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You have just entered room "Gaming Chat."

Those seven words right there are, anymore, meaningless. However, let's hop in our DeLorean, set the time circuits for the turn of the millennium, and observe a few years, shall we.

There we go, that's a lot better. We're a little early, but hey, Jan 1, 2000. RELIVE IT! Now, let's see if those words are meaningless. Find your DSL modem--lol, I mean 56k modem, dial in, launch AIM and login. Now, let's go chat! (A year in the future!)

You have just entered room "Gaming Chat."
billy58472: do ne of u leik FF10
Exalted Trunks: ((Man, I really hate the "I" in posts.))
Draco Malfoy HP: ((lol))
Russell A Boykin: ((Me too. It's like "::I walk to you::".))
Russell A Boykin: (("::I show you my fangs::".))
Russell A Boykin: (("::My eyes glow::".))
Russell A Boykin: ((Ugh.))
Exalted Trunks: ((::I kick yo white ass, foo'.::))
Online Host: Exalted Trunks rolled 3 37-sided dice: 36 24 36
Kalabok Josh: XD
Exalted Trunks: ((¬.¬))
Hosaka Jenitsu: ((XD Andrew))
Draco Malfoy HP: ((xd))
Russell A Boykin: ((LOL!))
Nevys Mom: Good one, God (Andrew).
Gryphon Exe: ((¬.¬))
Ne0n Drag0n X: ((XD))
billy58472: ne of u like FF10 ?
teckmOb0wl: ::teck reaches in his backpak and gives dauthi a necklace.. dauthi, this is for u::
Dauthi Watchman: ((Nice one Dewy.))
THEMAINPIMP PHOE: ::Kicks Tom in the face::
THEMAINPIMP PHOE: I am so awesome.
Dauthi Watchman: ((*Drewy))
Hosaka Jenitsu: Now Playing: Pantera - Cemetery Gates
Exalted Trunks: ((Nah, keep it the way it was, Carrie. I...like it.))
Dauthi Watchman: ((Ugh, teck. ::Click.::))
Aaron x Valo: Now Playing: Iron Maiden - Aces high
Exalted Trunks: ((Also, I will make that plugin for Mac AIM. *nod*))
Dauthi Watchman: ((Okie ^.^))
Akasha Romanus: ((...))
Empty Chelle: ((Can we get back to the game?))
Gryphon Exe: ((I agree.))
Akari Chapelo: ((Really.))
Exalted Trunks: ((Sure. ))
teckmOb0wl: ::teck reaches in his pocket and gives cat a diamond bracelet.. cat, this is for u please take it::
Snotbag Cat: ::cat walks away pondering that teck's dicksucking skills need improvement, which is odd cause he does it ALL THE TIME::
LeknorChat3: Nice to meet you billy58472 you do I like it in the ass?
billy58472: wtf
Aaron x Valo: Now Playing: Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time
Kalabok Josh: XDXDXD
billy58472: ur all gay
Russell A Boykin: ((::Click::))
Hosaka Jenitsu: ((::Click::))
Ne0n Drag0n X: ((::Click::))
Kalabok Josh: *click*
Draco Malfoy HP: ((::click::))
Dauthi Watchman: ((::Click.::))
Akasha Romanus: ((::Click::))
Empty Chelle: ((::Click::))
Exalted Trunks: ((*Click*))
Akari Chapelo: ((::Click::))
billy58472: wtf is click

HOLY FUCK, I WANT THIS BACK!!!!!!! Okay, I need to calm down. Seven exclimation points is six too many. I literally typed each poster's text from my memories of them in 2001. That was 15 years ago, so you can see how much some of these people meant to me.
Okay, so, that collection of made-up text is from a group of people that inhabited the AIM chat known as "Gaming Chat", right around the peak of the chat. We all had fun, sometimes we were actually in character, and role played. Most the time, we hung around and just shot the shit, ignoring people like billy58472 up there. Maybe we were elitiest as all fuck, but we were the so-called 'elites' of the chat. When, in reality, we were a bunch of teens and 20-somethings in a chat room bored at night. Now, some of us really miss it. I'm here to present a few arguments as to why.

A proper introduction.

