There.com needed this…

To help with the griefers and keep support costs down:
A New And Maybe Better Way To Stop People From Being Jerks Online

This part worries me a bit:

For example, a League of Legends player judge might have to rule on a player who has been AFK for too long….

In no time at all, There’s virtual prisons would have been full (or we would have run out of orange outfits for people to wear while they cleaned Zephyr as Community Service).

Seriously though, I’ll be following this one. Looks like a lot of thought went into this.

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  1. #1 by sharon on 2011.10.30 - 9:33 am

    i know my there name butcant rember the e maill i used

  2. #2 by andy on 2011.05.08 - 4:19 am

    you thieving scamming cunts. i will watch you fail and fall again and watch all the pathetic mindless sheep who use this shitty life wasting experience lose their money and waste their ridiculous lives.. wilson you are a thieving scamming bullshitting online cunt. shame on your parents for not aborting you

    • #3 by Michael Wilson on 2011.05.08 - 4:58 am

      Why thank you! I’ll mark you down for $60/month.

      And Happy Mother’s Day to you too!

      P.S. I wouldn’t kiss my mother with that mouth, you might want to wash it out first with soap!

  3. #4 by Tigera on 2011.04.25 - 2:06 pm

    Im not sure if anyone has said this, but I play LoL and the reason people leaving is a problem is because you depend on each person in your 5 or 3 man team to help win. In There its not the same, so you should just disregard thoughts about punishing people for being afk.

  4. #5 by onverseplaza on 2011.03.04 - 2:16 pm

    I would be happy to volunteer with out earning any money whats so ever with support or even to help greifers. I could get millions of people that would like to volunteer as well. Btw are you making any more games for the public?

  5. #6 by Thereian Fan on 2011.02.13 - 5:20 pm

    xSnoopy,

    Actually to be honest I can. Here is the thing. While There was a virtual world where you could travel to other island without having to teleport, and the avatars looked great and so many other things as well, BUT there is one thing that IMVU had that There could never get, and that’s communication between staff and the members. There were many issues which I will not discuss what they are because of privacy reasons, that staff members had no clue on the rules in what’s allow and not allow. That’s just the helpers, now for Technical Issues, there were many times I would have a lot of issues that wouldn’t get fixed. Also, when it came to billing support IMVU is open 7 days a week, but not 24 hrs which is okay. There was only Mon – Friday, and the hours were only for 3-4 hours. Majority of the times I wouldn’t be able to call because the hours conflicted with my work schedule.

    Also, while the avatars may not look like There, and have all of those features, what I like about it is, in IMVU they just recently released there Apple (Mac) client. There told us that it was going to be released the end of 2009 and never got released or was it in ’08. I would have to see what they said, but I remember it well. IMVU was only out about 7 years, and yet they came out with a Mac client very quickly. There is voice in there. Read there forums/tutorial in how to use voice. I don’t believe you can use voice in public room, but in a private chat you can. Another thing, IMVU is about instant message 3d virtual world, it’s not like Second Life or There, so while you are limited in things to do, you could do a lot of things. Also, it is kind of sad that there aren’t any card games, but there might be in the future, who knows. I could go on, but it’s more about personal opinions. 🙂

    @Michael,

    Just out of curiosity, rumors hard it that Pepsi were going to join along. Was that true? The reason why i ask because in Club Makena there was a sign that looked like a Pepsi logo. Also, what happened with the CMG Towers, why did that contract end? I think it was great bringing in celebratires in to the virtual world. That was an excellent marketing plan. Also, I felt the sponsors we had in There weren’t doing anything special. Only ones that really did more for the community were Coca-Cola, Scion, CosmoGirl, CMG Towers, Nike, and Levis. Otherwise, the people who were suppose to be sponsors weren’t really sponsoring…Also, you made the whole virtual world open for everyone including basic members. If you’ve limited on where basic members are allow to go, it will give them more of an opportunity for them to purchase the premium membership.

    Pretty much, I am not trying to say IMVU is more successful than There, but I think if you look at IMVU, you can see how they are accomplishing, and making good money to keep there service going.

