By Natalie on Jul 11, 2008
Google's latest product launch, Google Lively is a 3D chat room that many people are comparing to SecondLife. However, in its initial version, it's really not much different than a chat room that takes place in a 3D animated room with avatars who can do a few different pre-designated actions.
Lively's users can create an avatar for themselves that can be male, female or even a different species. This avatar can assume a new identity, change clothes or convey emotions with a few clicks of the mouse.
Watch this YouTube video to see more:
The free service which requires no registration and can be accessed through a user's Google account enables people to congregate in fantasy rooms and other computer-manufactured versions of real life.
Lively requires a software download, but after that can appear in just a browser. One commentator suggests: "Google is looking to create a massive distributed virtual world, where every Google account can have its own avatar that can be used wherever a Lively virtual room is present – for example, on a blog, a social networking profile, or a Web page."
While this new virtual world emerges, SecondLife remains more immersive, and customizable as individuals are able to program and develop rather than rely on prefabricated Google supplies of furniture, clothes, and hair as they do in Lively.