Gaia Online

From Academic Kids

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Gaia beginner's ('newbie') avatars, before clothing or items.
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Each avatar becomes unique; there are millions of item combinations.

Gaia Online (also known informally as Go-Gaia, or simply "Gaia") is an Anime-based roleplaying site founded on February 18, 2003 by Derek Liu (Gaia username Lanzer), Josh Gainsbrugh (username L0cke), Long Vo (username VO) and a team of their friends, Studio XD artists, and programmers/web designers. The site currently revolves around its forum, avatars, and in-game currency, but is expanding to include features such as games and user-versus-user dueling. Gaia's forum, the largest forum-based community on the internet, has over 250 million posts (plus over 191 million in storage), 2 million registered users, and usually has 20,000 or more people online at any given time during the day. The most users ever online numbered a little over 32,499 on March 27, 2005, during the Easter event on Gaia. The exact number of users during that night is unknown, however, as Gaia was taken down during the celebration due to maintenance needs.

On Gaia Online, each user can create their own virtual character and customize it through clothing and accessories located in virtual shops throughout the site. The customizations begin with choosing gender, skin tone, eyes, mouth, and hair style and color. From there, the user tries to earn "Gaia gold" by doing everything from chatting on the plethora of forums to choose from, rating art in the art gallery, answering polls, and more. In fact, almost everything one does on the site can earn a user gold. Once gold is earned, the user can buy clothing and accessory items from the site-run shops as well as from individual users. With the use of these items, the user's avatar can be further customized, reflecting the personality of the user. Like many internet forums, there is a clear Gaiaonline subculture.

Some of the newest features on Gaia include

  • Gaia Journal, a type of weblog.
  • Creation of a 'friends list'
  • Gaia Guild Network
  • Poseable Avatars (v.2.0)
  • Gaia Fishing, a Flash-based minigame. (v. 1.5)
  • Subscribed Threads
  • New reporting system
  • Gaia Hangouts
  • Gaia Housing, using Shockwave to allow for Sims-like house designing
  • Multi-player feature with chat in the "Gaia Fishing" mini-game
  • Gaia Casino with its first game, "Gaia Slots".

Gaia Online is free to play and is currently in the Alpha Testing stage. The release date of the Beta stage is currently unknown, but was previously planned for November 2004.


Gaia Gold, Random Events, and Items

Gaia gold is the currency of Gaia Online forums site. It is earned in several different ways.

  • Making new threads
  • Replying to current threads
  • Voting on polls
  • Clicking around the site, also known as "lurking"
  • Submitting one's art to the Art Arena
  • Voting or commenting on art in the Arena
  • Selling art or services in the "Mini-Shops" forum
  • Donations from other users
  • Selling fish caught in the Fishing mini-game to other users or the fishing store
  • Selling Tickets obtained by gambling at the Casino
  • Selling unwanted items to other users or back to the stores
  • Buying items then selling them for more making a profit (known as "exchange whoring")

In addition, one can get random events. One example is the "Pinklink". This is when a specific thread in any of the forums glows neon pink. When it is clicked, the user gets one thousand bonus gold. Other examples include the Enchanted Trunk, which holds a random uncommon item, a Pink Giftbox, which contains a random rare item, and the Blue Giftbox, which can give a user anything of the other events (1000 gold, a rare item, or an uncommon item). Blue Giftboxes also hold a few of their own unique treasures, which are not obtainable in the other rare event boxes. During the April Fool's Event of 2004, the boxes exploded in the face of the user, causing soot to cover the avatar's face.

Once a user has earned gold, they can use it to buy items to dress up their avatar. The items range from "normal" clothing like gloves or socks to fantastic accessories such as tails, fairy and butterfly wings, or halos. New hairstyles can be purchased at the Salon. The "better" or "rarer" items cost more gold.

The option of donating to Gaia is also available. For every $2.50 one donates, one receives a "donation letter". At the end of every month the letter will open, revealing a choice of two new items available only to those who donated. Users can sell these "donation items" for gold to other players or keep them for wearing if they prefer. Some rare donation items that have been released in the past include a Halo, DJ/portable headphones, a devil tail/angelic sash (a white scarf that defies gravity and floats around one's avatar), and the OMG/AFK hats (fuzzy little hats that look like creatures).

In addition, Gaia also holds events for Easter, April Fool's Day, Halloween and Christmas. Sometimes an item is won, and these items have become super-rare a few years later, and players can choose to sell these items for gold or keep them. These items, as well as the rare donation items, have become somewhat of a status symbol in recent years.

Gaian NPC Characters' Storyline

The Gaia storyline, a plot involving characters created by (and roleplayed by) Gaia's staff members, has progressed already to some extent. Characters include the shopkeepers of Gaia's item stores, a reporter who covers plot "news" as it develops, and figures who only appear on holidays (such as the Easter bunny).