    • #7 by xSnoopy on 2011.02.21 - 12:00 pm

      Thereian Fan,
      I guess it’s all in how you used the two virtual worlds. You apparently Saw There and IMVU as a SOCIAL place to go while I saw There as a place to compete first and socialize second.. The problems I contended with were not the same as someone going there to chat. If your voice or text was delayed by a few milliseconds, no problem. If I had the same problem, it could cost me the match or race.
      As far as the problem solving, it was all in who you knew. I remember one day there was a terrible problem with lag in Sector 99 (that was part of Zephyr). Just so happened that someone I knew could solve the problem and he did, in less than an hour.
      There were some Helpers that didn’t know the rules, I always tried to use the ones, if they were online, that knew what they were doing. Luckily, I had an extensive list I could choose from.
      Whats an Apple? 🙂 Last time I used one of them was in the early 80’s. I betcha Michael would have had at least 10 new members after he spent hundreds of hours writing the code to make the Mac compatible. Considering about 80% or more use Windows, it hardly seems worth the money or time.

  6. #8 by xSnoopy on 2011.02.08 - 1:30 pm

    Thereian Fan,
    Can you honestly compare There and IMVU ? The only comparison I saw was in the profitability area. Other than that one area, I saw no comparison between the two worlds.
    I gave the place an honest 15 mins of my time and decided it would not be worth the $10.00 to investigate any further. Unless I spent the 10 bucks, I was locked out of everything that might have been of interest.
    The game icons looked like they were designed for 10 year olds even though the game is “adults only”.
    I saw nothing about VIOP chatting, being able to buy a PAZ, a Neighborhood or competing, one on one, in several venues like Paintball or Buggy racing.
    In short, MW spoiled most of us with what he offered. Curse you Michael!! 🙂 There just isn’t anything like it out there and probably never will be. 😦
    As far as the helpers and Live Chat, I pretty much agree. Some were great while most were out of their league when confronted with the idiots that took griefing to new heights on a regular basis.
    In Zephyr, the paintball and Buggy zones, I saw griefing on a daily basis, I suspect most Thereians were more isolated from it than a some of us were.
    I have seen “adults” stand on the bridge in Zephyr and curse out a Helper that had been called. The Helper would ban them and before the Helper would leave, that person was back in another avie.
    At one time, not because I had been banned, I had 6 avies in game. Someone said that the record was over 20 at one time.
    The greifing problem is not as simple as it sounds.

  7. #9 by Thereian Fan on 2011.01.31 - 7:49 pm

    I don’t think banning a member is the best way to go unless it was something serious. What could be done in the near future, is if a member got moderated for something minor, the best thing to do is to educate them. Force there avatar somewhere in the middle of the ocean. Once they log on they can’t move there avatar unless they read about better behavior and bullying, and trying to teach them that what there doing is wrong. Once they read it, have them click I agree that if you continue doing it, you could be permanently banned from game, and if you try again to make a new account, you can get reported to the local authorities. Not sure if it’s possible, but who knows. Just a small suggestion.

    • #10 by there_forever on 2011.02.03 - 9:17 pm

      Sounds like a plan. Even better, keep him stuck in the ocean for a day or so!!!!!!!

    • #11 by xSnoopy on 2011.02.04 - 3:34 pm

      Thereian Fan,
      As a 5+ year veteran of Zephyr and paintball, I have run into the worst of the “bad guys”. Most of them, like Brad22 had the tech savvy to get around anything that was done to them. Some even rewrote code to get what they wanted.
      Stranding someones avie in the ocean will just result in them using a different avie. In Brad22’s case there could have been over 150 avies stranded in the ocean.
      My guess is that it would impact only about 25% or less that don’t have the savvy or friends to get around banning.
      I knew of several users that couldn’t get around banning so they went to a friends house, made another avie and were online the next day.
      Calling the authorities is just about the only way to get rid of most of the offenders because we all agreed to a code of conduct when signing up for There. There are also ways to hide your “real” IP from most everyone so even calling the authorities wont work in all cases.
      Its a sure bet that Michael has lost many nights of sleep wrestling with this problem. I’m sure it is one of the “things” that needs a fix before There will open again. If you found a “fix” for this problem Michael, send me an Email and I will volunteer to be a Beta tester. 🙂

      • #12 by Thereian Fan on 2011.02.07 - 10:44 pm

        xSnoopy,

        I have been with There for a long time myself. But, year’s shouldn’t matter in this case. The matter is, how There handled the greifers. My question is, where training did they give to the helpers and what were there qualifications to it? I don’t think they got enough training in my opinion, I had helpers in the past that didn’t know the real estate policy, and as well as there own Terms of Service. My guess is there never had enough training. In my opinion, if I was running the company, I would first make sure they go through a lot of testing and simulations before they even work. Think of it as your working for a police department, you have to go through years of training before you can go into the force. I would make sure they had the full understanding of what is important in this occupation. While some helpers were nice, and some had no clue, I felt I wasn’t safe enough. Anyways, Brad22 is a reason why the Live Help Support team failed. There training in real life cases never helped. Also, that is just one person we are talking about. Secondly, there is always a trace in your “ip”, you can be tracked even if you try to hide yourself. It is possible. Could it take awhile? Yes, it could. But, you know what, it’s better to try than to give up.

