IMVU is a 3D avatar game that offers a wide variety of stunning chat rooms where you can get to know all kinds of real people.
The designs of the chat rooms have made it one of the most used and love chatting and social sites on the internet with designs that leave you feeling you are in a real life simulation. The virtual chat game has also been well liked for bringing people together creating relationships on and offline.
You can make your own chat room and invite the friends you make to your room or host your own party to meet plenty of new people!
On the Seventh Day, Man Created an Avatar
Initially known as Avatar Factory, IMVU is a mixture of both an online social networking site and the Sims. Create your own personal avatar and be a part of a huge worldwide online community, where you can meet up with friends and family or make new acquaintances online. Meet up with your friends from around the world in this virtual hangout. Customize your avatar’s looks and fashion with IMVU’s in-depth avatar creation software – where you can give life to your virtual self with just a click of a button.
Creating from One’s own Image
IMVU’s unique approach in creating an online avatar really surprised us when we first tried making our virtual selves. Not only are the avatars rendered in full 3D, they are quite detailed and highly customizable. Seldom do we see this kind of depth of customization in an online social network game – these intricacies are normally reserved for MMORPGs or Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. Once your account is created, you will be prompted to install the IMVU software - which you will need to download. Once installed, members can now start creating their online personas.
Run the installed IMVU software then go straight to the Dress Up option to begin customizing your avatar. At the lower left corner of the screen, you will find multiple buttons with icons on them; each one symbolizes a category of clothing – whether it is an upper or lower garment, shoes or accessory. Once selected, players will get multiple options on what they would want to change in each category of their avatar’s appearance. Do you want to change your long black pants to something more non-casual? Then just click on the button with the pants icon to get the available selection of pants that you have in your inventory.
Additional aesthetic changes can be made to your avatar, not just fashion. Your personal avatar can also be modified to fit your personal preferences and style. We know hairstyle is very important when it comes to showing one’s individuality and apparently so do the people behind IMVU. Various types of haircuts are available; from the classic to the modern, members will definitely have something to choose from in deciding their avatar’s new hairdo. Other customizable body parts on your avatar are their eyes; members are given a variety of choices with different shapes and eye colors. The option to change the size and color of the eyes themselves would have been a great feature; instead of just choosing from pre-created ones, especially since we know people like to change the color of their eyes to match what they are wearing during certain occasions.
Additional apparels and accessories are made available via online and can be accessed in the Recently Added tab – represented with a price tag icon, these new items can be purchased with IMVU’s online credit. For those of you, who are worried that these credits are only gained with real money, there is no need to panic. Credits can be earned by other means, such a installing the IMVU toolbar on your browser, liking IMVU on Facebook and even from just completing an online survey. IMVU users can of course try out these purchasable items first before spending their credits, to make sure that they match their avatar’s fashion. Access to exclusive contents such as discounts, credit bonuses and even unique VIP avatar actions are offered to members who sign up to IMVU’s VIP CLUB.
Other options in IMVU’s dress up feature are the camera controls – which are really helpful in checking your avatar’s overall look. The camera can easily be manipulated by clicking and holding the left mouse button on your avatar; moving the mouse sideways turns the avatar while moving vertically adjusts the camera’s distance – which can also be controlled with the mouse wheel. For those who are not comfortable using the mouse to manipulate the camera, you can also use the camera controls at the right side of the avatar creation screen.
Once your avatar is fully dressed and ready to hit the online streets of IMVU, save your fashion preferences - you can save you preferred outfits and appearances with the Save Outfit option, which is great since we all know how hard it is to pick clothes that match - even in the virtual world.
Picking your Virtual Fashion
IMVU’s visual presentation is really impressive. The amount of variety created for each of the avatar’s clothes and physical features really showed us that the makers of IMVU wanted to make people think more when creating their virtual selves – not just pick a male or female representation of themselves without a thought about individuality. While the character models are well rendered with polygons and textures, some details to the anatomy could have been made better – having such broad shoulders on a female avatar gives it a non-feminine look that we find disturbing.
The avatars themselves have a variety of animations and facial expressions, which help them to convey certain emotions and actions. While some animations look robotic, the expressions conveyed by the avatars are quite believable and give the avatars personality and charm.
Chatting without Words
Since IMVU is not actually a game but rather an interactive online social networking site, expecting to hear sound effects and catchy gaming music was pretty much out of the question. While there are mini-games in the IMVU’s games section, these are not directly related to IMVU’s world where your avatar resides. There is an option to buy some music tracks from IMVU’s music store and have these tracks play in chat rooms you have created to meet up with family and friends. These music tracks range from licensed music by Katy Perry to music created by independent music artists.
Walking the Virtual Catwalk
IMVU offers the chance to not just meet and interact with people online, but a chance to recreate yourself in a virtual world. But unlike other online social networking sites they presented it a way that it feels more like a game rather than your usual chat rooms and forums. Chat rooms are also created and customized with virtual objects that can be interacted with while mingling with other IMVU member’s avatars. These 3D chat rooms provide a sense of realism that most online chat rooms do not, especially since other chat rooms only consist of boxes of texts rather than a virtual place with virtual people who interact with one another.
There is also a Virtual beauty pageant where members can compete on an online leader board to find out whose avatar has the best outfit and fashion sense. Categories are set, which serves as the guidelines on what type or style of outfit should be worn to be able compete in the contest. The winners are decided by online voting from IMVU’s multitude of online members.
Living in a Virtual World
IMVU definitely provided us with a unique experience, where we interacted with others in a way most online social network sites do not provide. The ability to virtually put ourselves in a world where we can mingle and interact with the environment and other people from around the world is a great way to socialize online. With all the features people would normally find in an online social site, such as forums, chat rooms and blogs, IMVU provided its members the complete online experience when it came to online socialization. We really recommend signing up and becoming a member of IMVU, especially to those looking for a great online social network where they can meet other people, both old acquaintances and new. We give IMVU a reality bending 87/100.