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The Sherwood Forest
Community Project Story
Sherwood Gate
Sherwood Forest Town:
A Virtual Village On The Internet

Don't forget to visit the Sherwood Home Page

Meeting in Sherwood Old Town

Sherwood Forest Community was an experiment in virtual community building and culture in the first constructivist Cyberspace environment: AlphaWorld. AlphaWorld is the public cityscape in the Active Worlds environment. Sherwood was built and populated by members of the Contact Consortium, an organization dedicated to studying, promoting and enriching Internet-based virtual worlds as a new space for human contact and culture. Consortium members include individuals working at home, specialists in industry, researchers from universities, and the staffs of companies and government institutions. Consortium members have years of experience in designing and running MUDs, MOOs and in computer graphics world building exercises and applied this to the Sherwood Forest Community Project.

The purpose of Sherwood was to design a very natural, attractive setting with woodlands, flowers and flowing water and then attract a community of users to build a village community in that space. A unique feature of Active Worlds is that it allows users all over the Internet with nothing more than a Windows PC and a modem connection to navigate and build in a large virtual space while interacting with others. Using this capability, Sherwood community planners recruited builders from some of the 100,000 registered citizens of AlphaWorld.

Why did we pick the theme of Sherwood Forest? Apart from the attractive fable of Robin Hood (which supplied some imaginative roles), it turns out that the Luddite movement against technology began in the Sherwood Forest region of Britain. We felt that if there was a rebellion against life in this new virtual worlds technology it might as well happen inside a virtual Sherwood Forest!

Towne Charter

Every community needs some sort of charter or constitution or set of rules, whether formal or informal. Sherwood's charter was designed to support the following goal:

To create a viable community within this new medium of human interaction and to observe how this community is be built, and can grow and function.

The Spirit of our Community Underlying the Charter

Basic Community Charter Rules

Be considerate to others and their land and property as you would wish them to be unto you.

(ye olde) Towne Services Mandated by the Charter

Sherwood Timeline

Sherwood citizen co-creator (psychotherapist Steve Lankton)
builds Therapies 'R' Us clinic to treat people with addiction to virtual worlds

When it went online in March of 1996, the Sherwood Forest community experiment was fun and very lively and deemed successful based on the richness of the experience and unexpected spontaneous occurances. Over sixty individuals participated, ranging from 9 year old children to a professional architect and database designer. The following timeline should give you an idea of the phases and events which characterized this experiment:

Monies Avenue Vandelized!
The Anarchy strikes, taking out cobbles and Monies' Avenue
Boobytrap teleporter is removed by city admin

Oh, there goes the neighborhood!
Teleporters crowd in unbuilt land across from our gates.

Teleporters rise like cheap motels

Come Visit Sherwood

Find the home of Sherwood Forest Town on the Contact Consortium Homepage at: Visit the Sherwood Forest Community on the Internet by downloading and installing the Active Worlds Browser from, entering AlphaWorld, and then teleporting to the coordinates: 105.4N 188.8E (turn around after you land to see the main gate). Note that you can also set up your web browser to teleport directly into various parts of Sherwood by clicking on teleports found throughout the Sherwood Forest Town Web pages.

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