World Of Words

It's been a good run., especially for something that was originally just a bet between software engineers, and a giant reproduction of our refrigerator.

Sadly, WoW was built around Adobe Flash, which is expensive to license and has largely been retired from the entire internet. WoW made it a good 18 years, with upwards of 10,000 users, 25,000 words, some 25 mini-games, puzzles and clips. Thank you all for being a part of it.

Our home was a hub of college student activity, with any number of people coming and going - or staying. We had a giant set of Magnetic Poetry on our refrigerator, and it brought me delight to see it rearranged daily. Hundreds of poems came across our refrigerator, and most of the time I had no idea who did it.

One night when talking with programmers on Newgrounds, I bet that I could make a multi-user Flash program. My first go at it was to implement an unlimited-size online "magnetic poetry" program. And I delivered. You could see the poems people left behind, and even watch the "footprints" across the screen of other people's mouse cursors as they arranged the words.

Many poems appeared, mostly due to my friends who knew about it. I became curious about who it was, and wanted to thank those who joined in. Amongst the words, I added a chat, music, info bubbles on poem authors, pictures, games and puzzles, all on an infinite scrollable canvas.

Then Tom Fulp featured it on the front page of Newgrounds and we gained some 5000 users almost overnight. The growing pains were rough. I had to quickly adapt the system to handle the load and add user management features like banning and e-mail registration. Mods were always an issue - as the group was young. But most everyone did their best to make it enjoyable.

WoW was a great community while it lasted. We all knew this day was coming, but I had no idea this hobby project would have lasted 18 years. I figured it's probably not a good idea to leave it now that it's mostly braindead and yet old enough to vote.

So long WoW, and thanks for all the fish.

- Kenzi Mudge