If you are one of those guys whose social life is only on the Internet, then this will probably make you more excited than any other social networking website ever. Google has launched a nice browser-based virtual world called Lively where users can interact with other users in different virtual spaces. Its more like Second Life, with much less 3D but with more faster environment.
Lively is an addon for Firefox or Internet Explorer and can be installed on only Windows XP or Vista. There is no addon installer for OSX or Linux. Lively allows you to create an avataar and after the avataar is done, you can goto any of the rooms or create your own room and interact with your friends or other users on lively. While creating a room there are different kinds of stuff that you can put into a room, much like what you did in the Sims game.
The installer can be downloaded from here. The installers size is small, but its an online installer that downloads required files from the Internet. One major advantage that Lively has over Second Life is that it is browser based and will not required great hardware to run. On the other hand, Second Life is lot more interactive and can use graphics hardware to render 3D worlds. From the early looks at Lively, its aimed towards a larger audience compared to Second Life. This Lively vs Second Life comparison is analogous to casual games Vs Hardcore games.
A video introduction to Google Lively:
Currently Google Lively doesn’t seem very interactive. But I’m sure as time goes on, it will become more interactive. Users will be able to do different activities with other users and interact freely with the environment. Even the environment has the possibilities of different object interaction and it could very well be like an multiplayer online game of Sims. Lively also has great prospects of being monetized, where user can see advertisements for the products that he likes and can be used as a marketing tool by different companies. Excellent idea that definitely has promise!!