Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Hmm, upgrades!

Online game envisions new virtual worlds. Maybe it's Neo and Trinity in The Matrix! Well, not quite:
A new online computer game, which its creators say is more social and creative than other games of its kind, is expected to get its commercial debut on Monday after nearly five years in the making.

The game, called "There," allows people to create virtual personas that can meet with friends, shop and play games. "There" is similar in concept to other subscription-based online games such as Electronic Art's "Sims Online" and Sony's "EverQuest."

But in "There," the digital characters--each of whom correspond to actual subscribers--can be more expressive than in other games, the company said. For instance, they are capable of gestures, such as eye contact, sighing and blinking. The idea is to make a virtual meeting via "There" a more natural and fun experience than an online conversation over an instant-messaging service or an Internet chat room, said Andrew Donkin, chief marketing officer of There Inc., the company that makes the game.

The company designed the game to appeal to adults in their 30s and 40s, specifically women, Donkin said. "There" has few rules, no violence (all activities are PG-13) and no score-keeping. In its virtual world, players can not only chat with each other, but also shop together, sell and auction things, design homes and clothes, go to parties, zip around the game's four islands on "hover boards" and dune buggies and listen to music.
Zzzzz...snort. Excuse me, but I fell asleep.

Is this a woman thing?