Copying ideas has been around aslong as capitalism has been dominant. If a creation is finding success, than a copycat is lurking in the corner ready to strike on the success. The latest trend has been with social networking; you can’t question five people with atleast finding one that doesn’t have some kind of personal profile up on the internet. Due to this surge in popularity, all kinds of cheap knockoffs have been popping up trying to emulate Myspace or Facebook. The newest form of copycatting comes from the search engine giant, Google.

Second Life for those of you who haven’t played it, is what can best be described as a social networking game. In Second Life, you basically create an avatar who you can do all kinds of real life activities with. You can build a house, get a job, earn money, and even fly (ok so it’s not too real). The big premise of the game is the social aspect, as you can meet all kinds of people from different walks of life or just use it as a place to be with friends. The game ended up being really successful with millions of people signing up to play. Google apparently caught wind of this as they’re releasing their own sort of game with Lively. After checking out the discussion forums, it seems that most users are viewing Lively as a chat room more than a game like Second Life is. There also appears to be some technical difficulties with the site, as people are having a hard time getting it installed and running.

Rooftop
This is Lively Rooftop; One Of The More Popular Hangout Spots On Lively

When you install Lively, you’re able to create a cartoon like avatar, which can be a resemblance of you or a chipmunk. The style looks to be very cute and lively, which makes me think that Google might be trying to attract kids to the program. Once you create your avatar, you then can create your very own room which acts as a virtual chat room where people can come visit, be it strangers or family and friends. You can also visit other rooms, where you can virtually hang out with others and chat. I’m pretty skeptical about Lively at this point, from what I’ve been reading it’s little more than an advanced cartoon chat room. With the technical problems it looks to be having, Lively might be in for an uphill battle against other virtual chat room programs.

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