        Also, look at how IMVU is running now. Have you seen there BBB report? They’ve received rewards for one of the best virtual worlds. Have a look at what they accomplished. http://www.imvu.com/about/, and as well as there sponsors Backed by Menlo Ventures, Allegis Capital, Bridgescale Partners and Best Buy Capital. How outstanding are these companies? Best Buy Capital! That would be amazing if There had it. Also, with Coca-Cola part of There, it was great as well, but I don’t think Coca-Cola gave a lot of thought in a virtual world.

        Okay going off topic now. lol. Let’s go back to the topic. lol. All I am saying is, just because of one person did something stupid that doesn’t mean everyone else will. There learned from it’s mistakes and hopefully next time it won’t happen again.

      • #13 by Michael Wilson on 2011.02.07 - 10:51 pm

        Well, actually, There had a AAA rating from the BBB before we closed. Also, There, in it’s various incarnations had investors like Sutter Hill Ventures, Chichen-Itza-Ventures, JVP, and many others. They just weren’t listed on the site.

  8. #14 by Lady_Tigrane on 2011.01.17 - 9:04 am

    “(or we would have run out of orange outfits for people to wear while they cleaned Zephyr as Community Service)”

    Funny, it was Us Zephyrians that tried mightily to warn your staff of the antics of Bradford Mitchell, aka Brad22. We offered massive amounts of proofs to your staff. Between videos we popped up on Youtube, and chatlogs we submitted, he should have been gone almost 2 years before he was finally banned. By then it was far too late as he managed to get his hooks on a 14 yr old therian and molest her. He’s in jail for a couple years but it came too late and our plea for dealing with that monster fell on deaf ears. Many regulars of Zephyr wound up contending with the simple fact that your staff for whatever reasons ignored our alerts about this sick man. (many folks including myself believe it was due to the large amount of money he sank into game.)

    Perhaps before you start with the “zephyr crowd” brow beating, you might want to clean up your own back yard where it pertains to rule breakers, and how they should have been dealt with.

    • #15 by xSnoopy on 2011.01.27 - 5:08 pm

      Unfortunately I don’t think there was or is any way to keep someone like Brad22 out of game. You can ban his IP and tag every piece of hardware in his system that can be tagged and that person will still be back in game within an hour or less using a different avie name. Think of all the people we knew in Zephyr that “beat the system”.
      By having There.com a, pay by Credit Card site, it would have cut down on the number of avies that person can have but it still would not eliminate his returning several times before running out of credit cards.
      Brad22 was known to have over 200 avies prior to his trip to the west coast and prison.
      I agree that this whole matter was handled very poorly but I expect this sad travesty could not have been avoided just by banning his avie. Some tech savy players have the knowledge to “beat the system” unless they are locked up before committing any crime. Today, INTENT usually doesn’t get a person jail time.
      Perhaps the Jury System will work but just banning someone wont keep that person out of game.

      • #16 by there_forever on 2011.02.03 - 9:16 pm

        People are able to hack NASA so getting into a virtual world through a backdoor isn’t a surprise. Maybe that Brad dude you are talking about just knew too much so it would have been difficult to keep him out no matter how strong the security system was. I wouldn’t say that the matter was handled very poorly. It was just one of those occasions that nothing could be done.

  9. #17 by Richard Hallock on 2011.01.16 - 8:23 am

    I think it sounds interesting as well. The There forums might have been a good place to try this. The forums of There were a fascinating and lively place, except for the three forum trolls that continually posted causing trouble. While the final forum policies were rather draconian, their lack of enforcement was hugely frustrating to many posters. How much money did these few trolls have invested in there.com that they were allowed to continually stir the pot? Perhaps a forum system that has a way for members reporting abuse would be a good place so start. If enough members complain about a thread, it could be hidden until staff could look at it.

