When the virtual city of Cybertown went dark, its citizens rebuilt it

Illustration by Melissa Mathieson / The Verge

Coming back to your hometown can be an alienating experience, especially when all you find is a dead link to a long-deserted website.

For nearly a decade, that was the experience of Cytonians — members of an early virtual world called Cybertown, which operated between 1995 and 2012. But since 2019, a group of former citizens has dedicated itself to resurrecting their old home. Cybertown Revival, or CTR, successfully launched a pre-alpha version of a new Cybertown earlier this year. It’s the result of hundreds of former residents rallying to rebuild the digital city, drawing on everything from former users’ blog posts to the contents of their hard drives.

The original Cybertown was launched during the early days of massively multiplayer…

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Author: Adi Robertson