Okay, there was a lot of text up there. Mainly just an old man reminiscing about a time long past. The point of this page is just to introduce you to "Gaming Chat". At it's purest from, "Gaming Chat" is exactly what it says on the tin. A chat room to talk about gaming. This is a -VERY- broad definition, of course. When I first clicked the link, maybe in 1998 I think it was, the chat room was more focused on video games. And the hot topics of the hour were The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Final Fantasy VII, and of course, trying to not be a jackass and spoiling the games. We actually kind of cared back then. Eventually, as the gaming magazines (this was still the infant web, so online publications weren't really a thing--you could only view pages at a blazing speed of 4-7K per second) talked about the new hotness that was Final Fantasy VIII, we'd talk about it in Chat. Then, eventually, someone with a weird screenname found their way into the chat and started doing things inside of these ::, and I was kinda blown away, so I bothered to talk to guy in chat, and he sort of explained what it was. I liked this, then proceed to make a character based on Cloud Strife--this was 1998, still and FF7 was still the best--and emulated what he did. I think it was a he. As time slowly marched forward, there was still video game chat, but more people started to come into the room with (firstname) (lastname) screen names and then did actions inside of ::'s. So, I watched; and chatted about vidja. As more first lasts started showing up, I made my very first first last SN, and dived in. And never really looked back! Eventually, the room was about 65% ::'s, 30% vidja chat and 5% bot. We're slowly approaching mid 2000 at this point. I was just out of school, and was eager to see if the RPers (I had learned the technical term for what they were) were more active during the day. I honestly can't remember. That point of my life was busy with college classes, as I was dead set to be a computer programmer. Naturally, this study involved dicking around on the internets. Eventually, us RPers would ignore the vidja people, they'd ignore us, and we'd all ignore the bots (most of the time). Do our own things, and enjoy our time in the chat.

In a nutshell, that's what Gaming Chat was, at one point. A really big nutshell. Phasing.

A proper refinement.

That was also a lot of text. It was fun to type and made me feel emotions. Now, let's refine it. Because I'm not alone in the group of people who miss that rendered HTML flying across a window smaller than your smartphone screen (by pixel counts, of course. The actual chat widow was zyber huge on our 1024*768 screens.). So, let's refine that. You may notice that all the people who have their Screen Names in blue seem like they're friends and are having a relative good time typing to each other. Later on in the chat, you see that they were in the middle of something. For the purposes of the webpage (and not letting you assume), they were in the middle of a Role Playing session. When, before billy58472 came into the room, someone not in the 'circle' did an action with an "I" in their action post. Trunks-mun then stated, in mun-bubbles (the double parentheses) that he (or she--okay, he. It was me.) that he didn't like that. Another agreed with him, then hit up the snark, providing examples; when finally Trunks-mun combined two styles of Role Play for comedic effect. You can tell it was successful from the XDs, lols and shifty eyes.

We did things like that. We had fun with each other. Tried to make the others laugh and have fun. We were a rag-tag bunch of people, bound by some common interests. We spent hours upon hours with each other--some of us would actually talk to these people more than they would talk to people offline. I'm not even ashamed to admit that I was definitely one of those people--both in the circle and talked to the people behind those screen names more than I did people offline. They slowly went from a Screen Name in a chat room, to being added to my buddy list, to calling friend, to finally learning about the person behind that screen name--including their first name! You knew you had a real online friend if you got to a first name basis with them. Some of us preferred to be called by our handles, though. Neon and I called each other by our handles, for example.

A proper closing.

As of upload, it has taken me roughly six hours to type this document. Not because typing is hard, or I'm slow at it. I created the chat example. Looked at it, refined it some, added to it. Tried to make it as 2001 as possible, without showing too much. I wanted you, the reader, to be billy58472 for just a second. Even if you "lived" in that moment, you always saw it from your perspective, you needed an outsiders perspective to actually see it. And there it was.

From our, the outsiders, perspective there is nothing to miss. However, if you happened to be one of those blue Screen names, then it's a completely different story.

If you were one of those blue Screen Names, then that HTML meant so much more to you than the bits and bytes it takes up. Sitting there, in the code, in plain sight were the people you knew. The people you could talk to. The people who could talk to you. The people you wanted to talk to. The people you would go on to spend the most time with in a multi-year period than anyone else. The people you were close to. The people that were close to you. The people that cared. The people that you would eventually miss.

In closing, it is my belief (at least for now) that THAT is what those of us who were those blue Screen Names miss, more than anything else. Not the activities. Not the elitism. But, the honest to god deep down friendships that we formed in that Chat Room. The friendships that would not exist if it were not for that Chat Room.

Thank you for reading. If you'd like to talk to me about this, my AIM handle (yes, I still use the service) is Oapboap.

This document last modified Tuesday, 26-Jan-2016 13:30:08 PST.

I typed this on a keyboard from 2001. This automatically makes the page more legit.

"The Last Website" and all pages within are © "Oapboap"; like you'd want to steal content, anyhow. All images that are not mine belong to their respective owners. Image links will be shared in the "Credits" page.