Today Google launched Lively, you could mistakenly think of a Second Life clone at first, seeing the pictures. Instead it’s pretty similar to IMVU. If you know IMVU you’ll know what awaits you. If you don’t, well then let me tell you more about it.
After you got on the Lively website the first thing to do is to download the client, which is only about 500kB in size, the application itself runs in your browser. Actually the only thing about it I saw not running in my browser was a little popup asking for my Google account and password.
After logging in, lively takes you back to its website, this time on the site showing the most popular and crowded rooms, which is an interesting choice as they are already full and the only thing you can do in there is to watch other people, which unsurprisingly turns out to be boring.
So the best thing do to is to create a new own room, or to join one of the less crowded ones. Joining a room for the first time opens the avatar creation dialog, where you can chose different models and cloths just as accessoires. I took a white, bear like creature with a turban and gave him a giant moustache for example. Those human models just seemed too ordinary for my personal taste.
After that you can put stuff into your room like furniture, lava lamps, and even some sort of screen playing youtube videos. One of the most popular videos you’ll see is, who would have guessed, Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up followed by anime music videos with Linkin Park as the BGM.
The ingame dialogs for clothing, furniture and so on link to the lively.com shop, where you can buy other, more shiny stuff in the future. Right now all stuff they offer is free and the choice is scars. This kind of of shop is already in use in IMVU and people are actually buying stuff, and no, you don’t buy you genitalia like in Second Life.
Oh, I totally forgot the whole point of this new application. It’s to chat, and those rooms resemble chat rooms. But when I tried it, chatting was the least thing people would do, they were all just watching the embedded Youtube videos, switching their chairs, running around or just idling. We’ll have to wait if this will be another meeting point for some pre-puberal kids talking 1337.
For that part I’m confident that there will be some sort of serious community, even if they’re small just because of the fact that this is another service of Google and the number of people using it will be huge, not because it’s special, not because it’s the best app of this sort, no, just because it’s Google.
Here are some pictures and a Youtube video