Q. When will There Open?
A. As we said, we currently anticipate that ThereIM will be made available by the end of June.
Q. Will you open the There Forums?
A. No. To open the Forums means we’d have to provide moderation, which means we’d have to pay someone to keep an eye on them.
Over the year There was closed, we found that there were lots of public forums for people to use to talk about There, and that seems like a better solution for now. Especially since you can say anything you’d like! (Except, of course if you do something stupid like violate our intellectual property, in which case you’ll get a nice call from our lawyers, or worse.).
Q. Will everyone have to pay a monthly subscription fee?
A. Yes, with the exception of the very few “Beta Lifetime” memberships. These memberships were bought in There’s very early Betas, and will be subscription free. There are very few of these folks, and you probably know who you are.
Q. What about my Premium membership? Isn’t it a lifetime membership?
A. No. It gave you access to premium features. The subscription fee is a new fee necessary to keep There in Business, and is technically a “Price Change”, as described in the Terms of Service. We know that many of you would prefer that there not be any monthly fee, but it’s necessary to pay the bills.
Q. What if I’ve forgotten my password?
A. You will be able to use the same “Forgotten Password” method you used with There: You fill out a form, and we email you the URL to change your forgotten password.
Q. What if my email address
was bogus isn’t accessible any more?
A. Then you can use the secret question and answer to reset your password.
Q. What if my email address doesn’t work, and I didn’t set a secret question and answer.
A. Then it’s going to be very hard for us to help you, since it’s going to be hard for you to give us information which someone else acquainted with you could provide. It may be possible to help you, but we’ll charge you a significant fee for the time to do the research, and it’s not clear we’ll be able to help you.
Q. Can’t you just send me my password?
A. No. We didn’t store passwords. We did a one-way encryption on them and stored them.
Q. What if I’ve forgotten my avatar name?
A. You can sign in with your email address.
Q. In the new system will you require email address verification?
A. YES. Ending up with a system full of
bogus o or profane or email-addresses-describing-Mr-Wilson’s-family is not in the plan here.
Prior to 05/24/2011
Q. Will all I get my old Avatar?
A. Yes. Our plan is to “start fresh”, and create a new Avatar for you in the system (with the same look, buddies, etc,), and then, overnight (or in the next couple of days), restore all your inventory. This will be much better, as you’ll be in a nice, fresh, empty There without millions of old Avatars and possessions laying around.
We took a backup (actually, several) right after There closed, so whatever you had when it closed, you will have if we re-open. We may have licensing issues with certain items associated with folks who are no longer our partners (since we closed), but we don’t know about those yet.
Q. What about my old Funzone? My old Lots?
A. Chances are highest you’ll get your old Funzone. As for Lots, Hoods, and PAZs, we have to see if we can put them out again, since we’re going to be running the system “in the Cloud” and servers will only be allocated when they’re needed. For PAZs, this probably won’t make a difference, but for Lots and Hoods, we’re not sure yet. We’ll make sure you’re compensated for any lost rent (in There time, not real time) if there’s lossage.
Q. Can’t you make the ocean smaller to make There cheaper to run?
A. No. The Ocean took up one server (sector).
Q. Will I still be in a seamless world that I can circumnavigate?
A. Most probably, yes.
Q. What if I have multiple avatars, would I be charged for each one?
A. Currently, yes.
Q. Can’t you make it so I could combine avatars, or just use my other avatars long enough to get stuff out of them?
A. We don’t know yet. We’d probably prefer the former, since “long enough” will never be long enough for everyone, and would probably lead to abuse in the end. From the responses so far, it’s apparent we’re going to have to figure this out.
Q. Why aren’t you doing free accounts?
A. Because we can’t afford to.
Q. Why aren’t you doing trial accounts?
A. We’re not doing this (at least at the start) because Trial accounts were a great vehicle for abuse, especially by griefers. There’s no system (yet) which can be 100% effective at preventing people from trialing over and over and over, and, if they’re so inclined, griefing over and over and over.
Q. Why aren’t you going to allow people under 18 into There?
A. Because one of the most expensive parts of running There was the cost of keeping the world safe for minors (people under 18). We know that many of our former members under 18 were very responsible, and could protect themselves, but the fact that is not true for all members means that we can’t ignore that responsibility.
Q. Didn’t people under 18 spend the most money in There?
A. No, I’m sorry, they didn’t.
Q. Does this mean you would allow adult content in There?
Q. Does this mean you will allow gambling in There?
A. No. The FBI just closed down a bunch of online poker sites in the U.S. There’s a reason we didn’t go there before, and we won’t be going there now.
Q. What is the significance of “42”?
A. If you have to ask, you’re not ready to begin the test. Please do independent study and report back.
Q. WIll you be making paintball free?
A. No. Right now all we’re thinking about is, are there enough people willing to pay to allow us to re-open.
Q. Will there be Portal guns in There?
Q. Why do you have to charge by month? We used to just pay once!!!
A. Yes, and the result was that There closed (actually, There almost closed in 2003, 2005, and then it did close in 2010). That’s not a workable model.
Q. I want There to operate just like it did before, where you only had to do once. Can’t you do that?
A. Ok (“click”). There. Now There is operating exactly as it did when you only had to pay once. Enjoy.
(Spoiler: it’s not operating at all. That’s why we need to see if we can charge so that it can stay in operation).
Q. I was Banned before. Can I get back in?
A. Probably Not.
Q. I was Banned before for hacking and stealing Makena’s IP and re-distributing it and running a denial service attack and running a cracker to guess people’s passwords. Can I get back in?
Q. What if I did only one of those things?
Q. I was banned before for hate speech. Can I come back?
Q. When will you know if you can re-open?
A. The survey will run for about a month : about the first week of May. We’ll then take the data, and eliminate the duplicates, and report the results. We already have evidence that some (cough) people are gaming (Cough) the survey, and that’s disappointing.
Q, What if two people from the same house take the survey?
A. That’s OK. We’re talking about people deliberately trying inflate the results. Let’s say they are successful, one of two things will happen: Either the counts will obviously be too high, and we’ll have to throw out a lot of data, and we’ll decide we can’t re-open, or, we’ll use bad data, open, realize we don’t have enough revenue, and close again. Either way, bad result.
Q, What if I had a Coca-Cola or CosmoGirl Avatar, can it come back?
A. Yes, but it will of course be an ordinary There avatar. Since There closed, we unfortunately don’t have a relationship with Coca-Cola or CosmoGirl any more.
Q. What about my developer items, will they still be There?
Q. Was it true that “there.com had about 500 hard core users and maybe 2000 casual users.”?
A. No. Think about it. Could There have gotten business with “500 core users and 2000 casual users” from the likes of MTV, Coca-Cola, and Scion?