    IMVU has a similar system in place for approving submission items. Developers can see random items as they are submitted, if they fit into the classifications as described by the developer for that item, they can approve it, or not approve it and say why. If several of the developers say the item is not within the boundaries then the item is bumped up for a staff member to look at. They aslo have a reporting policy that works much the same way. It seems to work very well. Later members can complain about approved items, can that can lead to further staff review of in world items for possible reclassification or removal. on the DAB we talked about this sort of thing endlessly.

    However I would still like to see a staff ember involved at some level of this process. In There most issues were pretty obvious, especially the ones dealing with PAZ placement and such. There really could have benefited form a PAZ placement policy pop up, explaining the rules to members when they first try to set out a PAZ. Finding the rules in there.com was easy for the adults playing the game (OK not so easy) but as the age of members grew younger and younger over the years this problem increased. Automated systems that explain how to do things correctly to the members could be the first step in implementing such a system, should There someday return. For example when you put out a PAZ for the first time it could pop up that web page with cute pictures showing proper and improper placement near other PAZ’s, zones, and roads. When changes to the policy are made, that pop up could again appear as PAZ’s were set back in world. Perhaps this system would work fine for limited bans of typing and voice chat, but for removal from game I would still like to see a staff member involved.

    I would expect the majority of TOS violations came from voice chat abuse, frankly after a few brief visits to Cosmo Girl I quickly learned to avoid the place. A more wretched hive of scum and villainy.. bla bla bla. A quick search of YouTube will show you what it was like as well. Full of people it was, but it was no Karuna Plaza. Reporting anything in There.com was a frustrating experience. By the time you contacted anyone, the issue was most likely over. However on the few occasions where really ‘bad stuff’ was still going on in voice chat and I managed to get through the system, there was also the reverse punishment on me. Yes I was eventually able to get some help with stopping the abuse of the new members and everyone else around, but I paid the price of more than a half hour of my time to do it. I quickly learned to just tell others how to ‘report incidents/waste their own time’ rather than my own. A half hour is a terrible thing to waste.

    At one point in my hood (for more than a year) I had the ability to put signs away. This was great as people left signs all over Lagoland all the time. They were just a minor bother.. Same with ThereDocs, I could simply remove them. However later this power was removed. I was told that I could simply remove foreign objects. Unfortunately quest kits counted as foreign objects… so every time after that I had to contact help and go through the long precess of getting someone out to help.. or ruin someones quest that was going on in my hood. After a while I was sick of seeing the same people’s signs over and over again. While There’s standpoint was to educate I simply wish that (and I borough it up at more than a few MAB meetings) There would remove offending objects form inventories after so many reports of abuse. For example when ‘avatar X’ puts up a 2 team scoreboard in the center of my neighborhood advertising that people should go to live in their hood instead.. I don’t see to much of a problem with it. By the third incident of this avatar doing the exact same thing that scoreboard could be removed from his inventory. Perhaps there is some legal reason not to do this.

    I notice that the company says their big problem is that they have such a low barrier to play that it encourages people to be jerks. I think this says a lot as well. I guess they are getting enough good members to outweigh the bad, or perhaps they are just getting tired of dealing with it. I wish the article gave an example dispute. I suspect it would involve player killing or so such scheme to grab people’s possessions.
    Second Life has an easy system for reporting abuse of all kids. You click on a person, or their offensive object and report it to abuse. It takes a screenshot for you, identifies who is sending the report, and the person causing the problem. It also sends a text log of chat if there was text chat being used. The nice thing about this is that it is easy to use. If many people are being grief ed the person gets a lot of reports filed immediately. Action seems to be pretty swift especially with object related problems.

    How to report abuse – Second Life Video Tutorial

    I also like the way this video tells you how to ignore someone before it gets around to reporting abuse.

    But they too suffer from low entry barrier issues.

    Perhaps even more amusing is this blog about Second Life’s infamous ‘cornfield’ where ‘naughty’ members would be sent to, and cut off from communications from the rest of the world in a rather cool homage to The Twilight Zone : )

    Bad! Cornfield go!

    I think I still have a ton of cornstalks in my inventory I no longer use, Mr. Wilson! Feel free to use those!

  10. #18 by Brandyn_1 on 2011.01.14 - 7:04 am

    I play league Of Legends since There.com closed and I think that its a great Idea for them to do that, I will defiantly help Riot out. That would of been good for There.com maybe for the Island Guides it would of been a good choice. I say you should maybe put that in There.com as it would be a smart plan to save money. (If There.com does ever return.)
    -Brandyn_1

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