What do you think of Whyville? I think if you were to ask 100 people what Whyville means to them, you would get 100 different answers. To me, Whyville is a major part of my childhood where I can have fun, learn, and meet new people. Whyville has always meant so much to me.
I found Whyville at the suggestion at one of my sister's friends. I was about 7 years-old. We couldn't see any of the chat rooms because we didn't have java, and barely understood anything that was going on. But for some reason, we kept going on. I couldn't be more glad we did. Eventually, our Internet got better and we were opened up to a new thing - chatting. It was strange. I could talk to another kid 1500 miles away. During my first few months of Whyville, my salary probably never got over 50 clams, but I was already hooked.
By the time I had been on Whyville for a year or so, I had met a lot of Whyvillians, played almost all the games, and risen my salary to about 80. I started to try to make face parts. After about 3 attempts, I realized it wasn't for me, but was glad I had the experience. I remember wanting a Whypass (old form of pearls) in order to be able to visit the Face Factory whenever I wanted. My mom wouldn't get one for me, but even still, my short time as a designer helped me to start following the "economy" of Face Factory Vouchers (better known as FFVs). Though it sounds strange, Whyville has its own economy. FFVs sold for about 500 clams a piece when I started. That was A LOT. I saved to get the few I got. About 3 months after I stopped designing, FFVs started to go up in price. I remember at one time, they were worth over 1,500 clams. I made a lot of clams off of them. They gave me an idea and made me interested in real life stocks. I think it was then that I realized how much Whyville teaches you in real life.
I always enjoyed the Whyville Times, (where, hopefully this will end up) and read every article every week for years. I enjoyed reading, and then telling people how I liked his or her article and giving him or her help. I would comment on the BBS (as you are all invited to do). I started to feel like people might look for my opinion, and that people were taking my advice. I really enjoyed that. I have read many articles on different topics, and a lot of them I still think about the meaning of today. I think the newspaper has shaped my own writing ability and given me a creative mind. The BBS showed me how to form an opinion in a respectful way, and led to so much more.
About a year ago, I was commenting on the BBS about an article. I looked to the top of the screen and saw a button. It said "BBS home." I thought that was odd, because I thought all you could comment on were articles. I clicked and was taken to a whole new place in Whyville - The Forums. Never had I been able to post an idea, or a question, and have so many people comment on it. It was great. I started commenting, and commenting, and now I like to think of myself as a well-known, somewhat-respected BBSer. Just on those forums, I have met at least fifty people, laughed at probably more than one thousand jokes, and learned more than I could ever count. I am so glad Whyville has forums, and so glad I have met all the people I know on the forums.
Whyville has meant so much to me. Whatever those 100 people I mentioned earlier answered, I guarantee at least 100 of them said good things. Whyville has been a place to learn, and a place to grow up. I thank you all for that. Even as an adult, I plan to always remember Whyville.