so easy to meet people and form friendships that were so real, just as real as those in the real world. I could not really tell you what made it unique, as I still have trouble figuring that out for myself how that worked.

    Because of my severe shyness, I have been unable to deal with the public, or even talk to a counselor or my own family (what I have left of it anyhow). This resulted in all of my emotions and depression being bottled up so bad that there were times where I couldn’t help but to let go and get so bad that I’d cry nonstop, wishing I was dead, feeling guilt, worthless, etc.. But There.com changed all of that for me. I soon realized that I was able to trust and talk to a handful of friends I made in There.com, who have helped me through rough times. These friends were real true friends that seem unmatched by any friend you could find in the real world. There.com basically seemed to make it very easy for people to get to know each other quicker and easier than the real world. In the real world, it seems a lot more difficult to meet new people, because in these times everyone is afraid of talking to someone they don’t know. How do you make friends if you never talk to people you don’t know? You don’t.

    In a virtual world such as There.com, you didn’t have to worry about getting kidnapped or murdered for whatever. You didn’t have to worry about some guy sending his huge pit bull after you or having his son try to run you down with a pickup truck for taking a shortcut across his lawn on the way home from school (I have actually had that happen to me while in 1st grade). You didn’t have to worry about those common fears while in There.com.. If you wanted to talk to someone, you could just walk up and say hi and introduce yourself without the fear of being murdered or kidnapped. You didn’t have to worry about embarrassing yourself, because There.com was a place that you really didn’t have to go back to if you did something embarrassing. The real world is unfortunately something that you can’t avoid, so you have to live with the shame of embarrassment.

    Because of all of this, I have found that There.com has improved my life tremendously. I have learned so many things that I would not have learned without it (things that I couldn’t learn at school due to ADHD and inability to focus or find interest). I soon found myself able to start talking a little more in the real world, so I only wonder how much more I could have improved if There.com would have still stayed around for another few years. Anyhow, as I was saying, I was never able to talk about my emotions or feelings or discuss anything in the real world to anyone, and I needed people to talk to desperately. I was able to talk to people in There.com and be helped through rough times. I had friends from There.com that would always be there for me when I needed them the most. Those that would tolerate me regardless of what I did, or that wouldn’t care about an embarrassing moment. Now I firmly believe that this kind have friendship with the friends I made in There.com wouldn’t have been formed in the real world with those same people due to my shyness and fears, as well as those fears I mentioned of being murdered or kidnapped or something.

    I have talked about that with many of them before and all have agreed that we most likely would have never even tried to speak to each other. It’s amazing how a virtual world can form friendships that the real world would not have originally been able to do so quickly. The real world would have taken a few years longer to become as close to each other as the time it has taken for us to bond in There.com..

    Like I said, There.com has improved my real world social skills tremendously. And I had a voice speak to me that day of the announcement, before I had even heard about it, telling me over and over again that something bad was going to happen. I was going to lose something that I loved so much. When I came home, I found several messages that There.com was closing in a week. I had mixed emotions, going from angry to scared of losing contact with the friends I have made, losing that only connection I had with the outside world, frustration, sadness, depression, and many more. I was outrageous at times, and sad at other times. I honestly had no idea what to feel at the time. I really thought I was going to die without There.com.. Finally, March 9th came pretty quickly I must say and it was hard to be logged in up to the very last second when the world closed and logged us all out.

    It didn’t hurt me near as bad as I thought it would have. I was completely fine somehow. Finally this last week, it has caught up with me and has hit me very very hard. Much worse than the death of a parent. I have lost everything and everyone I loved. I haven’t really been able to be around a computer much anymore either. It has been so hard on me for the past week, and I am now beginning to feel that sadness hitting me so bad. I miss that sound of an incoming There IM, hearing someone speaking through voice at any given moment, or seeing my friends every day. It has mostly been quiet now for me and still have not found a place to settle in at. I have once again lost my connection with the outside world and have been set back a few steps again, feeling like a part of me has died and is missing again. But it is all ok, because I have still been able to keep some of the things that I have improved due to There.com..

