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Google launches a distributed virtual world

Mashable reports about Lively, Google's new virtual world:

Google has just launched Lively, a new social network built around the concept of each user creating an avatar and a personal virtual room that can be embedded anywhere on the Web. In essence, Google is looking to create a massive distributed virtual world, where every Google account can have its own avatar that can be used wherever a Lively virtual room is present — for example, on a blog, a social networking profile, or a Web page.

Worth a closer look. I like the avatars. It has user housing too.

Update: "Requires Windows Vista/XP with Internet Explorer or Firefox" BOOO! Obviously this niche product will never fly and shows that Google has jumped the shark etc. etc.