PlayStation Home is closing down next week.
It was like Second Life, but with long loading times for managing your inventory. It ran only on the PS3. It was funded by microtransactions, both directly to Sony and from their cut of third-party developers' takes. Players could choose their wardrobes and decorate their homes and clubhouses, but could not create items or spaces themselves.
Final Fantasy XI is ending its content updates late this year.
It was an early-2000's era MMO, with far more haters than fans. The Final Fantasy name inspired a number of people to try it out, while its punishing mechanics and near-complete lack of in-game directions left most of those people disappointed. Those who toughed it out were rewarded with stories and cutscenes which were sometimes incomprehensible, but always breathtaking and epic ... just like in most Final Fantasy games.
These games were my homes.
FFXI got us through the worst years of our family of origin's abuse, and helped us find the self-confidence to take on a leadership role. Home came installed on a PlayStation 3 we received as a gift, soon after coming out as transgender, and it was one of our biggest lifelines. We were too scared to go outside, but we could log on and feel like we were actually with other people. And explore spaces we never could otherwise.
We tried to log in to Home tonight. It hurt too much, to see the place all but abandoned. I think it hurts more than it normally would, because of all the other people and things that we've lost in just the past few years. Just this month, someone we care about deeply and used to be able to call family told us to GTFO, apparently because our religious beliefs are now unacceptable to them.
Nearly everything that we've known in our life has basically died in a fire, and sometimes we feel like we died along with them. Sometimes, all we can do is sit here paralyzed and wish that someone would come back. Or that we hadn't driven them off, or that we hadn't been unable to be around them, or even just that we knew why they had gone.
Either way, we're sorry. And we hurt a lot, sometimes. Like right now.