    So to the point, I just wanted to say thank you so much for the opportunity and help that your virtual world, There.com, has given to me. It was without a doubt, the best experience for me and I will never forget. I must also say that if it wasn’t for the encouragement and huge support from friends in There.com, and if it wasn’t for There.com helping to reduce my social fear a little, I wouldn’t have been able to start attending college in January 2009, majoring in video game development. There.com has given me the power to learn many things that I would not have learned in the real world, the power to do things I wanted to do that I wouldn’t have been able to do in the real world without it, etc..

    So once again, thank you for everything you have given me to take into my future with me MW.

    P.S. If you would like to read most of my life story (though there are many things even 10 times worst than what I have written in it, which I could not write and bare the pain from writing about them at the time), it is available at:

    http://www.netbreakers.com/mystory.txt

  5. #6 by Cellophane on 2010.04.27 - 10:25 am

    MW-

    When the announcement was made that There.com would close I must admit that I felt more than a little chagrin. Keeping in mind I was never involved directly in any major clique, I felt surprise at the wee-ist bit of surprise I experienced due to the short notice given of said impending close. As a person who saw that if the economy didn’t prompt the demise of the VW of There that the inevitable Unknown Buyer/Investor Cometh would, I thought that members would have in the least 30 days notice…

    Beneath a myriad of reasons I joined There- in the end I felt sadness for the closing of this incredible virtual world. While I didn’t become teary-eyed upon recieving the news of the close and did not participate in any ‘Countdown to Close’ events (thanking all of those who graciously invited me)- reading through these comments has brought a tear or two to my eyes.

    Every individual steeped in the sweetness of There for reasons beyond being There for little other reason than just being There made an imprint on me. Some touched my mind, some turned on the switch in me that has me running for my notebook and others were simply kindred spirits; sort of raunchy voyeurs making a buck off of peering at the lives of others played out virtually.

    But I am like you in my id; when anything changes the life of any one, sole person- it is worth it.

    Your venture saved a crackhead. Your venture assisted an individual with cancer. Your venture helped to pull an abused woman from a life of hell into a life with the hope of love.

    And that, Mr. Wilson, is something I can dig.

    And while I wonder what you are, up above the world so high- I can see that in many ways you saved me from a cross-eyed cynicism that may have been my fate without There.com.

    Because of your venture there is one less cynic walking on the surface of Planet Earth. Perhaps not as impacting on the soul as saving someone addicted to crack but equal in the ramifications There.com from start to finish has had on me and my life.

    And because their are two children who daily claim me as their mother, helping me to erase an ingrained cynicism has got to be good for them in ways I’ll never really know.

    Be well MW.

    And Godspeed to wherever you may roam…

    Elizabeth Robinson
    Therian

  6. #7 by NoBioN on 2010.04.13 - 5:30 pm

    There is always a end to something, Even there.com :(.

    There have been alot of sadness, broken hearts and frustrations since there.com closed, and i must admit i been suffering all these, But somehow i feel this is/was natural considering i been with there.com since 2004.

    First of i would like to say to Mr. Wilson, That i can only belive there has been alot of unpleasent moments after the announcement of the closure, I think a good portion of the playerbase out of frustration have been a bit harsh towards you, being guilty myself. Anyhow when time goes, i realize that this decisions was not a cold hearted buisness decision. But a decision made with great sadness. It feels like between the lines in this post you made, i feel your sadness of not being able to continue help people out with everything there.com contributed to their life. A statement im glad you made 🙂

    There.com was something special. Alot of people have been all the virtual worlds through to find anything similiar, But there just isen’t, i end up realizing that i’ll just have to pull my self together and move on. Maybe there isent a new “home” out there for me for now, But there might come in the future.

    I will never give up the hope of there.com reopening someday with a new financial working structure. And we all can be reunited with our avatars again, Those avatars that became an identity and a part of our life. Thanks there.com!. For all those times i could immerse myself into a world where i felt i was myself more than in real life or any other virtual worlds, a place where personality was shining, Where friendships wasent harmed by how you look or where and what you came from but by who you was.

    – NoBioN

  7. #8 by Kangaroo on 2010.04.13 - 9:49 am

    ‘Heyhey Mr Wilson.

