We think we're offering something that helps people live a better life."For JOI residents, the boundaries between virtual world and real world are fluid, a convergence the community supports and encourages.More than one real-world couple met in JOI, and Badgirl says one upcoming in-world wedding is likely to lead to the real thing offline.A new mall that caters only to the Elite Perv Society – residents who earn a certain threshold of "experience points" by participating in chat – includes a wedding store for in-world unions."This is something that came directly out of the community, and they love it," she says. I've experienced first-hand the welcoming hugs and greetings for newbies, and residents go out of their way to show you around, help you set up a house and start earning your jewels.They encourage you to participate in the games and contests.The real question we should be asking is: will they stay?Creating a world where people want to stay – and pay – is a huge challenge, in part because it's out of your control.
It's hard to get into (for casual players)," he says."The people who stay are a great asset to the community."Badgirl believes that one of the biggest mistake designers can make "is to tell the residents 'this is what the community is and this is what you're going to do.' The most important feature is the people," she says. It's not your community."Many of JOI's events and contests emerge from the chat rooms.A running joke about capturing other people's panties led to a panty-collecting game with in-world cash awards and prizes.Some contests are entirely impromptu, like the "who can tell the best BDSM story" game that arose in chat one day, resulting in two residents receiving 25,000 "JOI bucks" for their stories even though it was not an official event.Patric says most newcomers to Sociolotron cancel their accounts within a day or two.Both Patric and Badgirl have spent their personal savings on development costs, and Patric is a one-man shop. "I take my cell phone so I can get messages from the server, just in case.")"But the developers are extremely dedicated," she says.