Google launched their take on Second Life called
The idea behind both Lively and Second Life is to bring a better social dimension to online interaction, or chat in 3D basically. Better is the operative term here. Second Life didn’t hold any appeal for me, it got boring in very short order. I’m just not a sit and chat type person and listening to someone laughing repeatedly is so beyond lame that I would rather go deal with the wife’s “Honey do list” than socialize in Second Life. Give me good old IRC every time. Lively is on the same order of things.
Lively does however have different aspects to its similar approach. Where Second Life is an entire world, Lively is compartmentalized with rooms. I am sure that it would be fairly easy for Google to make that jump and string the rooms together to be seamless, but it really doesn’t need that. I like the feel of Lively better. Avatars are a little more cartoon like than I remember in Second Life. There are a number of preprogrammed emotes set up for the Characters, and there are sure to be more things added both by Google and users daily.
You can pipe in content hosted elsewhere on the Internet, including photos or videos. You can embed it into your website, Facebook, or MySpace (coming soon). You can e-mail/IM your friends a web address to get them to join your room.
So yes, it’s fun to play around depending on your like for chatting in this fashion. It’s sure to attract the kids, but already there are rooms appearing for virtual sex (with 8000+ users in it) so it’s not something they can run around with unsupervised. Google’s Terms of Service for Lively prohibits this kind of behavior and supposedly restricts kids to 13 and older but we all know how well Terms of Service work to deter this sort of thing.
It will be interesting to see how Lively develops over time. It has some really neat aspects that make it unique compared to Second Life, but it still overlaps enough so you can’t escape the comparisons. Give Lively a try and let me know what you think about it. Is it destined to be Pop or Flop?