    Thanks for letting me keep my island paz up since back in 2003-2010 =)
    I really loved that tiny bit of rock, out in the middle of the smooth blue pixels, right outside the east coast of Ootay island.

  8. #9 by Explorer_One on 2010.04.13 - 9:01 am

    Like everyone else here. One month later and I still miss what There offered. It hurts to not have it as a place to turn to.

    It is sorely missed and I try to keep it in remembrance on many of my online haunts such as Xbox Live and my MMOs.

  9. #10 by Thereian Fan on 2010.04.12 - 8:38 am

    Dear Mr. Wilson,

    While it’s said seeing the best virtual world gone, it gave me a great opportunity to meet amazing friends. In real life I was a lonely person. I never hangout with my friends and didn’t do much. When I came in world I was confuse and also lonely. Later on when I got use to There I have met amazing members and staff members. This world was outstanding. I told all of my friends how this world helped me to meet great people and even though they were confused it didn’t bother me because I always had my friends in real life and in virtual to be there for me and help me whenever I am in needed.

    When I heard that there was closing, it hurt me in heart. I fainted that I was surprise that happened and I was in total shock over it. But, it didn’t matter if There was still open or not because I am still to this day in contacts with my friends whether it’s on Social Networking site, Chat Room or via Phone. Once There closed for good I was in total tears I could sleep for a whole month from seeing There closed. I would cry every night thinking about how much I missed There and my friends. In April I start to search around. I saw Blue Mars, Second Life, Real Life Plus, Onverse, Kaneva, Uru, and many others. It was hard for me to pick one because there was nothing similar or even close to There.com. If someone came to me and asked what is There.com, I would say it’s a great place to meet amazing people and to describe it you would be here forever. Go and check out There.com and see for yourself and than you will have your answers.

    Now no matter what, There.com will always be in my heart and sole and no other virtual world will take There away from me. Thank you again Mr. Wilson for making this amazing virtual world our home. Without you I would still be alone in my room.

  10. #11 by BABS on 2010.04.11 - 12:05 pm

    Mr. Wilson,

    It has been well over a month since There closed. I miss ‘home’ so badly that it hurts.

    The impact There.com had for me was awesome and positive. Yes, I had years of fun, built a home, loved so many places, met so many great people, made lots of friends and felt fullfilled over and over. BUT the bigger picture is this:

    Because of There.com I was able to find the support I needed to get out of an abusive relationship. Later, I found friends who became my real life friends and who I still talk to daily. After the closing of There.com the man I met on Zona Island years ago and I moved in together in RL. He is one of the best things to ever happen for me and my children.

    When I contemplate life having never stumbled across There, I tremble at how bad it all would be right now.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    B_A_B_S

  11. #12 by Simone on 2010.04.03 - 6:36 pm

    MW,

    It has been nearly a month since There.com closed and I have yet to find a place that is as much home as There.com was for nearly 7 yrs of my life. I have been through worlds closing before but none have brought me so many tears nor left the void that I feel with out the things I took for granted in There.com. I know I speak for many when I say I never thought it would close and that There would be here for me to bring me fun and smiles. I did get to take my screen shots and memories with me and even though I have an avie in nearly every social world on line. There.com will always be my home.

    Hugs,
    Simone

  12. #13 by Explorer_One on 2010.03.27 - 5:51 pm

    Ok, I get that I can’t post any more ideas on how to bring back, or keep the There community going via a game so I’ll just say that There.com lives on for me in my signature in Star Trek Online.

    I will miss this game dearly as it was one of the few games where I no longer felt old in my late twenties to my mid thirties. Now where should I go where I can find actual adults who enjoy using avatars that is not simply a guise for an “parlor” of adult activities I do not care for.

    I miss you There and your mostly playful innocence. 🙂

  13. #14 by whitefeather on 2010.03.26 - 5:46 am

    Satarell…. (((((HUGS))))) you know Dayt0na and I love you very much and you will always be our friend! Even after THERE is just a long gone memory…. we held each other up, when we needed each other the most, all of us did when we logged into THERE! 🙂 That is the beauty of friendship, there are no boundaries….

