"As they walked to the front door the conversation still continued behind them. Someone has said that Aristasia is one long conversation that never stops; only pauses from time to time for sleep and business and other dull necessities."
CHILDREN OF THE VOID
When this was written in 1996, Elektraspace hardly existed, but already the Great Conversation had begun its transition to the Electronic Airwaves.
The original Aphrodite Cocktail Bar was already in existence, emerging from being an obscure forum about frillies and sillies under pressure of the incoming Aristasian hordes. Eventually the Forum was moved from its original server and became part of the aristasia-dot-org domain. It ran for some 79 Archives; each one filled with the philosophy, fun and foolery that have always constituted the Great Aristasian Conversation.
The Cocktail Bar was followed by the relatively short-lived Elektrapette, of which, miraculously, some hard-copy printouts survive and will in due course help to round out these Archives.
The next Forum was an attempt to translate into Tellurian Elektraspace the atmosphere of a famous Ladies' Club in Truehope, Trent: the Blue Camellia. This establishment was -- and is -- well known for having a remarkable membership, made up of bluestockings from Milchford and Bright Young Things from the Truehope aristocracy. It has had its fair share of what the Looking Glass newspaper terms "goings-on".
But perhaps at this stage of the Aristasian deployment in Telluria, the project was over-ambitious. This was a very low period for Aristasia-in-Elektra, and the first Blue Camellia Club has the dubious distinction of being the only on-line Aristasian Forum that never really "took off".
The Baton was then picked up (the aristasia-dot-com and aristasia-dot-org domains having fallen into Outland hands) by Girls' Town: the Forum at aristasia-dot-net. Girls' Town divided its chat into categories which used the metaphor of virtual places, and the largest of these was called the Aphrodite Cocktail Bar. Aristasians in Telluria have always been in love with their own history!
During this period the Blondes' and Brunettes' Club was also founded and ran for some time alongside Girls' Town. It operated on an advertising-supported commercial server (the only Aristasian Forum to do this) and was replaced after a year by a new Forum bravely named after the ill-fated Blue Camellia Club. This time the azure flower bloomed, and Blue Camellia became the most successful forum ever.
Eventually Blue Camellia began succumbing to technical difficulties which proved insoluble.
The Avendale forum, originally established for the Avendale School Aristasian role-playing game, took some of the pressure off the increasingly glitchy Blue Camellia Club. By this time Aristasian Elektraspace was spread over many different sites, and it was becoming increasingly difficult for even dedicated Aristasians to discover what was happening where.
Which brings us to the present, and the centralisation of Aristasian Elektraspace at the appropriately named aristasia-central-dot-com and the uniting of all current Aristasian Forums on a page called, with stunning accuracy, The Aristasia Forums.
The Blue Camellia domain remains, as a quick glance at your address bar will confirm, and its current mission is to host archives of as much as possible of the long and complex history of Aristasia in Elektraspace.
Alongside the regular chat Forums there were role-playing games - or rather one role-playing game that went through a number of incarnations. This was Avendale School. Avendale is an imaginary school on the Quirinelle-Trent border.
The fortunes of Avendale have been rather mixed. Each time it was restarted it flourished and then died down again. It seems that Aristasians get on better with chatting than with role-playing.
Some people, of course, consider the whole of Aristasia as a form of role-play, which is true only in the sense that all of life is role-play. Aristasians seem to have enough of a job to live both a physical life and a virtual life (one or both of which may be Aristasian) without leading a let's-pretend life as well.
... Which is a slight pity as some of the storylines are very good.
For those who wish to sample them, here are archives of:
The first Avendale School role-play
The second Avendale School role-play
The third Avendale School role-play
Find the most comprehensive and up-to-date (pun intended!)
Aristasian information and chat at: Aristasia Central