Dreamscape, built on the WorldsAway platform, is one of three distinctive graphical online chat environments, known as virtual zones—or VZones, that allow users to create an avatar to represent themselves in a 2D world and interact with other users and virtual items. Currently Dot8, Inc. develops, manages, and operates Dreamscape. It is a licensed and expanded version of Habitat, which was the first graphical virtual world when it was released by Lucasfilm Games in 1986.
Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar created the first graphical virtual world, which was released in a beta test by Lucasfilm Games in 1986 as Habitat for the Quantum Link service for the Commodore 64. The service proved too costly to be viable, so Lucasfilm Games recouped the cost of development by releasing a sized down version called Club Caribe in 1988. It was then licensed by Fujitsu, and released in Japan as Fujitsu Habitat in 1990. In Dec 1995, Fujitsu licensed Habitat for worldwide distribution, and released it as DreamScape in 1995 through the online service CompuServ. WorldsAway DreamScape was expanded as VZones in 2003. VZones has two worlds, Dreamscape and New Horizone, both of which are further expansions of the original Habitat code.
The player chooses an avatar, which is the graphical representation of the player. The avatar can text chat, move, gesture, use facial expressions, and is customizable in a virtually unlimited number of ways. Avatars earn money, own possessions, rent apartments, and make friends. The environment itself is composed of thousands of screens, in which the player's avatar moves about.
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