    Beth ~whitefeather~

  14. #15 by satarell on 2010.03.21 - 11:09 pm

    I love there it lives forever 🙂
    It help me battle cancer I am still battling now. When I first found out I didn’t know what to do and was terribly sad and alone feeling but then I just entered there and was surrounded by friends.
    When the treatments really hit me hard standing walking and moving where to much there helped so much, in there no one saw my balding head I could run and drive lol , still badly though, I was free no one asked questions I was just as everyone else and for that I thank everyone who made there possible I will miss there but it will never be gone.

  15. #16 by Drain on 2010.03.14 - 9:57 am

    MW/Posters/fellow ex Therians,

    As I’ve said to many others, both in and out of There, this realm will be missed by many….most, if not all. But none will miss it more than I. Although a member for a mere 3 short years, I feel I’ve lived a lifetime, and the loss reflects that to me daily.

    Like some, it was a social opportunity that I embraced whole-heartedly. Although sociable enough in RL, I’m not very social. Being in There and running the biggest loaner operation in world allowed me to “compensate” for my anti social behavior in RL. I was singular in focus, and that focus was to share what was shared with me: There.com.

    The community as a whole is/was something I’ll never experience anywhere else, virtually or otherwise. I’m grateful for the chance to be part of something so great and so meaningul to so many people. Like most, I’ve made friendships and acquaintences that will last the rest of my life. And like a few others, I met a wonderful woman whose future will blend with mine, long after There.com becomes a memory.

    Thank you, Mike, for the experiences, the opportunities, and most of all, for your personal involvement and effort into what almost all Therians refer to as their “life away from life.” You and your staff will be remembered fondly, appreciated profoundly, and respected immeasurably.

    ‘bow ‘wave

    Drain_Bramaged/Train_Brumor
    The Towers, INC.

  16. #17 by xqizit on 2010.03.13 - 4:02 pm

    I have to echo DJ_Spirits sentiments and many others the 6 years I spent in There were of innumerate value to both myself and those I knew its impact cant be expressed enough. I have to thank the staff for their dilligence and creativity. I also congratulate all my fellow Therians it was a simply fantastic and emancipating world a little piece of virtual quiddity. I will miss it greatly and my constant home at Star69 a labour of love for myself and others over the years. I hope one day that there in some form returns until then Good Day to you all. 😛

  17. #18 by Marcy_D on 2010.03.13 - 10:19 am

    I too have spent a good part of the week in tears. I joined There in 2003. I met and fell in love with Smiwi and we married in 2005. We stopped playing at some point. Moving on from social gaming pretty much. We were life time members though and never totally left what felt like home to us.

    We spent a good deal of time in There at the end. We married our avatars in what was probably one of the most beautiful and romantic moments we’ve had together…. and we’ve had a lot I’m happy to say.

    I feel so sad that I drifted away and contributed to the loss of a truly irreplaceable world. I’ve tried just about every single social world out there this week and one thing I can definitively say is they are not There. I can find no game where the avatars are so inviting, so fluid, so beautiful in their very nature. No wonder we are all so sad to lose them. They feel like a part of us. We deposit some of ourselves in world when we leave them. She’s the representation of me that I’ll always miss. Your world meant something to me and to those I know.

    I am sure my sadness, which is great, cannot begin to compare with yours. Good luck to you Micheal and may There some day find a home on web once again in some form or another.

    Love,

    A Proud Thereian

  18. #19 by theonlymelina on 2010.03.13 - 10:18 am

    Hello, Michael Wilson
    Thanks for the best virtual world experience ever! i so totally enjoyed myself. i am so sad that it had to end…. i cried real tears when the lights went out, knowing that i would never see my gorgeous little island that I designed. thanks for everything.

    colleen/theonlymelina

  19. #20 by Mike_37uk on 2010.03.13 - 7:36 am

    Dear Michael Wilson

    Although it was only a short time I had on there.com I made many friends. I spent too much on your hoods before you decided to close it but then thats life.

    I appreciate that you cannot continue to run a company when it is not profitable. I think we all understand that.

    Thank you for providing the community for such a long time. There are so many virtual worlds out there but you had the best. Such a shame it cost so much to run.

