More random notes from around the metaverse…
The Vanity Google
Ever heard the term “vanity google”? It’s basically where you google your own name and any online monikers you may use, and it is actually a good idea to do every now and then, especially if you are being cyber bullied. I tried googling myself (arianeb) and of course I get a lot of links to my website, as well as blogs dedicated to my dating game, and a growing number of walkthroughs.
It is not surprising to find out that I am not the only Ariane B on the planet. I already knew about Ariane Blanc, a German Ariane B who owns the “Ariane” sim in Second Life. (If you are in the market for virtual furniture, check out her store), but there is also a French Canadian Ariane B. I run arianeb.com, and I am arianeb on tumblr and wordpress (which you knew from reading this blog), but arianeb on twitter is a Montreal based singer/songwriter. I’ve listened to some of the stuff she posted online and its pretty good. I also found out there is a Facebook ArianeB page, which is about me, but I am not the one who created it. Whoever did, needs to update it, and as for the rest of you, I could always use a few more “likes”. 🙂
Other Dating Sims
But the really cool thing I found while googling myself is that there are a growing number of dating sims similar to my own. Ugo.com recently did a list of Virtual Girlfriends You Can Date of which I am number 5. Its an entertaining list covering many kinds of virtual dating with virtual girls. Stay away from #4 (3D Girlz) I got a malware warning when I went there. Another list that had me as an entry is a list of dating sims at playforceone.com (link NSFW due to ads), a list of 36 other dating sim games available online. A couple I have tried before were not that good, but that still leaves 34 I have not tried.
One other dating sim appeared on both sites called Keely, a dating sim very similar to mine, in that it is written in HTML with a branching storyline, and uses a lot of Poser graphics based on Victoria 3. I assume that the character is based on British model Keely Hazell. I have not played too much with Keely, but it has a much more involved storyline, taking place over many days, like the Japanese dating sims do. Also, you don’t have to arrow around the picture to find the choices, they are usually at the bottom of the page to choose from. The thing I’m most jealous of is that Keely already has a sequel, and I still have a lot of work to go on my sequel.
The Virtual Popstar
And since we are on the topic of virtual women online, a recent story from Japan gave me a good chuckle. Virtual pop stars are hot right now in Japan, the most famous one is Hatsune Miku, a manga styled character who’s singing voice is created artificially using a vocalizer, and does concerts using rear projection technology.
But there is a pop band in Japan called AKB48, and they are very popular (the top 10 chart for 2010 in Japan consisted of songs from only two bands AKB48 and Arashi). It is a band consisting of a choir of cute young teenage Japanese girls, with new young girls being added as older ones leave.
One of the new girls this year was Aimi Eguchi, a 16 year old according to her bio. She appeared on magazine covers and videos before it was revealed, she does not exist. Aimi Eguchi was a composite of 6 other members of AKB48, to the shock of many. It was a silly publicity stunt, and the fun only lasted a few days before the secret was revealed, but the idea that fake can pass as real has generated a bit of buzz.
Reminds me of that under appreciated film S1m0ne from 2002.
Is The Sims Online returning too?
I have mentioned a few times that I got my start on the metaverse via The Sims Online, a 2.5 dimension virtual world first released in 2003. I only lasted 6 months before moving on to There. Well it looks like a new incarnation of TSO will soon be returning, this time called The Sims Social, and it will be a Facebook App.
All attempts to attach a 3D Virtual World to Facebook have resulted in failure due to incompatibility of purposes. If any can succeed it would be The Sims, so it will be interesting to see how this goes.