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A look at other virtual worlds: There

By admin | August 19, 2007

there3.jpg“There” is even more peculiar about your hard- and software. Just Windows won’t do. It will only run on IE. Even Firefox will produce a message that this browser is not supported. This alone made me a little sceptical, usually it would be a reason for me to not use “There”. I don’t like it, if someone treis to push a specific plattform or software on me.

there1.jpgThe next thing that I didn’t like, at least at first, were the looks and the graphics. It looked and felt like a cheap rip off of Second Life. I am not sure, how fair or unfair this assessment is, it may look different to someone who isn’t a long time Second Life user, but this is how I honestly felt. I saw green hills and sandy beaches, but I missed the fine detailes in terrain texture I am used to from Second Life, I missed the ripples on the water and the sunlight reflecting on them.

There is actually an easy way to recognize Second Life users in “There”: If you see someone jumping a lot without an apparent reason, he or she is probably a regular Second Life user. In “There” rightclicking will make your avatar jump. And rightclicking on things is something I do instinctively by now, it has become Second Nature ™.

It took me a while to find out how to move around, find places, interact with things. It’s the same for every virtual world, even every place you got to: You have to learn the ropes. Doing this repeatedly helps, I noticed how I approached this a lot more efficient than I did when I joined Second Life two years ago.

there7.jpgWhat I was missing most was a fast an easy way to customize my avatar. In “There” you have to go to a spa to have your look changed. When I first read about this, I liked the idea, but when I was in world it lost its appeal and I was missing the option to easily and inexpensively change my look.

Just as for IMVU - and most virtual worlds, as it seems - you have to get developer status before you can create stuff. I tried to find out how difficult this is and how much it would eventually cost, but I didn’t find out all the details yet, so I will have something to write in another article about “There” once I do find out.

there6.jpgNow there were a few things I did like about “There” once I started to explore. It took me a little time to get used how “There” will open new windowes when you want to purchase something, for example, but in the end, I rather liked it. It gives “There” a very different look and feel fromn Second Life, way less immersive, rather another window on your desktop than a world you are in. Yet it had some appeal to me at the same time, as I could easily use my working habits from other appications and the internet to “There”. Usually I will switch between my word processor, different websites and two or three messengers at any time I am at a computer. “There” is just another window that will easily intergrate with what I alerady have running and make it easier to use it on the side while having a chat on ICQ at the same time. It is possible to do something similar with Second LIfe by making it run in a really small window, but I rarely do so. And you can not place windows outside the mian viewer. Wouldn’t it be handy, if you could place the chat window outside the main viewer? You could then adjust the size of the chat window and the viewer however you need it for what you are doing right now. And the chat window would stop obstructing your view, if you move around.

there5.jpgThe clubs or buildings I vitied in “There” I liked a lot better than the landscape, they often felt more cozy than they do on Second Life, so I can see why some people may prefer “There”.

In general I didn’t find it easier or harder to use. I paid some attention to this details, as someone mentioned on the educator’s list a while ago that “There” would be easier to use. At least for the basic functions you need as a beginner - moving around, finding people and places, chatting and interacting with things - it makes littel difference, at least to me. As mentioned above, it becomes more difficult, if you want to create stuff.

So much for my first impressions of “There”.


Topics: VR |

One Response to “A look at other virtual worlds: There”

  1. Presentation on Education in Second Life at My Second Life Says:
    Oktober 25th, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    [...] to explore some of them and keep blogging about my findings here. So far I wrote a little about There, IMVU and Gaia Online, more articles should follow in due time. I understand that the public image [...]


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