The best virtual life games platforms

If we were to make up the simplest definition of game platform, we would say that this is any device that ebnables you to play video games. Thus, for instance, it might be the console, your PC, Wii, Xbox 360 or Ps3. What all these devices have in common is a built hardware that makes it possible to run the video games.

If you are a virtual life games fan and you wonder which platform is be the best to play, you should take into account two things. The deciding factor would be most often the price, but in our opinion you should rather decide what kind of player you are and what actually you are looking for. And, after all, you want to have the best conditions for playing virtual life games. A console video game system might be sufficient for you if you would like to play only the video games. In this case buying a PC only for that purpose seems to be unnecessary. But on the other hand, if you already have got PC, remember that plenty video games can be also played on it.

However, the question is – do you really need Nintendo’s Game Cube, Microsoft’s Xbox, or Sony’s Playstations for your virtual life in the area of iPhones, tablets and laptops? Since almost everyone has one, having additional device seems to be unecessary exravagance unless, obviously, someone just wants to have one. But even so, your old, good PC seems to be the best platform for the type of games that we are interested in – the virtual life games. Consoles tend to go on the blink after relatively  short time, while you do not have to replace the whole computer with the new one, you can only upgrade your hardware system or just add graphics card, memory or storage space, which is not without the meaning in some virtual life games.

 

Second life in a virtual world – Pete’s story

I know Peter for some ten years or even more.

He was this kind of boy who tended to slouch and not look at people’s eyes. In addition, his complexion was speckled with acne and all in all he was rather anti-social person. At least everyone used to think so.

A few years ago Pete had  started to dwell on The Sims. Soon he was not able to talk about anything but this virtual life game. Having realised that no one is interested in his hobbyhorse, he let go the subject. Then he had gratuated from his high-school, went away for four years to study and I have not seen him for that time. Until the last month.

When Pete accosted me in the restaurant, at first I did not recognise this tall, handsome, self-confident man. Then Peter started to talk about what was happening with him at the time we have not seen each other.

He told me that the high school was the worst time in his life. During all the metarmophoses every teenager has to go through he felt incredibly lonely. The discovery of the parallel, virtual life in The Sims was like the salvation for him. He could be whoever he wanted to be and no one was judging him for his appearance. Soon someone told him about the IMVU and he had decided to change The Sims for that virtual life. According to Pete, his second life in IMVU and his virtual friendships started to reassure him that he is an interesting person. Slowly, he gained the self-esteem also in real life. He met a girl at his University and fell in love with her.

Unfortunately, at the same time he had been virtually dating a girl in IMVU. Although they had never seen each other, they had been knowing each other in that virtual life game for some three years. Finally, they had decided to marry in their virtual life.

When Pete’s girl had found this out, she left him. This opened Pete’s eyes. He stopped playing in IMVU and, some time later, he started his own family. However, he is convinced that it is the virtual life that helped him to get to like himself. One may doubt whether an ordinary virtual life game can change the man, but I guess that the case of my friend is quite thought-provoking.

 

Flash virtual games

The notion “flash games” is more and more often used in the realm of virtual games. While many people are well aquainted with that popular term, there are still plenty of those for whom this name sounds vaguely. Thus, to begin with, let us try to explain that term to all who do not know it. It would be really witless to overlook these games because of unawareness!

Flash games are virtual, interactive games that has been crated for both online and mobile apps that use Flash software which is Adobe-owned and developed by Macromedia. Adobe Flash itself, on the other hand, is kind of multimedia platform. It has got numerous usages: it can be used not only in mentioned virtual games, but also in ads or animations for broadcast. Actually, originally it was created as a program for animation, but nowadays it is mainly associated with flash virtual games. And that is no wonder: flash games have got some advantages over other games.

Firstly, usually they are free. Secondly, they can boast with great graphics and sound, you can forget about the pixelisation. Their interfaces are usually simple, but the storylines are really absorbing. So, what have you got at your disposal?

Well, these types of virtual games can be really various. For example, flash games broadly available via the internert  offer you popular 3-D first-person shooters, casinos, role-playing, massive multiplayer, action virtual games, miscelaneous simulations and role-playing games.

They are especially good if you have got not much time to entertain yourself and delve into some complicated rules or levels.

 

 

Your avatar in a virtual life game world – psychological aspect

There is one common denominator in almost all virtual life games; the one that allows you to enter them and exhibit your virtual personality: your avatar.

