HiberWorld, an online level creator and social site, takes the bloated Roblox model and pares it back, from the get-go immersing you in an example of one of the three types of levels you can create in browser, a Platformer – the others being Shooter, and Playground – before taking you to the sign in screen. With no prioritised open hub worlds, no immediate character creation nor easy access endless level lists, the limitations of HiberWorld are what makes it instantly more appealing to me than Roblox.
It is a more fleeting, odd and quiet place, yes one filled with creations of equally aggressive and unknowable difficulty and horror designed by kids, but, likely simply because of a smaller player base, one that isn’t as dauntingly dense to access.
It feels as though you are perhaps entering the joint dream state of a player-creator community that is not yet saturated, which does not yet reflect back the general terror of the world and the hyperaggression of marketing that Roblox effectively numbs the senses with.
It adopts the model of Minecraft’s general understanding of the way people might want to set up boundaries, to play on their own and alone in a world, as well as with friends. Each level js a snapshot in which to kick around, to not take too seriously, to experience the dream states designed to be shared selectively. This feels like how HiberWorld intends to operate until it has enough of a captive market to effectively launch another phase.
The ‘collective unconscious’ applies to these artificial dream units created using corporate tools and western colonial ideals of creation much more than it ever has to an actual world of people it seems. Our avatars share notions deep in their coded selves, the limits to their actions and their art, and when I dream now, with HiberWorld levels that I’ve made living in my head, is it closer to a network of dreamers on the same page than I ever have been before?
Or is this another instance of looking for a meaning and spirit in ways of play that can’t actually exist, since while the images of other’s creations are now in my mind, that is of course the limit of it. It is limited to the system. Systemic telekinesis and telepathy, to digest a process and share that unit of knowing, to share a space made by another with that same process, and to know how they worked within it…
What is HiberWorld? In a way it is what we have been warned about for decades. It is the small company that, unlike big gaming, is surely pirating your freely given dreams and is just more honest with it, while of course its rivals are the world’s friends and comforters. But, I’ve always been a fan of the underdog.