Identity and Expression, Virtual World Platforms

Resident Protests Grow: Lively Crowd Pleads for Life

So far, no signs of self-immolating avatars as a crowd of Livelyzens protest the shuttering of their virtual rooms.

As one resident notes, Google’s plans to shut down its Lively virtual um rooms is equivalent to the slaughter of babies:

“Shutting this down would mean killing all those characters that we’ve all loved already. It is sad to kill all of us. It’s like God creating the Universe and after 5 months, ends it. It’s like a mother creating this baby, but slaughtered it before it’s even born, once she knew that it is unwanted. There is already life in Lively. I think it deserves to continue living…”

There is something jarring about the idea that our virtual environments could just evaporate, our avatars disappear. In fact, this isn’t a superficial issue. As we increasingly invest time, emotional energy, and make business investments in virtual and online environments, it’s more than a cute room that will be threatened.

So, power to the Livelyzens. Maybe instead of shuttering Lively, Google can be persuaded to sell it off: it’s a world made by its residents, after all, shouldn’t they have a say in what happens to it?


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