Imitating the human relations from the real world, in life game worlds your visual representation usually often decides about interest that you evoke, your popularity or, even, prosperity. It is also interesting how people create their avatars in their relation to self-satisfaction in a real life. It happens quite often that shy people with low-esteem ascribe to their avatar identity attributes that make them seem much stronger, better, more good-looking, sociable etc. Perhaps it has got some therapeutic effect on their self-esteem in a real life, who knows? After all, seeing ourselves in an improved version somehow motivates to making modifications in a real life. On the other hand, confronting our flawless avatar with the reality can also become the source of frustration. It seems that one can reach the happy medium only by staying sane and making sure that the border between these two worlds remains visible.

However, transferring our real-life appearance into the virtual life game in the way that resembles us totally might also cause some danger. There is always a risk of being recognized or even stalked by someone unwanted. Sometimes we are even not avare of the fact how many traits we leave in a virtual space. No matter how do we try to pretend someone else, some masterful observer can recognize us. As in every aspect of life, the balance is most important. All in all, the avatars can give us loads of fun and great ideas!

Virtual games in a virtual life world

As we have already written in previous post, one of the crucial and most absorbing elements of virtual life are virtual life games. Usually in games of this type you have got at your disposal various browser games . Their main asset is that these games can be played without the necessity of downloading anything and cluttering your computer. Thus, basically, what you need is just the internet access. Today we are going to determine what is the strongest advantage of these virtual, browser-based games in a virtual world.

Online, browser-based games are most often one of the least complicated games to play and it involves little amount of time to achieve their main objectives. The result is that more and more people are becoming the users and the society of virtual life game players is constantly growing, enlarging the room for creative and healthy competition. Obviously, you can choose more complicated games, if you want to, but the level of difficulty depends on which virtual life world you choose. But no matter if you are keen on fierce competiotion or just light entertainement, what matters is the fact that you are interacting with real people, tough in virtual life. This ability to compete with your real friends, compare results and, sometimes, gain some virtual currency or points that can be later used for shopping and equipping home is possible  because these games are frequently combined with various social network platforms. Thus, any player can invite othes to join him or her in the competition. And this seems to be the strongest point of these games, because such types of games do not isolate the players from the reality and real people.

Great virtual life game

Howdy!

Do you know any real great virtual life game? If you wonder what I mean by saying great, I explain: great as literally “huge and neverending” because consisting of so many levels, layers, options and opportunities, and great as simply very good – in terms of graphics, plot etc.

Probably most of you would point at the same games – Second Life, IMVU and several others. But today I would like to draw your attention to the relatively new game that is gradually evolving into one of the most interesting virtual life games – namely, Smeet.

Smeet is a customizable 3D virtual life game in which you can do the same things as in other games of this kind, with the difference that this game is completely browser-based. Customarily, you would be expected to buy extra premium membership to use most of the things that you can do for free in this virtual life game. So, what can you actually do without paying? Here we go:

First of all, you get wide variety of entertainment and communication features: you can create your own avatar, meet your friends and get to know new people, go to clubs, invite others to your place, listen to radio, enjoy live events, play games and interactive games in which you can compete with your friends and even… get married! That is not all – Smeet is one of the few games where you can be heard by other members by… using your phone.

Obviously, if you are interested in some additional features and want to engage in a play to the full, you are given the opportunity tu purchase a premium account and this opens new possibilities for you. But the point is that in this virtual life game you are allowed to enjoy a variety of possibilities for free. Just try! http://en.smeet.com/

Education games: the help of virtual worlds in learning

Despite strong criticism of many stupefying virtual games that absorb too much time, there are some that, actually, may have some tangible benefits – namely, education games.

These virtual games are designed to broaden the knowledge about given subjects, expand concepts, develop interest in something or gain an understanding of some cultural or historical events as the users just play and have fun.

For example, the site http://www.nobelprize.org/educational/ offers educational simulations based on the Nobel Prize Laureats’ work. One of the best games offered there is the one which has won the title of the Best Game Category by Swedish Learning Awards. It aims at teaching the basics of the blood types, blood typing and transfusions of blood. The player’s task is to save patients who need blood transfusions. The game is funny, the graphic is neat and the aim is noble.

