For a decade, from the mid-1990s, Active Worlds was the most popular user-created virtual environment on the internet. It was an online zone full of precedent and potential; a worldbuilding exercise and infrastructure holding the promise of a self-electing global citizenry amidst virtual constructions of their own imagination and creation. Coming from a background in architecture, editors Andrea Belosi and Joana Rafael have led an expedition through the remains of Active World’s principal territory, AlphaWorld. Infused with principles of psychogeography and urbanism, and sprinkled with the dream logic that seasons virtual realities, four avatars were enlisted to walk in relay the 655 digital kilometres that separate AlphaWorld’s northern and southern limits. Alongside an atlas of AW’s 495 public and private worlds, and details of the online platform’s social and technical construction, rules and labor, Lost Zone draws a line through the ruins of our recent digital past, to gain insights into our hybrid present.
Softcover, 208 pages, ills colour & bw, 14 x 22 cm, English, published in Italy, 2022.