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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Habbo Hotel
Sulake Labs Oy

Habbo Hotel is an online gaming environment for teenagers. It’s a place where teens can meet up to play games and develop their self expression. Habbo Hotel provides a safe, rich and positive gaming environment but it’s the teens themselves who write the script. As ‘Habbos’ they create their own character and virtual world by interacting and playing with others.

Social entertainment
Habbos can talk, shout, walk, dance and even furnish their room with items from the online catalogue. The key to Habbo Hotel is social interactivity: meeting other Habbos and having fun together. Each player has a Habbo Console, which lets them keep in contact with their friends through instant messaging, email and SMS without ever sharing personal details.

Safe meeting place
Habbo Hotel is patrolled 24 hours a day by volunteer moderators called Hobbas. Hobbas can alert, kick and ban players who break the rules and they’re backed up by professional paid moderators.
Every conversation and written comment in the hotel passes through the Bobba Filter before it appears on the screen. This filters out swearing, racist and sexist terms, and other words unsuitable for children. The filter also covers the players’ names, room names, and descriptions. The filters are updated on a daily basis and contain many hundreds of words and terms.

Going universal
Sulake has now launched Habbo Hotel in four countries (Finland, UK, Switzerland and Japan) and is looking to open up to three more within Europe during 2003. Worldwide, there are over seven million registered Habbo characters, and over 700,000 unique players visit the hotels each month. Eighty percent of Habbo players are between the ages of 10 and 18, with an equal divide between the sexes (source: Habbo Statistics Tool 20th June, 2003).

Habbo Credits
Habbo Credits are the game’s currency—they’re used to pay for enhanced services such as virtual furniture, game tickets and mobile phone functions. Virtual furniture in particular is an important factor in most “Habbos’” lives within the hotel, allowing them to express themselves through the creation of themed rooms, game rooms and places to chill out in. Players can pay using reverse SMS billing, IVR telephone lines, credit cards, and prepay cards.

Unique style and technology
“Habbo pixel style” pays homage to the early computer games, but its axonometric 2D environment, unique design and fresh colour palette makes Habbo pixel style stand out from other international multiplayer online games. Habbo Hotel is built on Java-based FUSE technology, which has been developed by Sulake specifically to support multi-user online environments. The hotel client itself is programmed by lingo experts and can be viewed with standard web browsers enriched with Macromedia’s Shockwave Director plug-in.

Fan culture and community
Thousands of simultaneous players meet each other daily in Habbo Hotel, playing and chatting together, and making new friends. Habbos hang out together in “posses” and run police departments and hospitals, often paying their “workers” with virtual furniture. They tend to treat Habbo staff members and Hobbas (moderators) as celebrities, often creating rooms in their honour and sending them gifts at Christmas and Easter. This fan culture extends beyond the boundaries of the hotel, with hundreds of fan sites worldwide reporting on hotel news and rumours.