ghost of website’s past: DigitalSpace Traveler

many years ago, i stumbled across a video by boxcarjakey about a weird experience he had while browsing DigitalSpace Traveler. the video in question was called “Creepy Digital Space Traveler Conversation”. something about the video is mildly jarring, the low quality microphone with the cryptic messages being sent to boxcarjakey from a strange user named “Q”. i’m not going to talk about “Q” and how in 2021 the meaning of the letter has changed for the worse (in terms of conspiracy theories on the internet), but some of the stuff this user claims is oddly interesting.

here’s the link to that video

i never heard of the site before but from what i could see it was sort of like Second Life or IMVU – it focused on creating your own avatar and talking to others either through text or using your microphone. in the early 2000s, i would imagine communication through such means on the internet was somewhat of a big deal, seeing how personal computers were brought into many households during that period. we cannot deny that the popularity of online multiplayer games went through a huge evolution between the 1990s and 2000s, as almost every website hosted various different communities no matter how niche the topic was (and still is, i suppose).

i decided to download DigitalSpace Traveler just out of curiosity. as of writing, i’m pretty sure the program is defunct (on the website it claims that the only operating systems it can run on are Windows XP, 7, 8, and macOS). i could use a VM with Windows XP to experience DST in its full glory, but part of me wonders if it would even be worth it. perhaps there’s a small group that still communicates using DST to talk about their top-secret plans. perhaps nobodies on it because it’s no longer the 90s and people have moved on to other websites (hint hint wink wink nudge nudge).

here’s some screenshots i took.

hey look, it’s me!
the main screen when booting up the program
the error message i’d receive when trying to connect to a world

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