    Good luck to you.

    Mike_37uk

    PS: We set up a facebook page so people can keep in touch. Please don’t hesitate to post something there if you want.

  20. #21 by Jerzeesweetheart on 2010.03.13 - 6:54 am

    Dear Mr Wilson,

    As I sit here and read the comments that other members have left you, It touches my heart. We all knew that THERE was a special place but now everyone is really speaking from the heart. The THERE.com community has come together in this loss. We have come to realize that it’s a family. I don’t know that much about you, Michael Wilson, but I can only hope that aside from being the CEO,you’ve gotten a chance to make binding friendships in game as well. I hope your not taking these comments lightly and truely understand how much of an impact the world has had on our lives. We all hope that one day, there.com will magically come back even though its not likely. Some of us have moved on but others (like me) are finding it difficult to find something that even comes close to filling that emptiness in my heart. No other world is feeling like home. If theres ever anything at all we can do to bring back even a PART of the world, rest assured that you have a huge support backing the idea!! There are groups all over facebook and Secondlife. Thank you for the experience, I will be forever grateful!
    “Jerz” aka Jenn

  21. #22 by connie on 2010.03.13 - 6:26 am

    I am praying everyday that There.com makes a comeback. I was so attached to this “world” I met lots of great friends who I hold close to my heart and always will! There has gotten me through rough times in my life, I’m not a very social person and have really bad anxiety when it comes to people in the real world so There was my comfort zone ❤ I will really miss all the friends I made along my 2 years in There. Here's to praying it comes back one day! Hey a girl can dream can't she? lol

    'wave

    Lanaiya

  22. #23 by Mercuria on 2010.03.08 - 4:00 pm

    I have been grappling with words for days, not knowing how to express myself.

    I joined There 7 years ago mainly for the developer program.
    I came to love There because of the beautiful artwork and clever scenery and the friends I made.
    There fulfilled a social need in me that I did not know I had and allowed me to be creative in a way I’d never been before.

    I made friends while chatting, yet could be totally content logging in by myself to explore. Discovering the little hidden surprises gave me giggles every time. Hoverboarding or driving a buggy or flying high was soothing and relaxing. I loved learning all the nooks and crannies of There.
    I watched as There evolved and even though I left for a time I always came back.

    There is *home*. No other on line environment has the welcoming feel that There has. No other world has the charm and glorious artwork that comprises There. The scenery alone makes it worthwhile. The people make it spectacular.

    I’ve enjoyed making content and only wish I’d made more. I was really excited about the new interactive objects and am so sad that my crystal ball and lava lamp will never see the light of day. The new technology was so thrilling and it’s a shame that it all has to end.

    Over the last week I’ve been taking screen shots and talking to old friends and making new friends. I have cried with some (I cried a lot), laughed with others and all the people I’ve talked to are genuinely sad that There is closing. I’m not sure I will believe it until it’s actually over.

    This is a shame, to think that all the beauty of There will be lost forever. The selfish part of me despairs for all my designs that will be lost to the world, the altruistic part of me cries for the people who are losing their jobs. Worst of all is that you, Michael, are losing There. You put so much into it and kept it going for so long. I wish you all the best.

    This is going to leave a hole in many people’s hearts. I know I’ll miss There terribly but I’m thankful for the friends I can take with me. I needed There and it got me through some rough times so I’m thankful for that too.

    Lindsey/Mercuria

  23. #24 by Leroy Sylva (There Name: Sylverstone) on 2010.03.07 - 7:18 pm

    Mr. Wilson,

    I have waited a long while to meet you in-world (missed my chance at Summer Games 2009, back in Dune Valley). Hearing about the closure of There absolutely shocked me. I knew the economy was bad but I guess it did affect everything.

    I joined There in 2007 as the prospect of virtual worlds peaked my interest. I tried Kaneva at first, but left really quickly. I heard about Second Life but my computer then couldn’t handle it, so I saw videos of There on YouTube and I knew I had a future there. It was a great thrill ride, meeting some of the best people I have ever crossed paths with, flying hoverboats, driving buggies and exploring a vast world inside my own home.

