Instant messaging and then some! Wow, I stumbled upon the IMVU site this week. It was a pop-up on my Myspace page, and I got curious. Maybe I'm out of the loop, but I've never heard of this one. All of the sites that offer new worlds like this one are interesting to me, but not exactly something I'm ready to take part in completely yet. It opens the same door that chat rooms, IM applications, and MySpace did. It allows a person to be whoever they want to be (kind of scary in some cases, but very interesting and exciting).
The entire thing(IMVU) is a simulation of social life the way you want it. What you look like, who you meet, how you socialize and what you do is up to you, all in 3D. IMVU focuses on the fact that your avatars can dance and kiss, it's more of a relational site from what I can tell. It's not exactly my cup of tea, but I'm certain it appeals to millions of people. I think I would prefer face-to-face socialization (which seems more reliable to me), but I can't be too quick to say...during the day when I'm at work, I do instant message. It's with people I know, rather than meeting new people, but the idea isn't too far off. They say it's the next step beyond instant messaging.