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The internet came to the BBS world as a blow I would say. SYSOPs (stands for System Operators and were people who own and administered BBSes) were a small to medium group of people. The internet opened everyone to the world instead of local cities that the BBS system covered. Some SYSOPs adapted, some are still holding on to the long gone times. Most agreed that the concept of real on-line community was gone.
When on the internet first popped up, there weren’t very many role playing sites, and the ones there were out were small. I decided to see what role playing format was available. I happened upon a place called PBEM.com and found out that people role played through email. I thought it was a very slow way of doing it but decided to give it a try. I put out and ad and a bunch of people answered. The PBEM group started and not soon after I talked to a few of them about starting a website for role playing.
We created the Amethyst Alliance which was a role playing on-line community. The first version of this site was build with a scripting language called Coldfusion and I programmed specifically with community in mind. It borrowed many features from my experience with a BBS system.
My friend who was the SYSOP of the BBS I was on started an internet company that carried the same name of the BBS and I have already started to do internet work for him creating web sites and internet solutions for clients.
I told him what I was doing and showed him the Amethyst Alliance and he went ballistic. During the BBS days he was a leading member in the BBS community and had sold software add-on for BBS system. He saw the Amethyst Alliance and realized that it could be turned into the next community software for the internet. So he and I partnered and created a company to sell the software which is one of the companies I still own today with him.
The Amethyst Alliance grew and from there came the RPG Consortium which I created to host community features with other sites like Dragonlance.com, Kencyclopedia, Darkholme Keep and Realms of Evil to name a few.
Through my many adventures in the role playing hobby, I have made countless friends and even met love interests. We’ve been through our ups and down. We’ve all cried, we’ve all laughed and we’ve even been at each other’s throats We’ve banded together when times gotten rough and came together as a community to help others. I’ve had friends who have gone to beyond and I still have friends that would stand behind me with their chins held high that I met through role playing.
If you are part of the RPG Consortium, you will notice a lot of attention is focused on our community area where we don’t talk about just role playing. There is a reason for that and one reason why I think the RPG Consortium stands out and will always stand out.
We may be role players with a shared interest in role playing games in their various forms but foremost we are a community of people of all ages and all walks of life and we should never forget that.
I hope you have at least enjoyed something of this article and I apologize for the length but some things should be said and some things should be reflected. From all that I have experience I believe that we, as a community, should be proud to be who we are.