    I grew up using There, starting out as a 14-year old lost in Fisher Island willing to break out. I did, when I discovered Dune Valley Speedway, and soon enough it became my home. I finally turned premium (thanks to my “family” at DV) in May 2009, and from there, I was riding high. I didn’t try so many things like developing or hosting events. I was just a guy wanting to have fun.

    Now with There’s closure, I have indeed lost part of my daily life, but I believe deep in my heart that it will return one day. I can’t deny that I wish something happened at the last second to save the world, but I guess all good things must come to an end.

    I found Blue Mars to be quite enjoyable (though my FPS is very low, and I tend to crash everytime I go to Beach City) and decided to make it my virtual home away from my original home in There. Even though I never owned a house, or made an item, or even just to run a hood, I was still living a fulfilled virtual life in There.

    The last few days, I’ve been using Fraps to compile a farewell video (much like others, but a bit better in my opinion). Hopefully I can catch you around the last few hours so I can get a few shots of the Makena team.

    Until then, I guess we’ll see each other There, just not the usual, but elsewhere. Thanks for the great memories and good luck in your future endeavors.

    – Sylverstone

  24. #25 by secretpotion on 2010.03.06 - 4:07 pm

    Mr Wilson

    First of all i will tell you people are right when they say there will never be another place as good as There . It has been a home away from home for a lot of people encluding me. I have to thank you for keeping it going for as long as you could if it wouldnt have been for There.com i never would have met that special someone in my life. They say you cant find Love on the internet well Glen and I have proved the non believers wrong. we are both going to miss There alot and just hope you keep some of our emails so that you can email some of us when and if you bring back There.com home . Just wish there was a way to keep it going …… Best of luck to you

    Thank you for everything you have done

    secretpotion
    aka Mrs G Reider

  25. #26 by mimi06 on 2010.03.06 - 1:40 pm

    I keep clicking my avie heels praying that I can go “home”..
    went to the walkway..few times..sat alone..yesterday, a newbie showed up..no one around..but her n I.. her name was “HOPE” with a 2003 profile? …If nothing else..friends, hope that we find each other..somewhere..some day..my only regret, I did not to get to know more of you..

    thank you MW for the few minutes you gave me at Iplanets hood the other night..

    almost 4 years..being semi retired..with a disabled daughter (dee8)……we got to laugh, WALK, meet people all walks of life..enriched us tremedously..not to mention the friends that met, fell in love and are real life couples today..so if there is “hope”, I’ll wait till midnight march 9th..on the walkway with my dogs..if not………take care
    and thank you for the best trip around the sun MW..

  26. #27 by kontumnam on 2010.03.06 - 12:18 pm

    For that one person alone, too right it was worth it 1000`s have ther reasons for there.com, i hope that alone gives reason to the critics, mine simply i found my true love freyja78.

    Simply , there never be another There.com

    Thank You

    Kontumnam

  27. #28 by whitefeather on 2010.03.06 - 11:53 am

    Michael Wilson,

    I have so many memories about There Im going to miss… the closing brings me saddness, yet I know it is just another chapter in the book of virtual life. So, one chapter ends and another begins… 🙂

    I havent found a new place to call my new virtual home as yet. Been looking at the many out there being offered as replacement, but they pale when compared to THERE.

    I have met some wonderful people in game, and then again some not so wonderful…. but I do not regret a single moment I spent here, which was sometimes 22 hours in a day lol, that darn sparkle hunting really had me hooked! 😉

    I also went through some very difficult times over the past year or so…. Spent my time here to escape…

    (michaelwilson removed some information which the commenter may not want public. I apologize for taking the liberty if it’s a problem )

    I will miss all my friends, and the groups I joined! I love them all. I also met someone very special in this game, and because of this, I would spend a million to have this experience again.

    I have had two hoods in the short one yr here, loved the creative part of that, and will really miss my special place I recently created. 😦

    I spent time taking lots of pics of my hoods, and favorite spots in world. Plus making sure in the short time I have left here, that I let each one of my friends know I love them, and making sure we exchange emails 🙂

    Thank you Michael Wilson for having allowed me the chance to enhance my life, with people I know I would have never met, had I not came to THERE! The special groups I joined, especially the writers groups, I especially will miss Wordgrove!

