Jazz Jackrabbit 2 was the first Jazz game around which a community was formed, thanks to the existance of the internet. The community has existed for more than 7 years now.
In some ways, a community already surrounded the game before it was released on April 1998 (the shareware version of it, that is). On a few sites, like Jazz 2 Warehouse and Jazz 2 City, the development of the game was closely followed. Because of the success of Jazz Jackrabbit 1 some people were already enthusiastic enough for this to happen.
The early community mainly evolved around Jazz 2 City and the Epic message board, and after that board’s demise Jazz 2 City’s message board, the JMMB. Both Jazz2City and JMMB were managed by a group of devout fans like Dethman, Wakeman and Onag. The sites were very actively updated with news and its board featured lively discussions. One interesting charasteristic of those sites is that they were all managed according to Christian morals. This has had a big influence on the community. The current main community forum, the JCF, has still a lot of the same rules as the JMMB had.
Slowly, because the load on the owner’s shoulders was too heavy and because they wanted to move on. Jazz2City was thus eventually abandoned, after Steven Wakeman had already mostly become the site’s sole updater. Alienator‘s Universe Jazz then replaced Jazz2City as the main community news and downloads site. The message board hosted on Jazz2City, the JMMB, was still active by then, actively maintained by administrators like Admael The Follower, Brian, Captain Spam, Cobra, DrJones and FQuist.
Gradually, the board became more and more home to fights between people, and this was not effectively dealt with. The hosting situation also was dire: the board was hosted for free on a gaming network, and there were several security issues that gave way to hackers, and eventually vital functions like FTP were lost. Dethman shut the site down because the fights had become too bad. After this, a couple of the JMMB admins started a new board, the JCF, as a replacement for the site.
A succesful player competition named JDC was devised by Syntax and Bobby, and caused a lot of activity during its seasons. JDC is still running. The clan tournament JJ2WC, organised for the first time in 2004, was the first functioning clan tournament.
In 2001 the first international community-wide real-life meeting was organised by FQuist. Four large meetings have been held in Europe currently, and two in North America. It has become an annual event for both Western-European and Northern-American players.
Currently, the community is less active than ever. Activity mainly surrounds the two most popular sites, Jazz2Online and the JCF. Besides those sites, there’s the #jj2 chat channel that has been active since a few years. #jj2 has found a dedicated set of visitors, and used for regular chatting between community members, although it has evolved into a non-Jazz Jackrabbit-related channel.
Eat your lima beans, Johnny.