Wednesday, July 15, 2009

With vSide now gone…what 3D Avatar options are left for Mac users?

Many people in the virtual world of avatars will be sad to see the much adored vSide community go...but after they are gone, what options are left for all of the Mac users out there? Many worlds that use client downloads like IMVU and Twinity don't support Mac. That’s why we’ve decided to take this unfortunate opportunity to do some research and make sure that no users are left out of the mix. The list below is comprised of 3D avatar sites that are compatible with Mac operating systems.
It’s difficult to consider Second life just another avatar community, simply because it is exactly
what the name states – a second life. Second life is a downloaded program that takes users into an expansive virtual world of design, community and creativity. A couple fair warnings before getting to deep into the site, the program can be somewhat slow and since the majority of the users tend to be older the content can be quite mature (sex oriented) at times. The good thing is that they do offer a Teen Second Life also for younger enthusiasts. Although many of the items in the marketplace are free to obtain, it should be noted that most of the popular items among users do require payment in the form of Lindens. Ultimately the choice is up to you for how deep you wish to involve yourself in this Second Life, so go explore and decide for yourself!


Frenzoo is a new 3D avatar community focussed on lifestyle and creativity. Inside the site, users have the ability to create cool and expressive clothing, accessories, hairstyles and more. Best of all is that content creation is free and easy to use, even for those who have never touched a graphic editor before. Some of the newest features offered to users include creating your own dance moves and pose animations in a fun and easy-to-use creation format, and they even offer features for those of the 3D creators out there. Perhaps the best part is that once you have downloaded a simple plug-in for your browser, no reloading is required, everything is contained within the browser window. Since the age requirement for Frenzoo is 13 and above, this game caters to both younger and older generations alike. Don’t let us spoil all the fun; go check it out for yourself..
Hangout is a more recent entry in the virtual world space. It supports Mac and is browser based (there is a small plugin to install). It lets you have room and invite friends to chat there. Using the service can be slow to load, although the graphic quality looks great when it comes up. The avatars are cartoony and cute. Like Vside and unlike Second Life and Frenzoo there is no content creation, you need to choose from their predefined items. One problem at the moment though is that there is never anyone else online which makes it tough to find people to chat to.

Just Leap In

Just Leap In is a 3D room based site similar to Hangout, and high quality graphics and even physics (you can play bowling by moving around objects) It has more offline functions like commenting to let you leave messages for others when they are offline. The spaces let you arrange your rooms as you like which can be fun to do and make it look perfect. However as with Hangout, the biggest problem is that there is no one online to chat with, the community has yet to be built up.

As stated before, each of the sites listed above are supportive of the Mac platforms and enthusiasts. Take some time to go explore all that each of them have to offer. Who knows, you might just meet some new friends and a new community that is perfect for you!

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