It's like a virtual cocktail party, where strangers gather to flirt, argue about politics and sports, ask for advice, talk about shared hobbies and interests, or simply hang out.Chat rooms have played an important role in the evolution of interpersonal communication over computer networks. Then came USENET, an e-mail based newsgroup started in 1979. Some bulletin board users wanted to interact with the group in real time instead of waiting to reply to an ongoing message thread.In the late '70s and early '80s, several small bulletin board communities incorporated chat and IM into their networks.
Launched to the public in 1980, the CB simulator capitalized on the explosive (if short-lived) popularity of citizen's band radio culture in American country music and movies [source: PC Magazine].
Users could exchange real-time messages (loaded with lots of CB slang) on 40 different channels, which later evolved into the concept of rooms.
In the mid-1980s, a company called Play Net began tinkering with the combination of real-time chat and online games.
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