Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virtual Chatworlds Compared

I first discovered "VLB" or Virtual Laguna Beach/Virtual Hills when I happened to be watching TRL (I watch from time to time to see artists/celebs who stop by, etc). Anyhow, I saw TRL VJ Vanessa was using VLB so I made the decision to download it and check it out.

Since using VLB, I've also learned about other virtual chat worlds, Second Life and IMVU. Since using them, I've realized that VLB is definitely better in many aspects, but also has its drawbacks.

First off, I'll start by saying I'm biased towards Virtual Laguna Beach. I like its setup, chat bubble style, ability to play games, pimp your ride, shoot paintball guns, enter contests, go to clubs and meet cool new people on it. What I don't like sometimes is the immaturity of members, but you will get that with a game based on a show which appeals to a younger crowd. This isn't saying all VLB fans are immature, I think there's plenty of great fans using it. I would improve VLB by adding more new places to it, and more games. How bout a "War" card game or a Paintball "Capture the Flag"? Otherwise the interface, chat, movement are very cool, and I think MTV/There.com have done great and can continue to do more great stuff with it.

Second Life, is a more adult virtual chat world (you must be 18 or older to play its main game, there is also a Teen Version). It features medieval type futuristic worlds, in game radio and music, and more mature chat. I felt this game was alot clunkier in movement compared to VLB. Also, once you are used to the "bubble chat" you can have on VLB, the chat on 2nd Life just isnt good. Your chat appears bottom left corner of your screen. It just didnt work for me. I would add chat bubbles to it and increase its ability to handle the movements. Overall, I have heard great things about 2nd life, including the ability to create your own items and properties, etc. I've heard that celebs like Tom Clancy and Jay Z have been on there, but not too sure. It seems very creative and fun, but just needs those improvements to win me over.

IMVU, to me was a complete memory hog. It crashed more than 10 times (I downloaded twice). It continued to open up chat window after chat window, and internet window after internet window. There was a delay between selecting an "action" and the action actually happening. The avatars do look cool on this one, and it has shopping, homes, and personal webpages for each avatar. As with VLB, There, and Second Life, you pay to play more, or get more stuff.

All of these chat worlds are promising, and in my opinion are the future of chat and internet interaction. I think VLB has the best interactivity of the 3 mentioned, but I also use it most. MTV/There open the doors to add lots more to this virtual world. I wouldn't be surprised to see virtual reality internet TV becoming big in the future. I've also heard rumors MTV is developing two new virtual chat worlds, one that is a music-based chat world where you join bands, download music/videos and can do karaoke. Sounds like the future of chat is just beginning..

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Blogger mommahen said...

That was very helpful Boss!


April 18, 2007 at 2:47 PM  

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