For the record, I work for Activeworlds. It’s a virtual world kind of thing. It’s not a game as such. It’s more a place for building and socializing. There’s no economy or set goals. It’s very sandbox-ish. There are several public building worlds we maintain, where any user can find some open land and build. But most worlds are user-run. People buy a server license and run their own world where they make the rules and control the art assets.
The largest world is Alphaworld. As I mentioned in my comment the other day:
So for my day job I write code and documentation for Activeworlds. We’re a small company so I also have a lot of other things I do on a regular basis. As for why I don’t usually talk about it…
One of the things I do here on this site is pick apart technology and examine how it works and how it could be made better. I naturally focus on the negative not because I’m mean, but because that’s where the interesting discussions are. But it would be extraordinarily unwise to have those sorts of conversations about my own company. Imagine what would happen if one of the coders at Blizzard (let’s call him Bob) posted a 1,000 word rant on all the little flaws that bugged him about World of Warcraft. Bob’s bosses would be displeased at him airing internal concerns in public. It would also make them look bad because Bob’s critique could imply, “Here is all the stuff I would fix if only my idiot bosses would budget the time to do so.” Bob’s friends wouldn’t like to see their work criticized in public either. Bob, if you’ve got a problem with my work why didn’t you come talk to me instead of tearing apart my work on your blog? And finally, the users would have a field day with Bob’s post:
1) People have been asking for feature X ever since LAUNCH, and yet Bob doesn’t even mention X on his list. This is proof that Blizzard doesn’t care what we think!
2) This is just proof that Blizzard hires lousy programmers. If Bob can’t fix these problems, he should quit his job instead of complaining about it on his blog.
3) Now we know who the programmer is. We should all directly email him with all of our concerns, rants, complaints, suggestions, compliments, demands, job applications, bug reports, chain letters, friend requests, LOLCat pics, abuse reports, technical questions, password recovery requests, and profane screeds.
In short, no good would come of it and everyone – users, bosses, coworkers, and even Bob himself – would be unhappy.
I could talk about our software but only mention the good things, but that would make me sound like a shill. It would sound dreadfully dishonest when compared to all my other reviews where I was detailed-focused and nitpicky. So in the end I’ve decided to just avoid the subject.
So that’s my day job and why I don’t write about it outside of 500 word explanations about why I don’t write about it.
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