Lively by Google: Will Lively bring death to Second Life?

Google lively is a very clever social interaction “environment” that is simple to set up and modify, and may appeal a lot to folks who like some visual feedback when chatting with others.   I don’t think this will replace the experience for hard core second life folks, but I’m fairly sure it’ll cut the number of *new registrations* at Second Life by quite a bit.      In fact I’m sure they are now discussing how to handle this major assault on what was a virtual monopoly (literally and figuratively) at Second Live.

I’m unable to embed my Google Lively rooms here, though I just tested and they work fine in blogger blogs.

It’s funny how things come back around.   About ten years ago I got my tourism board of directors to experiment with “virtual meetings” using avatars and within a simple browser framework.   I even forget the program.    The technology was fine – even it allowed chats and a way to “carry” groups of people to different URLs so you could demo new web pages and such.     However the mostly non-tech crowd simply was not comfortable interacting in this fashion and I got very limited participation.    Even now this is the case for many, but I think the growing number of technophiles combined with the current generation of young folks who are very comfortable with virtual worlds will open up this type of “conversation” to include a large segment of the population – enough to make this a significant new addition to the online communication landscape.

Niniane Wang from Google has the intro blog post:
Official Google Blog: Be who you want on the web pages you visit

The New York Times Brad calls this a “Whackier” kind of Google, which I think is a compliment.

Video Game Primer for Parents

This excellent PBS post from an MIT researcher debunks some of the mythology about gaming and youth, though to me he seemed a bit too quick to discount the growing body of research making connections between game violence and real world violence.  That said, few understand how there is NOT a large body of evidence to suggest gaming is “bad”.     More appropriate is the mantra “All Things in Moderation”.  I’d urge parents to simply keep in touch with the games your children play, and engage them about the content

As Grand Theft Auto smashes onto the scene, breaking records for one day sales (close to 200,000,000), it’s becoming clear that gaming is a key force in the online and offline world.    Parents would be well advised to learn a lot more about this so you can better understand forces that are driving your kids behavior and spending patterns as well as shaping popular culture and economics.    Gaming will soon surpass motion pictures as an entertainment revenue category.

Confused about Game Consoles and Platforms?   Read my son’s Video Games Guide