www.imvu.com stands for Instant Messaging Virtual Universe and it is a website that will appeal to users who enjoy games like SIMS and Second Life. Here you can build and customize your own Avatar and, of course, interact with other Avatars from all over the world.
The possibilities are endless with IMVU, you can play games, chat with people, have 3d avatars and much more. Once you sign up with the site, users will be offered the opportunity to log in with their existing Facebook, Yahoo or MSN accounts. Or they just can build a new one from scratch, it’s up to them.
Virtual life enthusiasts will then have to choose a starter avatar from a collection of randomly generated 9 choices (Male or Female). Some basic information will be added, like country of residence, email address and date of birth. Then, in order to customize your avatar even more and interact with the community, users will have to download small executable software that they need to install on their machine. Just like with Second Life. Also when I checked out the site there were precisely 41,048 people online from 88 different countries!
After you install and run the program, you will find yourself face to face with your starter avatar. Users can now choose to play Dress Up. There are a bunch of different options but you need to interact with your avatar in order to get credits and unlock the other options. Credits are a very important part of this game. At first users will be presented with a limited amount of choices to customize their avatar.
They can change clothes, hairstyles, eyes and skin tone, even the background but at the moment they only have a few options. Once more credits are accumulated the Shop feature will be unlocked and players will be able to choose from a huge variety of accessories, clothes and furniture. The virtual game offers the option of My Room which can be unlocked once more credit is accumulated.
Check out the IMVU login screen now: http://www.imvu.com/login/
Download IMVU to your computer: http://www.imvu.com/signup/download/
Credits can be collected by playing games, interacting with your avatar and engaging in activities within the chat room. If users are restless and want to enjoy the benefits credit provides they can purchase it. 10$ will get you 10,000 credit points while $19.95 will get you 20,000 credit point. Speaking of chat rooms, I already mentioned IMVU seems very reminiscent of Second Life. Well the way the chat rooms are constructed makes this argument clear enough.
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Chat rooms come in the utter most variety. Users could decide to join the Land of Magical Fantasy or the City Gym or try out the Relax Resort. Once you log in the room you are greeted by a mini world. In the Land of Magical Fantasy for example you will find yourself transported into a fairy tale-like environment that includes sparkling pixie huts, magic waterfalls and romantic settings. The interface
looks so much like Second Life, the way the characters can move around in the setting and interact with other Avatars. Your alter ego is presented in 3D form and you move around in the milieu like in RPG games. For the creative types if they have gathered enough credits, there the possibility of designing your own Chat Room and invite Avatar friends over.
For those who enjoy creating a brand new identity and exploring the possibilities of the online world, the game is fascinating. It tackles into the creative side as well allowing users to develop their own environments. But does it bring something new to what Second Life and SIMS already offer? Not so much, nevertheless some users might enjoy a change in interface, so why not give it a try.