    Having spent a few hours crying about all this 😦 yet my heart is much lighter and I am grateful for the time we have left to contact our special friends… you could have just turned THERE off, and I am so grateful that you did not! 🙂

    I agree with many of the other comments here! If it’s not too late and there is a way we could help contribute to keeping THERE alive, I am willing to pay a monthly fee, accept a smaller version of THERE, what ever can be done!

    Ok, somebody pass the Kleenex box please!!!!

    Hugs, whitefeather aka Beth 🙂

    You haven’t completed your life until you have had a virtual one in There.com

  28. #29 by DJ_Spirit on 2010.03.06 - 12:39 am

    Michael,

    I Would like to Say a big thank you for all that you have done and for keeping There.com going aslong as it has ofcourse i wish it was staying open for longer as do others

    but things change and these sometimes cannot be helped

    There.com has been the best 6 years of my life ever, i have met so many new friends and shared so many memories with them

    I am coowner of Star_69 Community which has been out 24/7 in the skies of There for the past 5 years and 2 months and its such a shame to see it go but im just glad it lasted that long

    Thank You for Everything you have Done for There.com its just a shame to see it go

    I have a video on YouTube with lots of pictures from Star_69 Community from past to present feel free to check it out

    Thaank You,

    DJ_Spirit

  29. #30 by Soede on 2010.03.05 - 9:02 pm

    A world of thanks, MW!
    You saved and continued to improve a world that stands apart from all the others. I found There to be unique in supporting and encouraging player content and creativity while maintaining an atmosphere we could feel comfortable sharing with not just our friends but our parents and children.
    I consider myself a virtual world traveler but in There I felt I had really found a home. I had so many plans and from everything I’ve seen so did you and There’s fabulous team! It mystifies me that There isn’t financially viable and that sponsors aren’t flocking to it even in these times. (I even drink Coke now! Believe me, this is astonishing.) But I guess it’s true that ‘To everything there is a season’. I just really hope that There’s season can come around again. Anything’s possible!

  30. #31 by Emmajean on 2010.03.05 - 9:23 am

    MW,
    As a member I shall also be forever greatful for the time i was able to spend in there. I was able to do so many things that i could not do in RL like run and fly, but more importantly there allowed me to socialze at a point in my life when i would not leave my house. Back in the early day’s of There, I was suffering from cronic hives over ~80% of my body. I was misserable and unable to sleep or wear clothes other than PJs. Thanks to There I was able to keep my sanity. 🙂

    As a past employee, Makena was one of the best company I have worked for. The people and the benefits were the best. For me it allowed me to work from home, teach school to my youngest, and send my oldest off to college so he would have an opportunity to follow his dreams.

    Thank you , and Thanks to the great community of There.
    Rhonda aka EmmaJean

  31. #32 by apecore on 2010.03.05 - 7:34 am

    Mr Wilson,

    You are one of the people I admire because of your dedication, knowledge and everything.. I wanted to say thank you for keeping our world open until the last day that you could. The game changed many lives.. People with disabilities was able to socialize again and make their life worth living with families and friends on There.com.

    Like any other people, i want to dream that someday the world will be back again. I really hope so..

    but we all have to accept it and move on.. so long There.com..

    by the way i made a tribute song for all Thereians:

    Thank you,
    apecore

  32. #33 by EternalQuasar on 2010.03.05 - 2:28 am

    Oz,
    It is extremely hard for me to see what I so fondly refer to as my ‘Bajor’ falling into that only of our memories however it was/is an honor to have been able to share the world with you. There helped me get through some of the hardest times in my life and I can honestly say if it were not for the community and close friends which I gained inside my Bajor I would have taken my life, I’m proud not ashamed of this…

    Thank You for everything, for sure your action’s saved my life an I am in your debt … more then can be explained.

