Well I have spent a couple of days in Google’s new 3D world, Lively. I have met some interesting people and a LOT of dead avatars, left behind when their owners move on.
The first tip to learn is that when you move from room to room in Lively, you don’t leave a room unless you close it: the new room opens up with a new copy of the avatar. If you keep changing rooms, then it is like opening links in a browser… a new tab will open and you’ll be on the new page, with a tab still there for the last page you visited.
What is weirder is that if you go back to a room you have already visited, then you will have two instances of the same room, each with your avatar. If there are other people in the room, they will be in both instances of the room.
There are some things to watch out for: people can change their display name to say *anything* so they can spoof you, Bill Gates and the King of Siam should they wish to.
You can use animations in objects by double clicking them, or animation for your avatar by left or right clicking your avatar and choosing the animations tab. Many of them can also be triggered by using the words in chat. I am going to have to break my “lol” habit because the avatar laughs so long and dementedly that it is irritating me.
There are also a lot of animations which can be used on other avatars without their permission. These include being able to choke, kick, kiss and hug people without their permission, which can be a bit surprising, and comes over as very rude to anyone used to 3D worlds. If someone repeatedly does things without having the grace to ask if it is OK, then either sitting down or ignoring them will disable their ability to do that to you. (Right click the avatar, choose ignore on the screen.)
It is possible to send private messages in Lively. Click the avatar you wish to talk to and choose “whisper to”. Annoyingly this doesn’t open up a separate window where a conversation can take place, and means each of you have to repeatedly click on the other to continue talking privately. If your partner in the conversation moves a lot or the place is crowded, that can be difficult to maintain.
I visited my friend Digistar Brouwers island “Digistars Island” the night before last, and he explained that it is possible to put a hyperlink in an object. It appears that you need to own the object, and then you click on it, choose the edit tab and can put in a hyperlink. This can be a link to a website, or to the URL of another Lively room. I am going to spend this morning hyperlinking an object from room to room and see how it works.
Incidentally, if you see anything you like in Lively, click it and choose to see it in the catalogue and you will be able to get one for yourself. Currently this says “free” which indicates that objects and items may not remain free for the future. Whether they will be paid for in real money or Google Dollars has yet to be revealed.
I am meeting more and more people in Lively, and they seem to fall into two distinct groups: those who have never been in a 3D space before, and people from Second Life! Maybe it is just that I go to places which other SL people will inhabit and there are really a lot of new people around. Not sure. But I think the idea of Lively as an introduction to virtual worlds is probably a good one. I just hope people don’t migrate to Second Life and think it is OK to punch or kick someone you don’t know. Such behaviour is frowned upon there.