Lively, Google’s Stab At Second Life

Google has just released their own avatar based social arena a la Second Life, which is called Lively. It will require a client download and install like the popular MUD, but after that it can be accessed via IE and Firefox.

Lively allows user to create their own online spaces that can include natural or human-built settings and customize their avatars (which are relatively cartoonish in comparison to SL avatars). Google’s engineering manager for Lively [Niniane Wang] explains that they wanted to create a more socially rich environment than was possible with emotes and other chatroom features.

Lively’s core functions are not particularly novel, but it does innovate with various web integration features. Videos and images from the internet are viewable from within Lively, and users can embed their own personal Lively areas into their blogs or websites (hello VRML).

Lively is not nearly as expansive as Second Life yet, with no form of currency included and only stock items, clothes, avatars, and geometry to choose from. What’s more, it is only available for Windows XP and Vista, with no other OS support announced. We can see this getting better in the future, but those of you who’s lives are so great that you need a second one (or a third) will probably want to jump on this now.

10 thoughts on “Lively, Google’s Stab At Second Life

  1. @ tjhow shut the fuck up i am personly a huge SL player and i want to know if anything as good comes out and dude its there fucking website if you dont wanna see this than you can fucking skip over it

  2. I was in the beta for it, and I must say the features are quite a bit more polished. Still not anywhere near second life, but the developers seem to be going more for visual chat room than mmorpg. For that it seems about right. Bummed out about no mac/linux support, though.

  3. take a pill #2

    here is how it all works:

    users make content
    community grows around content
    bright minds leads community
    running costs needs monetization of content
    monetization dilutes community content
    underground movement now becomes sellout technofad

    comment applies to both article and this website.
    see you on ihacked. been here since had’s 1st post. i’m out.

  4. Meh. When are we going to get a truly open “virtual space” protocol that allows linking the spaces of different servers together? Just like ISPs like AOL gave way to the web, proprietary virtual spaces will also become obsolete eventually.

    @4 — when was hack a day ever “underground”?

  5. As an experienced online world user, I was disappointed by many aspects of this new platform. First, my avatar never fully loaded (on firefox 3), so my camera could only hover around and look at the walls before I would be spontaneously logged out. Also, the pre-made avatars in the catalogue are painfully stereotypical. I know Google is slow sometimes(Gmail is still in beta!), but this is just pathetic. They need to step it up or get out of the game.

  6. “Videos and images from the internet are viewable from within Lively”

    Worldwide rickrolls and porn spam, here we come!

    I’m all for user content, but man… some users…

  7. oh but then it says “lively isn’t ready yet for your platform”
    so at least there is some hope, unless it’s a boilerplate to perpetually placate the non-XP/vista users.


    – vLife Second Life viewer Public Version
    Last Updated at May 21 . 2009

    – Features
    Client and sim crash
    Double click teleport
    Double click copy
    Hand rainbow particle beam
    Sim radar
    Area scanner
    Animation list scan and copy
    Teleport history
    Ground Sit
    Teleport to any avatar everywhere

    – Credits to jcool410

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