    *lowering my head an speaking a prayer for all therians*

    “Lord God,
    you have called your servants
    to ventures of which we cannot see the ending,
    by paths as yet untrodden,
    through perils unknown.
    Give us faith to go out with good courage,
    not knowing where we go,
    but only that your hand is leading us
    and your love supporting us;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

    Your’s in Christ,
    Andrew R. Sertich
    a.k.a. EnsignAndy

  33. #34 by MeadowAngel on 2010.03.04 - 7:11 pm

    Mr. Wilson,
    There has been a huge part of my life for over 6 years. I can’t begin to tell you how sad I am about the closing. I feel like a big part of my life will be missing. I’ll never find another place like There.

    That being said, I’d also like to say thank you for keeping it open as long as you did. I had some really good times in There and met some people who have become lifetime friends. The memories I take away with me are priceless. And I have you to thank for that.

    I have to admit though, I’m still hoping for a miracle. Maybe I’m a dreamer but I keep hoping that something will happen at the last minute to keep us from losing our beloved world.

    I was at an XMAB goodbye party tonight and all of us said we would be willing to pay a monthly fee and only have one Island open. For that matter we’d be happy to pay a monthly fee to just keep one location (Karuna plaza or whatever) open. And I know we aren’t the only ones who feel that way. There are so many Thereians who would be willing to do whatever it took to help keep it open.

    At any rate, no matter what happens I appreciate the time I was able to spent there. I’ll never forget it. Thank you.

    MeadowAngel

  34. #35 by Marcus on 2010.03.04 - 10:36 am

    MW,

    We all appreciate what There.com did for us. You taking over the company in early 2004 extended my personal experience from 6 month to well over 6 years and I thank you for that. It changed my life forever. Being close to 40 in age now I finally have found my true calling as a 3D artist. The road has been long and is still plagued with obstacles that I must overcome and in the end it may still just be a hobby that I enjoy but There.com was the starting point that made me realize it.

    That may be small in comparison to the many other good things There.com did for people. I had the pleasure of meeting the partially blind, mute, paraplegic, multiple sclerosis, plus many others with ailments who without There.com would not have been able to experience a pleasant PG13 social environment where they could interact with other people as if they had no ailment. I can imagine that they can testify to the fact that they felt as if they had no feeling of being impaired while playing and it gave them a feeling of being whole again even if it was for a short period of time each day.

    No one likes to see a good company close and no one more than the owner but very few people can say they were able to do what they love and affect peoples lives in a positive way in the same instance. I believe you, the staff and anyone else who worked for There.com over these years can have the pride of knowing this.

    Thank you,
    Marcus (aka CarCus)

  35. #36 by MrScrooge on 2010.03.04 - 8:49 am

    Dear Michael,

    I know you don’t like me and that’s cool. I’ve bashed you enough, especially in these past few days. But that’s not what this is about.

    I would like to thank you for taking There when it was about to close and keeping it open. Sure, you have done things I didn’t think were smart moves — but you’re the investor and it’s your money and you want to make more of it while keeping your membership happy. You tried and no one can fault you for it. And you actually didn’t do too bad, I think. You kept it going longer than many people thought and you should be commended for that at least. I just want you to know that I really don’t hate charity like I always claimed, in fact in my real life I am concidered “liberal” and always donate to my favorite charities The Humane Society, the Alzheimer’s Society, and one of my favorites The Salvation Army. I also commend you for all the charity work you did on behalf of There/Makena. I tell you this because I don’t want you thinking I am Dick Cheney or Sarah Palin. My posts these part few days were made in anger and saddness and I apologize to you for them.

    I came to There in 2007, hearing impaired and unable to really socialize in the real world. There.com allowed me to communicate and make new friends. I am also disabled as well as Bipolar and also have Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Disorder. When I told my doctor that I used There.com to socialize she had a great big laugh and said it was the best progress I had made thus far LOL. So thanks, Skippy. I am sorry for all the grief I have given you and hope Makena has much success in the future. Best of luck and warm wishes to you and your family.

    MrScrooge

  36. #37 by Maggie McKenna on 2010.03.04 - 8:28 am

    Hey MW!

    You can’t possibly comprehend all of the lives that There.com has made differences in. There are so many of us that have for one reason or another ventured into There to escape “the real world” for a little while. When I ask where folks will go now, there are many different thoughts but one thing that I hear everyone say is: “We will never find another place like There.”

    Thanks for keeping us going as long as you could!

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