Google dropped a bomb on the virtual world market today by releasing a new virtual world called Lively. I’m not writing a deep review yet, my first impression is that it feels like IMVU. It is better then IMVU though, you can at least move your avatar around a room, but the best part is that it runs in a browser(via a plugin). Sadly there are no content creation tools yet, or the ability to upload models, I heard those are coming.
What I really am hoping for is some sort of scripting tools to make interactive objects. That would really open up the possibility space.
I’m excited though, some people see it as yet another dress up virtual world. But I think with Google backing it has a lot more potential by the simple fact alone of the amount attention this will get. Add to that possibilities of Google earth and Sketchup mashups.