What is Activeworlds?
Welcome to Activeworlds.
If you're reading this page, it's a fair bet that you've just installed Activeworlds, and are wondering what it's all about.
Congratulations. You've just stepped into the sandbox.
In its simplest form, that's what Activeworlds is, its a collaborative virtual sandbox, and it happens to be one of the oldest in the world, over 20 years old and containing the creations of hundreds of thousands of players spread throughout hundreds of different worlds covering an unimaginably large area.
Everything you will see around you has been built by other players, mostly out of a large collection of pre-made 3D objects called "models".
If you've played Minecraft then models are like blocks, except in most worlds there are an unlimited supply and there are thousands of variations.
What people make out of the models is completely up to them, some people use them to create art, some use them to create interactive virtual games, some enjoy putting them together with other players, and some just wander around other people's creations and chat.
You've entered the Activeworlds sandbox, and all the options are available to you.
But first, it would probably help if you knew how to use the platform...
So you've arrived and your avatar will be standing at the entry point to one of the major worlds (more on that later)... the entry point to a world is typically called "Ground Zero" or GZ for short.
It's a 3D environment, so you're going to need to learn how to move around it. If you've played many 3D games, chances are you'll already be familiar with most of the controls.
The important thing to know is some of these controls do not work when your 3D window does not have "focus"... to give it focus just use your mouse and left click on the 3D graphics part of the window.
We have a YouTube video that explains more.
Click to watch the video on YouTube
A short quest...
Great, so now you can move about. What now?
How about putting those movement skills to the test...
Like I mentioned before, Activeworlds is a sandbox, and one of the things we've built from the tools it provides us is a basic exploration mini-game that requires you to find as many golden eggs as you can around the Ground Zero (GZ).
There are 50 in total, hidden among the various stands and displays.
Explore the area and use your mouse to click on any golden eggs that you find, the more you find, the higher up the leaderboard you'll get.
Don't worry about finding them all unless you fancy the challenge. You can return later on to find more :-)
Now you've mastered basic movement, you need to know about worlds.
In short, worlds are different servers, each with their own unique settings, themes, permissions model sets. There are hundreds in total but you'll typically only want to go to a few dozen at most.
To see the list of worlds, hit your F9 key and the tabs will open up on the left hand side of your screen. The tabs are an essential tool for navigation and communication, so I suggest keeping them open.
So you'll see a list of worlds, and the number of connected users in each one. Each world has a rating (you can only enter up to PG13 by default) and certain worlds are invite-only (as shown by their icon being grayed out).
Moving between worlds is called teleporting (you can also do this within the same world) and is done by left clicking on a world name in the list.
Official community worlds all begin with "AW" and the large homeworld is just known as "AW" which stands for Alphaworld.
Give it a try now, teleport to another world and explore a little, then click back on the "AW" world to return home.