Feeds

Google penetrates fake sex world with Lively

Watch clips of Sadville on virtual YouTube TV

Build a business case: developing custom apps

It starts with a hug, then some petting on top of colored balls and before you know it you're down at some 3D sex club wielding a dildo.

Yes, Google has innocently wandered into the world of casual encounters with the launch of its own 3D reality alternative to Linden Lab's Second Life.

The internet's favorite search engine has launched Lively, a virtual world where you can create and personalize an online avatar and personal room.

Rather than re-create a reality in Linden Labs' world, though, Lively lets you tap your existing online presence. You can suck in content from elsewhere on the web and embed your Lively areas onto your web properties, such as a blog, MySpace or Facebook Page using Google widgets. You can also email others using a regular web address. What will they think of next?

According to Google, you can play YouTube videos in your virtual TV, put pictures in virtual picture frames inside your virtual rooms and have your Lively rooms run on your desktop, which may or may not be virtual.

Lively rooms embedded in web sites let people "interact" through animated actions, according to Google. "In our user research, we've been amazed at how much more poignant it is to receive an animated hug than seeing the text '[[hug]]'," according to Google's blog.

And that could be where the real problem starts. According to Indiana University's Edward Castronova, sex contributes to "a substantial portion, perhaps even the majority" of economic transactions in Second Life.

At least Mac users are protected. Lively only runs on Windows XP, although it supports Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Time to buy those fake genitals you've always wanted on Google Checkout.

Think we'll go down to the pub and receive a poignant punch in the face from a human.®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.