Searching for Ron Britvich
Roderick C. Moyes
Sunday, Dec. 17, 2000 -
In 1997 he was at the top of his game. His software creation, ActiveWorlds provided a vast digital landscape upon which millions would build their own virtual worlds. ActiveWorlds was in its third year as reigning champion among 3D chat environments. Ron Britvich was the subject of books, television shows and articles. He had drawn upon his talents to bring the world a unique and new form of expression.
He refused to let conventional wisdom or anyone practicing it to stand in his way. In a world of pre-produced, static environments produced by "professional artists", Britvich said, "Give the power to the user. If they build it themselves, they will come back". When existing technologies and tools were found inadequate, he simply made his own. Some of the biggest companies in software stared him down, but he never blinked. While industry consortiums were busy talking about what the standard should be, Ron Britvich was busy making it.
In the end there could be but one champion, one figure standing head and shoulders above the rest. This college dropout had risen from obscurity to become one of the most studied and sought after minds in the interactive environment community. Just when it seemed there was no end to his potential, Ron Britvich did something no one could have ever expected…he disappeared.