June 29, 2017
Remember Microsoft Comic Chat? Here's How You Can Still Use It

If you remember Microsoft Comic Chat, then you're probably one of the 80s or 90s kids. And while Microsoft shut off Comic Chat servers more than 16 years ago – in 2001 – people are still actively using this relic of the internet.

At the time of Facebook Spaces VR, a virtual-reality chat environment for Oculus, it seems that socializing via the internet has never been so engaging and fun since Microsoft released its innovative chat, Comic Chat.

Comic Chat, which Microsoft made public in 1996 as part of Internet Explorer 3 (yes, the very internet browser that takes ages to load a webpage), can be called the forefather of Facebook Spaces VR, which is yet another attempt from Mark Zuckerberg to make his users spend hours on Facebook instead of Instagram and Twitter.

But it was Comic Chat, which was used by millions of internet users in the late 90s and early 2000s, that truly started the social media phenomenon.

The Microsoft chat was a true revolution in the internet world, as it allowed people around the world to connect and express their feelings, emotions, and thoughts in a chat room.

But Comic Chat room wasn't just any text-based chat room. Microsoft Comic Chat was a fun and engaging way of socializing with other people around the world.

While most virtual worlds and online-based videogames let you move your avatar around in a virtual world, Comic Chat was much simpler than that. Microsoft's Comic Chat was auto-generated by text written by real people, who would choose a cartoon character and express their feelings via the chat.

Comic Chat, which offered the 80s and 90s kids the chance to see what the first social internet really looked like, allowed its users to choose cartoon characters as avatars, who'd represent them in the chat room.

When Microsoft released the Comic Chat Character Editor, it was another revolution in the internet world that brought humanity closer to discovering Instagram emojis and Instagram in itself.

With Comic Chat Character Editor, Microsoft chat users could now create customized avatars. But with great innovation and endless possibilities for Comic Chatters came trolls with their offensive avatars.

While that certainly added more work for Comic Chat room moderators, the social internet world was introduced to trolls and was finding ways of dealing with R-rated and illegal content.

Internet users who were lucky enough to use Comic Chat in the 90s cannot help but wonder how trolls would spread their R-rated and illegal content on Facebook Spaces VR, the tool that would allow Facebook users to socialize via the internet without the need to leave their house, according to Fast Company.

For all those who are wondering, Microsoft Comic Chat can still be downloaded and used in 2017. Yes, even on Macs.

Microsoft Comic Chat can be downloaded from this link -- all you need to do when the chat is installed on your computer is to set to Windows 95 compatibility mode.

Even though Microsoft closed its Comic Chat servers in 2001, there are still some Comic Chat-friendly servers out there. See the list of servers here, though note that it seems the only Comic Chat server that works in 2017 is #Cheers.

It's also important to note that 2017 internet users cannot run the Character Editor on a modern 64-bit PC, as Comic Chat is a 16-bit application.

With Comic Chat, which many internet users to this very day use to create comics and memes, you can still easily connect to an IRC server. There are still plenty of people using the phenomenal Microsoft chat, which is the forefather of Facebook Spaces VR and the entire social media as it is known today.

[Featured Image by #pdxwebdev in Microsoft Comic Chat/Aaron Parecki/CC BY 2.0]