Juggernaut Google releases its ‘Lively’ virtual online world that allows random people talk to each other around the world to make virtual friends and enemies.
With no pre-announcement, Google released Lively, a avatar based 3D social network thats similar to Second Life. Although its browser based, and you will need a pretty zippy computer to use this Google app.
Google Lively instruction and walk through
Installation and setup
- Download the Lively plugin to your computer. (only XP and Vista with IE or Firefox)
- Installer will bring you back to the lively site
- Login using your Google account (Gmail)
- Select the room you want to enter
- Select an avatar you want to use (You can accessorize your avatar with clothing etc if you wish)
- Lively will then try to connect you to the room you selected (I noticed that many rooms were ‘full’ and you have to go back and select another room)
- Once in the room, you will start to see the room rendering with all the characters and environment, (this took close to 5 minutes for myself!)
- You can start ‘chatting’ randomly by entering text in the text box on the bottom
- If you click and hold your mouse button down, you can zoom in and out and around the room.
- If you click and hold your mouse button on your character, you can walk around the room with your mouse
- Double click on a spot in the room, and your character will move to that location
- If you click on another avatars name, you can take specific actions towards that person like: move to, whisper and a whole slew of animations from body slamming to crying on shoulder
- You can also add others to your ‘friend’ list so you can message them and find them at a later time
First impressions? Slow as dirt. But once you get past the loading of the room, it does speed up a bit, but not much. The actions were not very intuitive, and I had to poke around to figure out the movements, actions etc, and you will encounter a lot of people asking you how you did so.
Google Lively seems to be at a very early beta stage, but the interface has allowances to ‘charge’ fees to purchase additional items for your avatar and environment. This is very similar to Second Life, and with Google’s foothold in a lot of people’s online presence they can leverage their market penetration to slowly guide people over to their own (profitable?) virtual online world.