Other education games concern, for instance, taking care of animals. Virtual pets (we have devoted the last post to them) can teach children responsibility and prepare them for future duties resulting from owning a pet.

There is also a plenty of games that can be useful in learning languages and it has been proven that they can really reinforce the learning effect. Possibly the best virtual games for learning languages can be found on ESL pages, like http://www.eslgamesworld.com/. Hangman, crosswords, wheel of fortune, snakes and ladder games and many more can teach the user new words and expressions in a imperceptible ways.

And that is the strength of the education games: they transmit the knowledge through tasks and challenges which are really entertaining! Just write the subject that you are interested in your browser, add the expression “education games” or “virtual games” and immerse in the ocean of educational possibilities, that really amuse.

 

 

 

 

Virtual pet in a virtual world

If your child also feels attracted by the virtual life games, you do not have to necessarily be worry. There is one kind of virtual life game that can develop sense of protectiveness towards the weak, compel fondness, responsibility, and joy of animal ownership. Yes, such game really exists and that is the one in which the virtual pet is in the spotlight.

There are many browser – based games like that on the internet. For example, the mission statement on the www.foopets.com is: “adopt them, breed them, love them”. The game was designed for children under 13 and the point is that a user, usually a mentioned child, but not always :) , is to provide some care and companionship to the kittens and puppies. As this is a virtual life game, all its elements resemble those from real life: the user is expected to feed his or her virtual pet when it is hungry or thisty, play with it and spoil it.

What is particularly interesting is the fact that foopets was created in 2007 by a vet, Dr Ron Hornbaker, who was also a technologist trying to covince us that the special commitment between human beings and the pets can be recreated even in a virtual life game. One must admit, that the each virtual pet is quite realistic. And, obviously, what is characteristic for every virtual life game, after subscribing you get access to more features and you can earn money to nurse your virtual pet.

If you would like to let your child play in such game, there are tons of them on the internet, but their main assumption remains usuall the same.

The most popular virtual life games

In the view of the fact that there is so much virtual life games nowadays, the comparison criteria of the games are higher and higher.

Basically, virtually all of them offer similar possibillities of creating avatars and personalising them, meeting new people, socializing, playing games, making friends, designing your house and doing many more to make your virtual life more real-like. In most of these you are expected to take up a job or participate in competition, because in this way you get points or virtual currency that you will need to collect more stuff. Thus, what becomes most distinct when it comes to the choice, are the following factors: is the virtual life game free? Do I need premium account to take full advantage of my virtual life? What is the quality of the graphic? Is the competition not getting boring? And, as these variables do not differ much in case of these games, it is rather a matter of personal preferences that decide about the popularity of a given virtual life game. We can judge the best game by the number of users or by the number of… active or satisfied users. And that is difficult to measure.

However, amidst many virtual life games, several of them seem to be continuously going strong.

One of the best virtual life games remains The Sims; however, it is not a free game. But there are other games which, although free, are of really high quality. Let us just mention Second Life or IMVU. Both of these offer really good graphics and are practically never-ending. Active Worlds, World of Oz, Moove, Gaia Online or There have have more or less similar features.

And if you know any other good virtual life games, share them with us!

 

 

Virtual life games – why they are so tempting?

Sometimes maliciously called virtual dollhouses or, more professionally, social stimulation games, virtual life games incessantly gain interest of the players all around the world.

No matter if it is because of the possibility of escaping into the refined version of everyday life or of living life in a perfect, digital body, spending time in the cybernetic equivalent of the world has become  the favourite pastime for millions of people.

One can say that it makes no sense, since the virtual existence resembles the real life. Well, that is not quite the truth. The simulation of the ordinary daily activities goes, let’s say, more smoothly. The point is that it is you and not the coincidence that decides about the course of your life.

It is obvious, that in the course of time you want your virtual life to become polished in every detail. After all, one of the key elements of every virtual life game is the interaction with other members of your virtual community, and sometimes you want to impress somebody, look well at the virtual disco or, for instance, at the cyber-sea.  Hidden depths and character traits make their presence felt also in the artificial world. Thus, gradually you want to have more and look better. Virtual games producers know about this and often offer premium membership, which allows you to buy more. This is often a kind of barrier for those users, who would like to play some virtual life games with their friends, yet not spending the fortune.

And here free virtual life games come to their rescue. Some of them are equally good, if not better, than the payable ones. The next posts will be devoted to them.