The End of the World - An MMO Closure Study

The Philosophy of Computer Games Conference, Madrid 2012.  Mia Consalvo and Jason Begy of Concordia University have done at least two studies about or including the MMO "Faunasphere".  You can read their paper on the Closure/Sunset of Faunasphere at Scribd

I was a Beta tester at Faunasphere starting in April 2009 and became a paying member of the community when it went Live in August 2009.  I played until it's closure on March 15, 2011.  During that end time (between Feb 15 when closure was announced and March 15) it became a struggle for me to face the inevitable loss of what had become my "Family".  I suppose this event is much the same for many players of MMOs that end.  It's hard to say how effected I was over this and how it still is a wound to my heart.  I can view it rationally and say to myself, "It was just a game.  The animals were not real.  You don't really know any of those Friends you had".  Yes, I can say it but I don't believe it.

I had three paid accounts at Faunasphere.  That means that I had 3 spheres (homes) with a maximum of 15 Fauna in two of them and about six in the third.  We all started with small spheres of only a few blocks and built them up to a 35X35 block "Home" for our Fauna.  There were so many beautiful spheres and I "photographed" several of them to make Pans of as much as 60 images each.  We loved our Fauna and our Spheres.  They became more than just pixels to us. 

I also have many of the same feelings about Glitch.  Many of my Fauna Friends came here with me and I interact with some of them every time I play.  Our Community has survived the Sunset of Faunasphere but we remember it dearly at Facebook and in other Forums and here at Glitch.  At Faunasphere we had Oinkers and here we have Piggies.  That gives me a smile every time I care for my Piggies.  Some of my animals on my Home Street carry the names of some of my FS pets - Goldie, Velvet, Atlast, etc.  Last Thanksgiving I combined both MMOs for a happy holiday reunion with my Sniffer Quilty in Bortola.

I play Glitch every day hoping that it will be long lived and enjoyed by it's Community as much as I loved Faunasphere.  I find it strange and unexplainable that I can become so attached to pixels and even more attached to people I have never personally met except online.  I majored in Sociology in College but nothing I learned in school or in life had prepared me for what I feel for Faunasphere and Glitch and those I interact with online.  What a strange world I have discovered, may it never end!

Posted 8 years ago by Brib Annie Subscriber! | Permalink


  • Here here, Brib!!  Very well written!!

    And I do believe FS is one of the reasons I love my piggies so much! (That and their wiggly butts are just so! damned! cute!!)
    I keep secretly hoping that we'll eventually get a Hugger (bear, for those who aren't familiar with the term) coz I miss my Cy so much!! 
    Posted 8 years ago by sgjo Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Creepy in retrospect. Sweet in intent.
    Posted 8 years ago by Thursday Soleil Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Dear Annie,
    May we all meet again on another playing field...
    Posted 8 years ago by Tilly TrinkleHouse Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Do any of you have access to download that article? I've been doing a sociolinguistics project on Glitch forums, but now that this game is also closing, I'm thinking it might be better to do an "end of the world" type study like Consalvo & Bagy did. However, I don't want to pay Scribd $9 just to download one article! Can you help a poor former-caretaker, current-Glitchen out? =)

    Also, I found a video of the authors' conference presentation:

    Posted 8 years ago by Tonya Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Brib-Well said! I feel the same way. I couldn't put my thoughts into words well yesterday but you have done it for me. I wasn't in FS when it was beta. I played from about October of 2010 to the end in March 2011. I made a bunch of friends and was glad that we were able to join here in Glitch as a group. The connections were mild and the feeling towards the game disappearing were anger and sorrow but eventual understanding. Things worth having come at a price whether that be an actual cash value or an emotional one. I was able to come to terms with FS going because I had only been there a short time. I still miss it because it was an enjoyable activity though and would go back to it in a heartbeat. 

    This time is different. I have actually MET some people in real life this time. I have forged closer bonds with those in game this time around even when I have not met them. Yes, I know on the surface that I have the ability and have given others the ability to contact me outside of the game. Some of us can still get together in real life. But I feel like once the game is gone, the common bond no longer links us. I do not find it odd that I was able to make friends more easily here than in real life. I was never very good at it. That for me is the hard part. Where else am I going to be able to find and talk with an interesting group of people who share the common interest and wacky sense of humor we have here? I envy those that have formed closer than sister/brother bonds with classmates from high school/college and have remained that way through child-bearing years and on into their golden years. It would be nice to get together with all of you at Starbucks or whatever once a week/month. I wish that life was more like Glitch. 

    ETA: the article was great. It addressed two key points:
    1) the fiction of an MMO is more central to player behavior than much virtual world research has yet accounted for. In addition, play styles, interests, and frequencies may be much more fluid and context dependent than most research allows for.
    2) The players activities point to a determination to keep playing together in some manner, and to do so in places that match their interests and/or values, as well as to keep playing with a select group of friends or family.
    Posted 8 years ago by Holly Waterfall Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Thanks for the Link Tonya!  The presentation was interesting and I was happy to see one of my own images used - my Flapper at a Florida lake!

    I had no idea when I started this thread that Glitch would also close.  Sometimes I feel a little cursed as though Trisor were breathing down my neck and I keep looking back to see if he is there or maybe it's the Deimaginators.  Who else could be so responsible for the loss of two great worlds but Deimaginators?  I still have my Imagination though.  They may take my games but not my imagination.  I am in pain but my Imagination is still with me like the Force.  May Imagination always be your best and most valuable asset!
    Posted 8 years ago by Brib Annie Subscriber! | Permalink