  • The First Gaian Anniversary Ball - Johnny K. Gambino was first introduced as the 'most powerful man on Gaia', alongside his son Gino Gambino. The two hosted a celebration of the site's first anniversary. Attendees got a first-look at the inside of Gambino's Mansion. Several shopkeepers from around Gaia were present as well, including Ian & Rufus, Ruby, and Sasha. (February 18th, 2004)
  • The Second Annual Gaian Ball - At this user-organized event, Gino appeared and introduced G-Pins by giving them out to users who attended the ball. These items play a significant part in the future. Gino warns the receivers of the pins to be quiet about the gifts, as he was not supposed to be giving them out. (March 5th, 2004)
  • Easter 2004 - Ian the shopkeeper dressed up in an easter bunny costume and distributed baskets in exchange for eggs found during the event, with his helper Rufus. (Easter, 2004)
  • Gaia Olympics 2004 - Johnny K. Gambino hosted the first annual Gaia Olympics. From each town, two NPC's were chosen to participate in the competition, which was a race from Isle De Gambino to Durem, and back again. From Gambino, Sasha and Gino participated. From Barton, Ian and Leon participated. From Durem, Moira and Edmund participated. Each character had their own weaknesses and strengths, and competition was tight. Many thought that Edmund, a swift and strong contestant, would win the race, but was unfortunatlely distracted by an attractive woman in Durem, and then disqualified in Barton when he decided to 'have fun' with Vanessa in the Personals building. Sasha easily got lost at several points in the race, and Ian couldn't stop himself from taking advantage of good deals in the shops around Gaia. Moira ended up taking the win, earning her the Gold Medal. Gino, who had been under severe pressure from his father to win, suddenly went missing from the race, nowhere to be found. (August 29th, 2004)
  • Introduction of G CORP - The mysterious organization known as G CORP, the world's largest manufacturer of biological medicines and advanced technology, first appeared, owned by none other than Johnny K. Gambino. The organization included many lab techs of great variety in social patterns, work ethics, and moods. The events that were described in the journals found throughout the guild were extremely odd and shrouded in mystery. Up until Halloween, strange incidents occured, including the death of Labtech 013, the strange behavior of several Labtechs, and the many strange experiments conducted. A few Labtechs made efforts to escape from the impending danger that they sensed, yet failed. (October 18th, 2004)
  • Halloween 2004 - Before Halloween, a strange individual known only as 'Labtech X' appeared in the Marketplace selling strange vials of a green, unknown liquid. Users, noting the strangeness of this, rushed to purchase the vials from the NPC. Users were left in suspense until Halloween, when Gambino opened up his mansion to host the event. At some point, a false alarm occured, causing the mansion's alarms to go off and a lock down to occur. Gambino made an announcement of it being just a false alarm, and everything went back to normal. Then, several Labtechs showed up at the celebration to have a retirement party for Labtech 062. Suddenly, Labtech 013, supposedly deceased for quite some time, rose from the dead and attacked several Labtechs, quickly initiating their transformation into zombies. The condition quickly spread, infecting all Labtechs, except Labtech 123, who suspiciously didn't show up. Now the real alarm went off. The Labtechs, who during the reitirement celebration were in a separate closed room, quickly broke free and started attacking the Gaia users who were attending the event, causing them to take on the zombie status as well. Gambino, who was starting to feel rather uncomfortable, issued shotguns to anyone who was not a zombie, and thus started a battle between humans and zombies. However, even with the weapons, the virus spread too quickly and Gambino's head of security, by the name of Bucho, initiated the Silent Flash protocol. This caused a large missile to be launched from an unknown location on a course for the source of the threat, Gambino's mansion. The missile made impact, and the mansion was destroyed, ending the zombie threat. Cindy Donovinh, from GAIA 9 Action News, made her first appearance, and gave a report on the situation. Besides the events at the mansion, the shopkeepers all dressed up in costumes for Halloween, and gave out candy. If one collected enough candy, they would then be able to trade it to Jack, a mysterious figure who represents the spirit of Halloween since 2003, for a grab bag containing a prize, but only after finding him wherever he was hiding in the world of Gaia. (October 31st, 2004)
  • Christmas 2004 - This is when Gambino was first seen after the explosion of the mansion (see above). During this time, his journal was showing his adventures around Gaia looking for his lost son, Gino. On the map, you could go and click on Gambino, and wish him good luck. For this he would thank you.
  • Easter 2005 - The Von Helson Sisters hosted the Easter party at their mansion. Inside the mansion were hidden Easter eggs, that in which when you found 8 of them you would take them to a cybornetic Easter bunny. The bunny would then test you by hiding a basket somewhere on Gaia. When you found it, you could open it to either retrieve a Bunny Mask or a Chick Mask.

Features to Come

  • Battle System - A fully-functional battle system designed to allow users to engage in interactive battles against monsters, and later on possibly even other users. Said to be based off of Final Fantasy Tactics, the battle system will likely be isometric grid-based, much like how Gaia Homes are. The battle system will include character job classes and weapons which can be equiped to the user's avatar. A significant amount of weapons and fantasy/role-playing related clothing will be released alongside the battle system.
  • RPG (Role-playing game ( - The Gaia Online role-playing game will allow users to participate in both individual and group/guild quests, where they may possibly gain exclusive items. Some of these items may be parts used in combinations to create equipable items for the user's avatar. The RPG will be tied into the ongoing Gaia storyline, and the origins of the Gaia world will be revealed with its release.
  • Casino - The Casino has been released but it has been made clear that other games will be released. The only currently available game is slot machines.
  • Townships - Users will be able to 'walk' outside of their Gaia Homes and interact with other individuals, even possibly entering houses of others and engaging in live chat.
  • Personals - While the Personals were open in the past, they were closed due to difficult moderation of illegal acts such as cybering. In the future a newer, efficiently designed and reconstructed Gaia Personals will be released.
  • Pets - Even as a vast amount of users on Gaia Online are anti-pets due to the belief many have of the innefficiency of NeoPets, an equally vast amount of users on Gaia Online are interested in a pet system being introduced. The user L0cke, a member of the administrative staff, has stated that the pet system Gaia Online will have will cater to the audience of Gaia Online, not NeoPets, as they understand that each site appeals to different audiences.

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