www.whyville.net Oct 17, 2002 Weekly Issue

A Now & Then Commemoration

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A Now & Then Commemoration

Times Writer

Some may remember the time when a few hundred citizens bounced along the Whyville Square each day. It was just natural that everyone knew everyone else, and the members of the science-based website soon became like a family.

Gradually, the population of Whyville grew, as more individuals who were curious flocked to investigate the increasingly popular site. Earning clams, gaining face parts, and meeting new friends became an everyday ritual to those who took pleasure in something that promoted a friendly atmosphere, an unforgettable educational experience, and felt strongly about the safety of its citizens.

In January of 2000, Whyville went through what was known as Y2K. Fear that the world was going to end at the start of the millennium, and that all computers would crash and be unable to work properly again. Surprisingly to some, Whyville remained intact at the beginning of 2000 and did so for at least two more years to come. Years where Whyville would grow, expand, mature, and increase in both size and intellect.

You may recall the time when Whyville anticipated reaching the 100,00th -citizen mark. When it finally happened, astonishment and pride was felt throughout the town. Knowing that something you supported so much was receiving publicity and fame made everyone feel exalted. Citizens took part in games and activities that involved Whyville's growth as well as allowing others to win prizes for their efforts. Since that faithful day, Whyville has expanded. In approximately the time of two years that it took Whyville to attain its ten thousand-citizen mark, it did so again in a few months following and, in turn, doubled its original population. Since there was such an increase in population, the Why-Pass was introduced and allowed citizens to enter Whyville without hassle. The price was actual money, but the cost would help to expand and benefit Whyville in many ways.

Over the past year, Whyville received its biggest, most complete hands-on science game. With help from the first "guinea-pig" citizens, our town set out on a journey known as the Why-Pox Epidemic. It changed the way that people looked at their faces. Large spots and speckles were introduced to the animated faces, as the owners tried vigorously with blush and bags to cover up the hideous blemishes. With wide-eyes, citizens watched as more people became exposed to the pox, and "achoos" began to fill-up the chat-rooms.

Let us also not forget how we became archaeologists, digging up rocks and sediments with the Geo-Dig game. We learned about the different types and formations of rocks, as people discovered and investigated the rocks that they had found. Finding the rocks helped to increase your salary. So I ask you, has science ever looked this fun?

It is evident that Whyville has always held the well-being of their citizens first. Not to mention the desire to educate their citizens in a fun and effective manner. The resurrection of new challenges brought forth inquisitive people and businesses across the globe, all interested in Whyville. People got involved in sponsorship, which allowed Whyville to expand their games and increase the speed of their servers. Sponsorship allowed publicity, which, in turn, created news articles about Whyville in many newspapers across the globe, including the L.A. Times, and a short clip on CNN Headline News.

The Whyville newspaper expanded as more citizens took it upon themselves to discuss important topics both inside and outside of Whyville. Debates, poems, editorials, and interviews became so popular that the Editor could not always keep up. A beach was added onto Whyville, and Akbar's Face Mall received a change of face (pardon the pun!). All of this has happened recently, and it is stimulating to be aware that you are part of these new and exciting modifications.

However, what lies in the future of Whyville? Will the website that we are familiar with alter itself and become completely foreign to its citizens? It is possible that in the future, in spite of all of the expansions, that the only way possible to enter Whyville may be through your Why-Pass purchases. Will Whyville be a household name? Will it eventually become as popular as other child-based movies, games, or websites? As big as Disney???

There are so many paths to choose from that is seems pointless to pick one and stick on it. I am not trying to frighten you; I'm just stirring up some of the imagination that Whyvillians have so much of.

So take pride in Whyville today, for soon it will be tomorrow. Become active in our community through your kindness, opinions, talents, and input. Recognize those who are around you and take the chance to learn something new. Share Whyville with your family. Open a store in the Face Mall, read the Whyville Times, or become familiar with the recent polls and petitions. It is somewhat uncanny that we have so much power in controlling Whyville's future. What we make of it today will reflect in the future. May you remember the 'now' because it will soon become the 'then'.

Whyville is always changing, inventing, inspiring, and helping. So am I.




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