Google added its own version of life to the Web this week with its launch of the animated program "Lively." A "20 percent project"—one borne from Google's policy of allowing its staff to spend 20 percent of their work time on their own projects—Lively is much like another Second Life. Its users can enter 3-D worlds, engage in real-time avatar interactions and express their thoughts and feelings all in a virtual community. What distinguishes it, though, from its competition is that it can be controlled from any Web page. For instance, it can even be embedded in a blog or integrated into a MySpace of Facebook page. According to the program's creator, Niniane Wang, an engineering manager at Google, it is capable of playing YouTube videos and displaying photos in picture frames, too.
Google also claims that unlike the adult-only Second Life, Lively is teenage friendly and is open to users 13 and up (though that's already proving to be a problematic choice). The program sounds easy enough to run—it needs only Flash and a lightweight plugin—but like all things in reality, there are always problems in the first round. The beta program can only run in Windows—although there will be a version for Mac and Linux in the future—and it doesn't run particularly smoothly, even with a top-notch computer. If Second Life is any indication of how this might fare, it's only a matter of time before people expect something more.
Via Business Week
I have been watching and perusing Second Life since 2005 and have constantly been disappointed with how lame it is on delivering a decent virtual world. This article once again grabbed my imagination by the coattails. The prospect of a virtual world that does not suck--one from Google even-- is exciting.
I installed Lively and looked around. It has potential, but the weak environment, unintuitive navigation, and complete lack of depth have turned me off just as they have with Second Life. All promise and no delivery. I must admit that aside from the sub-par tech, the real draw on these things is user generated content. If the users are boring so is the experience.
I have uninstalled it and believe a decent virtual world is still at least 5 years off. In this case Bob Marley's advise on Lively upping yourself is best avoided.
Lively looks cool, from the article. But my one problem with it is that I don't have a pc, and I have a old imac G5, not a new intel one, so I guess I can't really rate it.